Traditional Roofing Systems: Five Common Issues

Roofer repairing an asphalt shingle roof

Having the knowledge to ensure the longest life of our roof is important, right? There’s just so many issues that can pop-up. That being said, it’s increasingly important as a property owner to be able to spot certain roofing system issues that we might encounter over time. Today, Trademark Exteriors is going to go over a few of the most common roofing problem areas so that, hopefully, you can catch them before they get worse.

The Fascia Board

Also referred to as the “roofing trim”, the fascia is the horizontal front board that runs the length of the roof. Typically crafted from sheet metal or boards, the fascia is placed beneath the edge of the roof and is used to hold gutter systems in place. Outside of visual appeal, the primary function of the fascia board is to protect the house from unwanted moisture. 

It should come as no surprise that the most important thing to watch out for, then, is moisture. Fascia boards are certainly at higher risk of damage in particular climates. Wintertime ice dams and overflowing gutters are the most common causes for damaged fascia, so it’s especially important in cold or wet areas to check up on this area of the house frequently.

The Soffit

Below the fascia board lies the soffit. Traditionally made from woods and metals, modern society has moved towards synthetic materials for this section of the roof. Though it seems lacking in practical function, the soffit is actually designed to work for the fascia by drawing moisture and heat from your home and roof void. By doing so, it helps prevent wood rot of the rafters.

Much like the fascia, it’s important to check up on this section of your roof regularly. Make sure to examine for any cracks or deteriorations. Outside of the long-term damage of moisture build up, they can also become the unappealing homes of various pests.

The Flashing

Roof flashing plays a critical role in a way that many wouldn’t think of. Somewhat hard to notice, the flashing is typically made with thin galvanized steel and is applied to any areas that might be more vulnerable to water access. Think of wherever the rooftop might meet a wall, a chimney, a skylight… Anywhere that the surface changes direction, you will find this. 

Obviously intended to protect from leaks that occur with surface changes, the issues are anticipatable. Be sure to look out for corrosion and flashing that is starting to detach from the surface it’s trying to save.

The Gutters

This one is probably a no-brainer, even to the layman: the gutters primary function is to redirect larger quantities of water away from the fragile foundation of the home. Despite the public knowledge of this section of the roof, there is still a fairly large number of people who let their gutters go. This can lead to further problems, however, if the gutter detaches after too much stress.

The most important thing is to keep up with cleaning and clearing your gutter lines. This can feel like an unimportant chore, of course, but it really is important to keep up. There’s a lot of damage that can come from a detached gutter, so making sure you stay on it through the Fall and rainy seasons is very important.


Last on the list is another familiar roofing system part: the shingles. How do you know to fix your shingles, though? Are there any signs to look for? Fortunately, yes, there are! Some of the most prominent signs that your shingles need to be replaced are…

  • Time (experts say 20-25 years means it’s time to start thinking about a new roof)
  • Curling/Buckling (loss of granules)
  • Discoloration (a very useful sign that the roof has worn)

Of course, you’ll run into some areas where you’ll need some professional help. If you see anything that concerns you with your roof, go ahead and reach out to Trademark Exteriors.

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