Some of the main selling points of fibreglass roofing systems are their strength, durability and longevity. With proper installation and maintenance, almost all fibreglass roof problems can be avoided for the lifespan of the system .
In fact, you can expect a properly installed fibreglass roof to last for decades without any issues.
With improper roof installation, a number of problems can occur. These are particularly common with unreputable contractors, or DIY installations. As such, it’s always best to use a product-certified contractor in the first instance.
However, let’s say you have had a fibreglass roof installed, and now it’s developing problems. You’ll almost certainly want to know how these can be repaired, or if you’ll need a whole new roof.
In this guide, we’ll look at five of the most common fibreglass roof problems, and what you should do when they occur.
Let’s dive right in.
Fibreglass Roof Cracks
Cracks on a fibreglass roof are easy to identify, as they are typically visible to the naked eye. In less extreme cases, you might also notice surface flaking before a full-on crack emerges. The sooner these can be repaired, the better.
There are two main reasons why cracks occur in fibreglass roofs. The first is that the top coat of resin was not applied correctly. Luckily, this is a fairly simple fix for an experienced fibreglass roof specialist.
The second reason for cracks developing in fibreglass roofs is a little bit trickier. Like all materials, fibreglass expands and shrinks a certain amount due to changes in temperature. An experience roofing specialist accounts for this during the installation process.
The problem arises when a roof isn’t installed correctly. Specifically, if there is no space between the perimeter edges of a fibreglass roof and the timber boards underneath, or if the wrong boards were used entirely, cracking is likely to occur.
Here, the solution is more involved. Indeed, as the problem here relates to the boards, then it is these which will have to be replaced, before a new fibreglass roof can be installed properly.
This problem can also be avoided using a crack-resistant fibreglass roofing solution, like RES-TEC.
Leaking Fibreglass Roofs
A leaking roof is a very serious problem. It’s not just the cost of repairing your roof itself. There is also potential for damage to the rest of the building, as well as its contents. As such, when you notice a leak in your roof, it’s crucial to act quickly.
Leaks can be related to a range of other fibreglass roof problems.
No matter what the cause, your first priority is to use a bucket to catch the water, to prevent it from damaging anything else in your property. Once you’ve got everything cleaned up, you should contact a fibreglass roofing specialist as soon as possible, to prevent the leak worsening.
The longer you leave a leak untreated, the more difficult and expensive it will be to repair.
It’s worth noting that leaking roofs can have multiple sources, some of which may be difficult to find. A professional fibreglass roofing company can identify these, as well as what caused the roof to begin leaking in the first place.
They’ll then offer a quote to begin work repairing your fibreglass roof, or if necessary, replacing it entirely. In this instance, you should choose a roofing system with high leak-resistance, such as a Crystic Roof.
Fibreglass Roof Pinholes
Pinholing is one of the most common fibreglass roofing problems. This is when small holes appear in the top layer of resin on a fibreglass roof, resembling pinholes. Most often, this occurs when the resin has been improperly applied, or the coat is not thick enough.
While pinholing may appear to be a relatively minor issue, leaving these holes untreated can quickly lead to more serious problems, like leaks or water ingress. Pinholing is particularly serious for fibreglass roofing in Ireland, as rain and wind can exacerbate the problem.
It’s fairly common for people to try and perform DIY repairs on fibreglass roofs with pinholes. However, we wouldn’t recommend this. While pinholes are a simple fix if you know what you’re doing, things can still go wrong.
The repair involves applying new resin to cover and fill the pinholes. However, if you use too much or too little, additional problems can arise.
Ponding is a problem which is common to flat roofs. Essentially, this is where pools of water form, because they are unable to drain away properly. In many cases, this is nothing to worry about. However, it might be unsightly, or hazardous for anyone walking on your roof.
Pools of water can form as a result of dips on the surface of a fibreglass roof. This can come as a result of an uneven surface, poor installation, or damage to the roof itself. As such, water ponding can be an indicator of underlying issues.
If ponding results from a serious underlying problem, a contractor will need to remove the affected area of your roof. They’ll then use wooden shims, known as firings, to raise the area underneath, before replacing the missing roof sections.
Top Coat Alligatoring
Even the best fibreglass roof system won’t last forever. While the best fibreglass roofs have a life expectancy which you can measure in decades, at a certain point they will still need to be replaced.
One of the key fibreglass roof problems which indicates the need for a replacement is known as alligatoring. This is when the surface of your roof begins to appear shrivelled and cracked, but like the skin of an alligator.
Alligatoring occurs because, over time, the roof’s top coat begins to lose its elasticity.
While it may be tempting to try and use recoating as a quick fix, the only long term solution for alligatoring is to fit an entirely new roof. At this point, it’s crucial to speak to a specialist contractor to figure out which new roof is right for you.
The Best Way to Avoid Fibreglass Roof Problems
As we noted already, fibreglass roofs are growing in popularity because of their strength, durability, and longevity. Indeed, when a fibreglass roof is installed properly, you can expect it to last several decades without any issues occurring.
When you do encounter fibreglass roof problems, these commonly result from improper installation. As such, the best way to avoid creating unnecessary headaches and wasting money is to employ expert contractors in the first place.
At Nationwide Fibreglass, we’ve been delivering expertly fitted fibreglass roofing systems to customers all over the island of Ireland for over a decade. Speak to us today to discuss the needs for your roofing project.