Environmental Roof Enemies
Many conditions affect how long your roof will last. Being familiar with your environment and the following factors will help you make informed decisions when purchasing your roof system.
Sun, Rain, & Wind
Heat and ultraviolet rays can cause deterioration of roofing materials, particularly on the west side of your home. Other weather conditions, such as rain and high winds, can also leave your roof damaged. Rainwater can get underneath shingles, shakes, or other materials, working its way to the roof deck and ultimately causing the structure to rot. High winds can lift the edges of shingles or other materials, forcing rain and debris underneath them.
Condensation results from the buildup of warm, moisture-laden air. In a poorly ventilated attic, this buildup can promote rotting of wood sheathing and rafters, possibly destroying a roof structure.
Trees & Leaves
Branches that fall on your roof from overhanging trees can puncture shingles and may damage other roofing materials. Leaves accumulating on your roof can retain moisture, cause rot and block gutter drainage.
When shingles become old and worn, they curl, split, are less waterproof, and can be easily blown off by wind gusts. This results in loss of structural integrity from water damage and rotting. A roof system in this deteriorated condition should be replaced as soon as possible as it only gets worse with time.
Moss & Algae
Moist wooden shingles and shakes can be subject to rotting from moss growth, a common issue for wooden structures. Algae growth on shaded or damp areas of wood or asphalt shingle systems causes rot and deterioration. To help prevent moss and algae growth, trim trees and bushes away from homes to eliminate damp, shaded areas and keep gutters clean to ensure good drainage.
Ensuring there are good, tight flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights, and wall or roof junctions can prevent water from entering a home and causing damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems. Flashings should be checked as part of a biannual roof inspection and gutter cleaning.
Checking for Roof Trouble
Determining whether or not your roof is damaged can be tricky. With this in mind, we've compiled easy-to-understand checklists for interior and exterior roof damage.
• Dark Water Stains in Rafters & Attic Insulation
• Water Stain on Ceilings & Walls
• Increased Energy Costs
• Light Passing through Pinholes (Wooden Roofs)
• Missing Shingles, Cracked Tiles & Warped or Gapping Wood Shake Asphalt Roof Shingles
• Sagging Roofline (Indicates Long-Time Leak & Structural Problem)
• Thin, Weatherworn Shingles (Asphalt Roofs)
• Warping, Splitting, or Missing Shingles (Wooden Shakes & Shingles)
• Peeling, Cracked, or Curling — End of Useful Tile Life
• Dark, Dirty Looking Areas — Fungus or Loss of Granules
• Blistering or Paint Peel — Lost Ventilation