Roofs in our area have certainly met – and continue to meet — lots of enemies over the last 18 months. Since we are in the middle of scorching sun and severe and sudden rainstorms, I am listing what some of these enemies are and how they affect your roofing system, the most important part of your home.
Sun: You are well aware of how hot it has been lately. What do you think happens to your roof when the sun is beating down on it day after day? The strong heat and ultraviolent rays will over time cause deterioration more quickly in our climate.
Rain: When water gets underneath shingles, shakes or other roofing materials, it can work its way to the roof deck and cause the structure to rot. Extra moisture encourages mildew, mold and promotes growth elsewhere in the house, including walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems.
Wind: Strong winds can lift shingle edges forcing water and debris under them.
Snow and Ice: Melting snow often refreezes at the overhang of the roof where it is cooler forming ice dams. This blocks drainage into the gutter, and water backs up under the shingles and seeps into the interior. Gutters and downspouts can fill with ice and tear away from the house which can cause a number of problems with drainage.
Condensation: Condensation can result from the buildup of warm, moist air. Since moisture in a poorly ventilated attic causes decay of wood sheathing and rafters, it can destroy the roof structure. Sufficient attic ventilation needs to be created to keep the attic temperature closer to the outside temperature. Installing larger and/or additional vents will help achieve this result.
Moss and Algae: Moss can grow on moist shingles and shakes. It holds even more moisture as it spreads and works its way into a wood deck and structure. Algae grows in damp, shaded areas on the roof and creates a black-green stain and also causes rot and deterioration over time. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from homes to eliminate additional damp areas, and gutters should be kept clean to ensure proper drainage.
Trees and leaves: High winds can cause tree untrimmed branches to brush against the roof causing scratches and punctures. Keep branches trimmed and leaves out of your gutter system.
Missing, Torn and Deteriorated Shingles: Shingles are key to protecting your roof system. When shingles are missing, the roof structure and interior are vulnerable to water damage and rot. Replace missing or damaged shingles as quickly as possible. As shingles age, they curl, split and lose their effectiveness to protect from water damage. Old shingles are also susceptible to being blown off during storms and can end up causing rot and interior damage.