Because roofs tend to last for upwards of 15-20 years, it is common for people to overlook regular maintenance and inspections that are suggested. In general, people don’t think about their roofs unless they are selling or purchasing a property or until something goes wrong. It is important to be aware of the professional recommendations for maintenance as well as the common causes of roof damage. This will ensure you are able to stay ahead of any potential problems.
The top major causes of roof damage include:
High winds, hail, and torrential down pours can wreak havoc on your homes roof system. There is no real way to avoid these storms aside from ensuring that you use high quality materials when having a new roof installed. It is important to get a professional roof inspection after any major storms.
Overhanging trees and foliage can cause damage to your roof. Sometimes it is due to a fallen branch while other times is due to build up from leaves, twigs, and pine needles. The buildup from foliage gives moisture a place to accumulate and the moisture can damage your shingles and compromise your roof. You should make sure you remove any debris on your roof periodically but no less than twice a year. It is best if you can remove any overhanging limbs and make sure the closest branch is a minimum of 12 feet from your home.
Depending on your location, various animals (such as birds, squirrels, mice, bats, etc) can cause damage to your roof. Keeping your trees trimmed an away from your home will help reduce the animal traffic but you may need to call in a wildlife professional to keep the critters away.
If there is a lot of foot traffic on your roof (for any number of reasons), it can cause your shingles to deteriorate and shorten their life span.
Extreme heat and high levels of UV can cause damage to your roof and reduce its lifespan. Having proper ventilation and insulation in your attic can help reduce this problem.
Ice storms and melting then refreezing snow tends to cause the most damage to roofs during the winter. When water freezes it can form ice dams which blocks drainage and can damage your shingles.
Moisture (moss, mold and algae)
Moisture is a roof’s #1 enemy as it can cause wood rot and structural damage overtime. Excess moisture can lead to mold, algae, and moss growth on your shingles. These items can cause discoloration and deterioration of your shingles and leave you with lasting damage.
All of these are among many reasons why you should consider getting your roof professionally inspected regularly or, at the very least, after you notice any one or more of these items. Your roof is your first line of defense against the elements and shouldn’t be taken for granted due to its longer lifespan.