Your roof provides exterior protection from the elements, helps preserve temperatures inside your home, lowers energy usage, and enhances curb appeal. It’s not surprising then that you would want to keep it as functional as possible. To do that, however, you have to first understand what factors affect your roof’s condition. These include:
1. Weather Conditions
The elements can do a number on your roof over time, but the rate at which it will happen depends on your roofing material, as well as weather conditions in your area. More specifically, certain weather conditions affect your roof in certain ways.
- Heat can warp certain roofing materials, and cause them to expand and shrink. Repeated too often, this cycle can weaken your roof’s structural integrity and lead to brittleness. Displacement may also occur, and you may find certain shingles missing. The worst thing is that these effects are not readily noticeable until it’s too late.
- Rain is probably the most common weather element that can damage your roof. Water can wear away granules and loose asphalt shingles or slate tiles, causing and expanding leaks which can pose more serious problems.
- High and strong winds can do anything from blowing off your roof to dislodging certain components that will eventually weaken the entire structure. If you have trees that overhang your roof, branches may fall on the roof and damage it as well while leaves and twigs can make their way into your gutters resulting in debris buildup.
- Snow can accumulate on your gutters and eaves, with the added weight highlighting the possibility of your roof collapsing. If it thaws and refreezes on your roof without being removed, snow can lead to ice dams forming over time.
2. Material Choices
Your roof’s longevity generally hinges upon your choice of roofing material. Some materials are better suited to long-term functionality, while others have a longer product life cycle. Here is an overview of the projected life expectancy of roofing materials.
- Asphalt shingles. Typical asphalt shingles last up to 20 years under normal weather conditions, while premium asphalt shingles can go up to 50 years.
- Wood shakes and shingles. Reported to last for 30 years, but can last longer in less severe weather conditions.
- Anywhere from 40 to 80 years.
- One of the most long-lasting roofing products, it is touted to last for more than a century.
- Concrete and clay tile. Like slate, tile roofs have a long life expectancy of between 50 and 100 years.
Your roof is as good as its installation. Regardless of how pretty your roof looks on paper, it’ll likely fail if not installed properly. Thus, poor roof installation can also play a huge factor in the eventual breakdown of the entire roofing system. If your contractor did a botched up job, your roof will surely sport issues. Some of the potential problems you might deal with include:
- Water damage. Improperly installed flashing is usually the cause of many post-installation leaks. If the moisture barrier has also not been secured, leaks can also develop. Over time, these minuscule holes in your roof can lead to serious water damage.
- Reduced energy efficiency. An improperly installed roof will not only be insufficiently protecting your home from the elements but can also contribute to poor insulation that can drive up heating and cooling costs.
4. Roof Ventilation
Roof vents also play a role in preserving the integrity of your roofing system. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, installing vents is the most common and time-tested way to minimize moisture problems in attics. Without enough attic ventilation, your home can’t eliminate indoor moisture nor fight to overheat. An unvented attic, for instance, will store heat that can damage the shingles. Combined with moisture, this can warp and damage your roof deck. High humidity also triggers condensation that can rot your roof deck and cook your roof shingles at the same time. And the problem doesn’t just occur during summer when the weather is hot. Improper roof ventilation can lead to issues for your roof year round.
5. Poor Roof Maintenance
Regular roof maintenance should never be considered a waste of money. Ensure that your roof system is checked every three to five years. If you think the snow or storm may have damaged your roof, it’s time to get it checked by a professional. Remember that it’s better to address damages right away than wait for it to accumulate more damages. Roof damage can usually lead to mold growth, which is an expensive problem to deal with when not immediately given attention. Most roof problems happen due to a lack of regular roof maintenance.
Cracked or broken flashing is one common roofing problem that leads to leaking. Flashing is designed to seal penetration points and valleys in your roof, so any damage may make it less effective in keeping water away from your home.
The Importance of Roofing Maintenance
Routine maintenance helps prevent roofing issues from escalating, as well as protects your home from irreparable damage. There are two types of maintenance that a homeowner should look into, and they are both important:
- Reactive maintenance. This refers to maintenance work that is undertaken as a response to an issue. If your roof is losing shingles, for instance, you may opt for reroofing, or commission a whole new installation with different roofing material. Reactive maintenance should be done as soon as you experience a problem with your roof, as delaying will only weaken the roof more and incur more costs for repair.
- Preventive maintenance. This refers to maintenance work that looks out for issues and makes sure they don’t develop into a full-blown problem. Routine checkups are among the most common forms of preventive maintenance, where a contractor examines the strength of your roof to spot and take care of potential problems. It’s also crucial to clean your roof regularly to keep it in great condition. Routine maintenance checks should be done twice a year, before and after the most severe weather season in your area. Having your roof checked by a reputable roofer such as roofing Burlington can help identify problems before they get worse.
Getting the Right Help
Keeping your roof at its best is best done with a professional roofer. Opting to do it yourself will save you initial costs, but a trained eye will know what to look for to get you bigger savings down the road. For instance, if you’re already seeing problems owing to your area’s weather conditions, your experienced roofer will be able to advise you as to the best course of action to take. If your roof needs better ventilation, too, having the assistance of a professional will make the process conclude more successfully.Your roof is an important part of your home so it deserves the best level of care you’ll be able to provide.Click To Tweet
By investing in hiring a reputable roofing contractor, you’ll not only address the problem at hand but also ensure you’re making the most of your investment. To learn more about how you can better take care of your roof, don’t hesitate to give your local roofing expert a call today.
Earl Johnston started Earl W. Johnston Roofing in 1986. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, he is committed to providing top-quality products and workmanship to all his customers. He’s certainly learned a lot over the years and this has helped him keep his passion for offering the best roofing solutions around remains alive. For updates from Earl, check out the company blog!