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Don’t Let These Common Causes of Roof Damage Catch You by Surprise

February 08, 20234 min read

When it comes to your roof, it’s easy to forget about it until there’s trouble. But by taking care of your roof regularly, you can avoid a huge number of issues and potential problems down the road. 

Here are four of the most common causes of roof damage that you may encounter if you’re not careful about protecting your roof and making sure its integrity stays intact.

Heavy Objects on the Roof

Heavy objects like air conditioning units and satellite dishes are often left on the roof. The weight causes the shingles to warp, deteriorate, and eventually break loose. This type of damage is not covered by homeowners insurance.

Haphazardly placed objects can also cause localized scouring which will cause the asphalt shingles to fall off in that location. 

A good rule of thumb is to avoid placing heavy items over a spot more than two inches from a corner or ridge line on your roof.

Excessive Weight from Snow and Ice

An all too common cause of roof damage, snow and ice accumulation can be prevented with proper roofing maintenance.

In winter months, snow and ice will constantly slide off the roof as it melts, but some roofs accumulate so much that they are not able to shed it all. This causes a large amount of weight on the roof’s surface which can ultimately lead to cracks in asphalt shingles. 

Snow and ice weighs about 8 pounds per cubic foot and as it accumulates on your roof, the weight compresses and flattens your shingles which in turn leads to leaks around nails or screws where shingles meet.

In order to prevent this from happening, you should get a professional inspection before the first snowfall each year.

Old or Damaged Materials

A roofing expert can help you avoid a potential disaster. If your roof is old or damaged, it may not be able to handle rainstorms. 

Prolonged exposure to moisture can lead to mold and bacterial growth, which will eventually cause structural damage to the roof. If your home has been without a roof for more than four months, you are in danger of water intrusion into the home’s interior spaces and electrical wiring, as well as structural problems that could cause serious injury.

A professional can assess your home for possible signs of damage and offer advice on how best to proceed if necessary.

Bad Workmanship

It’s important to have your roof inspected regularly. This will help you detect and address any issues before they worsen. But if you do notice any problems, the best course of action is to call a professional to take care of them as soon as possible. Here are some common causes of roof damage that can catch you off guard:

● Gutters are clogged with debris, which can cause water to back up and overflow onto your roof surface

● Roofing nails aren’t nailed in straight, causing them to pull out over time

● Shingles are cracked or broken, which will lead to leaks

Accidental Damage

Roofing experts are often called in to repair damage caused by water, wind, and hail. Whether you know it or not, there are a lot of common causes for roof damage that you can avoid. Here are just a few:

1) Failing to have your gutters cleaned out before the winter – this can cause water to become trapped and freeze which will then cause ice dams. Ice dams are the most common culprit for many different kinds of roof problems. 

2) Ignoring those small leaks – any leak you ignore could quickly turn into major structural problems. 

3) Having insufficient ventilation in the attic – lack of proper ventilation can cause heat buildup in the attic, which is a leading factor in roof buckling and other structural issues.

Neglect

Another cause of roof damage is neglect. If a roof isn’t maintained, it can lead to larger problems down the line. Neglecting a roof can cost an average homeowner up to $5,000 in repairs, which is more than the initial investment for a new roof. 

Routine inspections and preventative maintenance can keep this from happening to your home. 

Damages caused by natural disasters: Severe weather is also one culprit for causing roof damage that homeowners don’t have control over; Hurricanes, tornadoes and even snowstorms have been known to lead to significant damages on roofs nationwide. 

Make sure you know what coverage you’re covered under when dealing with these events so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed with repairs. 

Punctures: Punctures are another way in which holes get created in roofs. Those who own homes with flat roofs are especially susceptible because there’s nothing stopping debris or animals from coming through the hole left behind by a puncture. 

Even high winds can create punctures that end up costing thousands of dollars worth of repairs if they go undetected for too long.

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