Your roof faces attacks from the elements and other threats on a daily basis. No matter how good your roofing is, it is still vulnerable to damage. Here are some of the most common dangers to your roofs integrity.
If you have tree branches overhanging your roof, it is important to remember that gravity always wins; it is only a matter of time before they fall. Branches can also damage your roof by scraping the granules from your asphalt shingles whenever the wind blows. Tree branches also provide animals with access to your roof. The cover that tree branches provide may also keep moisture from evaporating quickly, thus causing water to accumulate. Pooled water can destroy your roof over time. You can take control of the situation by cutting branches down before they cause serious damage.
Leaks in your roof pose a major threat to its integrity. Water can damage rafters and ceiling joists. The wood can rot and deteriorate, which results in the need for expensive repairs. Over time, leaks increase the likelihood of a roof collapse. A collapsed roof is a threat to your safety and is costly to repair. Repair leaks as soon as you discover them to lower the risk of serious damage.
Humidity can cause water to condense on your roof if the roof is significantly cooler than the air around it. The rain is also a danger despite the fact that most roofs are built to withstand it. Rain can get into the plywood underlayment wherever there are cracked shingles and weak areas. Hail can damage the roof itself as well as the flashing while strong winds can blow shingles off your roof and create new ways for water to get in. To prevent weather damage, it is important to use quality waterproof materials and insulation when installing a roof.
Ice, animals, and fallen leaves can all contribute to the problem of clogged gutters. Along with causing damage to your homes foundation, clogged gutters can destroy your roof. When gutters are backed up, they may hold water against your roof instead of depositing it elsewhere. The water can travel up under the shingles and into the plywood beneath. Try cleaning your gutters at least twice a year at the beginning of Spring and at the beginning of Fall. Doing it at these points in the year ensures that the leaves are dry and easy to move.
While leaves and twigs resting on your roof may seem harmless, the reality is that they can cause serious damage. Organic debris holds moisture, which will degrade your shingles and other roofing materials over time. If debris winds up in roof valleys, it can cause metal flashing to rust. In the summer, roof debris can create a fire hazard; this is especially the case around July 4th when errant fireworks can be an issue. It is a good idea to clear debris off your roof throughout the year.