What Causes Roof Damage?
July , 2022 | 7 min. read
By Joe Martinez
The folks here at RoofCrafters can tell you a million different reasons as to why you should care! For over 29 years, we’ve seen the havoc that silent roof damages can cause to families homes. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we’ll always do our best to fix your problems. More often than not, though, these are problems that could be avoided.
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably realized you have some roof damage and you’re wondering what caused it. Fear not, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll learn what causes roof damage, and how you can avoid it in the future. Let’s jump right in!
What Causes Roof Damage?
Understanding that one or several factors can cause roof damage is essential to finding the root of your roofing problem. At times, even a well-maintained roof can leak under extreme weather conditions.
Although the extent of the damage is different in each case, nature’s fury can take out almost anything depending on the storm’s intensity. Although Mother Nature can be harsh, sometimes there are things we do as homeowners that contribute to our roofing problems, such as a lack of maintenance.
Lack of Maintenance
Roofs require frequent maintenance, and you should always hire a professional roofing contractor to conduct bi-annual inspections. If you see signs of roof damage, it’s important that you call a contractor immediately to inspect the damage. Delaying repairs can lead to much higher repair costs and cause even more damage to your roof. From there, you risk the integrity of your home.
Signs that are indicative of roof damage are:
- Loose or missing shingles
- Impact damage from falling objects
- Roof leaks
- Discoloration on the ceiling
- Peeling paint or bubbles in the paint
- Pest infestations
DIY Projects or Inexpensive Contractors
Have you ever seen a contractor work on something and decided that you can do a better job yourself and save money while doing it? We’ve all been there, however, we don’t recommend it. Roofing is a highly specialized field that requires training and experience to master and stay safe while performing the work. Set that pride aside, and leave it to the professionals!
While hiring a cheap contractor or doing a DIY repair or roof installation by yourself might seem like a great idea to save some money, the expensive repair costs you may incur to fix the poorly installed roof or repair will significantly tip the balance the other way.
Plus, insurance doesn’t cover improper installation, nor fix a broken Dad from falling off of a ladder.
Choosing the wrong roofing contractor can potentially set you up for bigger problems in the future. For example, suppose your contractor doesn’t install your roof correctly. In that case, rainwater can seep in during horizontal rain or heavy storms and cause intermittent leaks that often won’t show up until serious storm damage has already happened. Talk about a bad day.
Any impact can damage your roof. If a tree branch falls on the roof, you should call a contractor to inspect it because not all damage is visible on the surface level. Besides regular falling objects, impact during hail storms can tremendously damage your roof.
During and after a hailstorm, monitor that no water is seeping in due to the damage caused. Signs that your roof has hail damage include:
- Divots in the shingles
- Indentations in the metal flashing
- A large number of broken granules in the gutters
As homeowners, we already have several responsibilities. Although looking after your roof is one of the less “fun” duties, it’s extremely important. A common cause of roof damage during storms is leaking. Whether your roof is leaking dramatically enough to warrant you collecting the water in a bucket, or a slow leak that seeps through your ceiling, any sort of leak is detrimental to your home’s integrity.
Leaks result from the following:
- Broken chimney cover or flashing
- Missing or loose shingles
- Pooled water
- Impact damage
- Ineffective gutters
- Broken vents
You should always keep your roof clean and prevent any debris from gathering on it that might prevent water from draining into the gutters. You should also address the gutters to ensure that they are clear to take water away from the roof. If water cannot drain, it seeps into the roof and causes leaks.
Your roof’s age is a huge factor in determining what causes damage. Roofs face all sorts of harsh weather conditions that cause them to wear out. Most roofs last around 20 years, after which they start developing problems.
Insurance companies offer limited or no coverage on roofs older than 15 years. Unless your roof is made up of sturdy material like metal, you can expect high repair costs and roof damage around the 20-year mark.
During storms, older roofs are more likely to develop leaks or even collapse in extreme cases, so ensure that you replace your roof on time. Proper maintenance can make your roof last longer than its lifespan expectancy. Like all things in life, though, it will still have a greater probability of developing problems the older it gets. Roofs are mortal just like us.
Can I Avoid Roof Damage?
Absolutely! With proper maintenance and care, there’s no reason that you can’t avoid roof damage. It’s important to remember that some things are simply out of your control. If a huge storm hits, or a tree limb falls on your home, don’t beat yourself up if your roof gets damaged. Mother Nature spares no one.
Remember to call a professional roofing contractor to come out and inspect the damages as soon as possible. As long as you keep up with a proper bi-yearly maintenance schedule, pay attention to any changes in your roof, and don’t conduct any risky DIY projects, your roof will last you years to come.If you're not quite ready to schedule an inspection just yet and would like to know more, feel free to browse through the extensive resources located in our learning center. I recommend reading, "How Do Storm Damage Insurance Claims Work?" so that you can be better educated about the claims process if your roof does happen to endure storm damage.
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