Like any part of the house, the roof will eventually be damaged. In fact, because of its exposure to the elements, it is probably the most vulnerable part of the house. It is exposed to maximum stress and strain. Unfortunately however, the roof is also usually the last to be noticed when it comes to the maintenance of the house. Most homeowners have their walls repainted, or have new bathroom fixtures installed but how many have their roof upgraded or repaired? Even with new developments in roofing designs, roofs still deteriorate faster than walls.
There are many causes of roof damage and here are some of them:
- Poor Maintenance – As mentioned earlier, the roof is often the most neglected part of the house. But if this is constantly checked by the homeowner, any damage will be seen at its early stage and repairs can be done immediately.
- Improper Installation – The roof is perhaps the most important part of your home so, it is best to have a highly skilled and licensed roofing expert install it for you. Even before any construction starts in your home make sure that your contractor is properly qualified before allowing any work done on your roof. If your roof is not installed properly, it could have manufacturer warranties that are void and these will decrease your roof’s overall life expectancy. Another factor that contributes to improper roof installation is that in the past 15 years, due to constant changes in the economy, the bidding on new buildings has become such fierce competition that roofing contractors have cut corners to get the job done. These contractors fight unfavourable weather conditions to meet their completion deadlines and often, moisture is trapped in the roofing system which will contribute to early roof damage.
- Aging and Weathering – As soon as your roof is constructed, it begins to deteriorate. Why? It is immediately exposed to the sun, rain, sleet and snow. Intense heat dries out the roofing paper and it is pounded by rain and high winds from storms, melting and freezing snow can also cause an “ice dam” that cause reservoirs of water that seeps under roof tiles leading to serious roof damage under the surface. Hailstorms can also cause severe damage to your roof.
- Vibrations – Natural phenomena such as earth tremors or severe storms like hurricanes and tornadoes can cause damage to your roof as well as other parts of your home. Even if your home is located miles away from such occurrences in nature, it can get enough impact that will put a strain on the structure which can later contribute to roof damage. Some vibrations that can cause roof damage may come from machines, equipment, air conditioners, railroads and even truck traffic.
- Problems with Flashing – The purpose of flashing is to create a water-tight boundary between roof sections, between roofing materials and other parts of the house and between roofing materials and roof projections. Flashing can cause problems because of design or installation errors, sometimes flashing problems result from wind damage. These problems often result to leaks.
- Mechanical Damage – With all the developments in today’s technology, it has become a standard to put many pieces of equipment on the roof such as air conditioning units, phone and TV antennas, sign supports, etc. These equipments put extra weight on the roof. In addition to that, these equipments usually require servicing and when a service man goes on the roof, some damage may be done to your roof. Just using a ladder on a roof can cause a small break in a flashing which can cause damage or leakage later on.
- Falling Objects – Falling objects such as branches from trees, birds and small animals and maybe falling objects from nearby buildings can cause minor roof damage. But if these minor damages are not checked and repaired immediately they could become major problems.
If you pay as much attention to your roof as you do to your walls and other parts of your house that you constantly maintain and/or upgrade, you will easily detect roof damage at its early stage. Immediate attention to roof damage will help you avoid major damage that may lead to costly roof replacement.
Grace writes to help people learn more about roofing. She does work for different companies, including a company that does roofing in Tulsa [http://arctulsa.com/].
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