The roof is the highest point of your house, which means it’s subject to the harshest conditions when the weather turns bad. If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate that has only moderate weather at most, then it’s easy to forget about your roof. But even in temperate climates, things can still go wrong.
Though it’s far from the most glamorous part of home maintenance, your roof is an integral part of your house that deserves attention and care. Your roof provides your family with a critical line of defense against the elements, so keeping it in good shape as you protect your home from all kinds of weather year-round is essential.
The weather has a way of ruining our fun, and when it comes to your roof, it can create real problems. While you may think you know how weather impacts your roof, you might not know how much damage bad weather can cause. Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential dangers that lousy weather can introduce to your roofing system.
The Effects of Different Weather on Your Roof
Weather can cause various kinds of damage to your roof, and knowing how to deal with those weather extremes can help prevent them from causing major problems. Identifying the damage will also help you understand what repairs you need.
The wind is one of the most destructive forces to cause havoc on your roof, and it can do much damage in very little time. When you have a wind-related problem with your roof, there are a few ways to tell that this has happened.
A straightforward way is to examine your shingles and see if they are broken or if there are any missing pieces. Another way is to look at the flashing around your chimney or any other areas where water might get into the attic through cracks in the roof. If your flashing looks damaged, water could sneak into these areas and cause leaks in your ceiling.
Remember that if you notice no damage on your roof after a windy day, you should check again the following day to ensure everything is intact as it should be. Leaks are common after a bad storm because of the wear that wind speeds can put on your gutters and downspouts.
Rain & Moisture
As your roof’s exterior is bombarded with water and wind, it takes a toll—rainwater is a dangerous enemy to your roof. The stuff under the shingles (called “decking”) can start to rot and cause the shingles to break down. Standing water also causes shingles to weaken if left there long enough.
The water that soaks into shingles—or runs down the sides of your house—can cause rot, mold, and mildew.
Heat From the Sun
After prolonged exposure, the sun’s UV rays can break down the adhesive that holds the shingles to the roof. If the hot sun melts some of the glue holding down flashing, such as metal or plastic strips used to cover chimneys and vent pipes, these components could fall off later and leave your home vulnerable to leaks and floods.
Snow & Ice
Heavy snowfall and ice dams can be detrimental to your roof, and the weight of snow on a roof can cause structural damage. Water from melting snow can also cause leaks if it pools in gutters or under the shingles, leading to water damage throughout your home.
Snow is especially bad for your roof because it doesn’t melt evenly. Snow that has been sitting on your roof for several days melts at the edges and around the middle. This creates pockets of melted snow in shingles near the center and less weight on shingles near the edges. This uneven melting causes stress that can break shingles when they freeze again overnight.
Ice dams happen when warm air rises from inside a house (heating vents, fireplaces, etc.) and melts snow near the edge of your roof, causing water to run down toward the center ridge line of your house. This water freezes quickly in frigid temperatures, creating a dam preventing ice and snow from melting further.
What You Can Do
The first step in maintaining your roof is knowing what you’re dealing with. If you know how old your roof is, you’ll know how much wear and tear it’s been through already—a new roof won’t necessarily need as much regular maintenance as an older one.
You should also check for potential weak spots, like around vents and pipes sticking out of the house. Fixing these problem areas as they come up will help extend the life of your roof.
If you have been experiencing problems with your roof, make sure to call an expert who can come out and inspect it for damages. If they find any issues, they can repair them before they worsen or lead to more significant problems later.
Bringing It Home
It’s not hard to imagine a time when the weather is so bad that it could harm your roof. After all, our roofs are supposed to protect us from all kinds of weather, right? Even if a storm doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary to your naked eye, the wind, and rain could be wearing away at your roof in subtle ways. It’s important to know whether or not you need professional help—especially since so many companies perform free inspections. It turns out that even something as simple as looking for missing shingles can tell you what’s going on with your roof and help you determine if you need help.
Catching damage before it happens might be one of the best things you can do for your home. Whether it’s from a storm or general wear and tear over time, many experts say that if you’re not getting regular inspections and maintenance for your roof, the damage could be severe long before you realize what’s happening.
A free inspection will give you peace of mind—you’ll get a professional opinion about whether or not your roof needs work done, and if it does, what kind of work should be done first. For more information, contact us here at Arrow Roofing!