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What Causes a Roof to Deteriorate?

Have you ever wondered what actually causes a roof to deteriorate.  It would seem like they should last forever, but this isn’t the case and most last around 30 years or less.  Because your roof is constantly exposed to the elements, it is only natural that it will wear and age over time. Common Causes of Roof Deterioration Wind – Wind can severely impact a roof because strong winds have the ability to actually lift the edges of your roof’s shingles, which leaves them vulnerable and exposed to the water and debris that can be blown underneath the shingles by wind. Rain – Water that finds its way underneath roofing materials such as shingles will typically resulting in the decking and rafters to begin to rot.  Once these components begin to rot, the structural integrity of your roof begins to be significantly impacted.  If you moisture happens to find its way into your house through your roof, you may experience water damage to your home’s walls, insulation, ceilings, and electrical. The Sun – Heat and ultraviolet from the sun have a tendency to cause your roofing materials to age faster, especially the surfaces of your roof that are west or south facing. Condensation – Condensation is the result of water vapor changing from a gas form to a liquid form.  This is why you may see water droplets on blades of grass in the morning.  The same thing happens in poorly ventilated areas in your home, such as your attic.  Condensation that is allowed to occur in an attic can lead your roof decking and rafters to start rotting.  After they begin to rot, water can seep in because the structural integrity of your roof is now compromised. Trees & Leaves – Trees and leaves that have grown to the point of actually touching your roof can begin to cause some major problems if left unaddressed.  A tree branch that falls onto your roof can seriously damage your roof, and leaves that accumulate on your roof can clog your rain gutters and retain moisture.  Lack of proper drainage, the presence of water, and excess moisture in the leave can cause water to seep into your roofing materials and result in rotting and other damage. Deterioration of Your Roof’s Flashing – Your roof needs to have strong and tight-fitting flashing around your chimney, vents, and wall/roof junctions because…

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Your Spring Roofing Checklist in Georgia

Spring is a great time of year to start thinking about home maintenance. We’ve all battened down the hatches for winter, but now that the weather’s warming up and the snow and ice is (hopefully) behind us, now’s the time to prepare for the hottest months of the year. They can be more dangerous to our houses than the coldest months here in Georgia! Your roof is your home’s biggest investment against spring weather’s threats. Here’s your springtime roofing checklist for Georgia to help ensure you’ll make it through the summer and beyond. ð      Clean & Examine GuttersClogged gutters don’t do you any good…in fact, they can cause you harm. If water can’t make it through your gutters effectively, you’ll end up with standing pools on your roof. They’re a surefire precursor to leaks. This spring make sure your gutters are clean and open to accommodate those frequent heavy thunderstorms we’ll start getting come June. Also check to make sure none of your gutters were dented or knocked loose by ice or falling debris over the last few months, which can impact their performance, too. ð      Hit the AtticYour attic is like the window to your roof’s soul. It’s a great indicator of the health of your overall roofing system and can help you identify little problems before they become big issues. Check your attic for anything amiss – sagging, moisture, light coming through the roof cracks – and bring in a professional roofer if you suspect something’s off. ð      Check for CrittersIt’s not uncommon here in Georgia for small animals like squirrels and birds to make their homes in gutters, roof nooks, or underneath the eaves of homes. Do a visual inspection of the perimeter of your home to look for signs of nesting, and call an exterminator if you spot anything out of the ordinary. With animals, there’s usually smoke where there’s fire and you wouldn’t believe the damage just one opossum can do to a roof! ð      Trim Those BranchesIf your home is surrounded by large trees like pines or oaks like many people’s in Georgia, spring is the time of year to trim any problematic branches. Summer’s heavy storms are prime-time for big branches falling onto homes; dead trees should also be removed so they don’t fall over once the ground becomes saturated. ð      Spot Winter DamageWhether we had a particularly bad winter or not, it’s…

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What “Winter Whiplash” Does to Your Roof

Ever heard of “winter whiplash?” If last month’s extreme (and we do mean extreme) low temperatures in the upper half of the country didn’t initiate you, let us! Winter whiplash is a term meteorologists use to describe particularly dramatic shifts in temperature. Some parts of the country recently experienced temperature shifts of anywhere from 40-60 degrees in a single day. Here in the south, we just call it “weather.” What Does Winter Whiplash Mean in the South? For us Georgians, winter whiplash usually happens at least a couple of times a year. It’s defined by extreme temperature changes, like a 31 degree Tuesday followed by a 74 degree Wednesday, but it’s particularly noticeable when precipitation is involved. A lot of our winter storms are often accompanied by whiplash. Ice storms in particular can be very dangerous if followed by a spell of warmer weather that causes the ice to melt off rapidly. Warm weather followed by very cold weather can mean just the opposite, coating everything in a dangerous layer of ice. How Does Winter Whiplash Affect Your Roof? As you probably already know, extreme temperature swings aren’t great for your roof, especially when there’s moisture. When water freezes, it expands. On your roof, this can equate to cracked shingles, bent flashings, and leaks. The more often this happens, particularly if water freezes and melts several times in a row over a week of wacky weather, the more likely to are to experience issues. When roofing materials are very cold, they also become brittle. This makes them more likely to break in the event they’re struck by a falling tree branch, for example, or to crack under the strain of excessive ice. Although ice dams aren’t really much of a concern here in the south, our wild winter weather absolutely can be. What Can You Do to Protect Your Roof from Weather Whiplash? One of the absolute best ways to protect your roof from extreme changes in temperature is to be sure the ventilation system in your attic is appropriate. If too much heat becomes trapped or flows out of your attic, ice issues are sure to follow. Remember that insulation itself is only half the equation; considering the functionality and positioning of vents is essential. It’s also critical to have your roof inspected at the first sign of condensation inside your home. Ideally, you’ll have had…

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Common Issues with Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is enjoying a meteoric rise in popularity, particularly here in the south. Prefabricated metal roofing has a specific aesthetic appeal, and it’s an ideal choice for houses built (or novated) in the “modern farmhouse” style.Compared to traditional asphalt shingled roofing, metal roofs are significantly more expensive. A lot of people think it’s worth it, however, for the longer lifespan and reduced maintenance that come part-and-parcel with these kinds of roofs. Metal roofs are also much lighter, fire resistant, eco-friendly, and relatively quick to install. Here at Accent Roofing, we work with all kinds of Georgia roofs. In case you’re considering metal, here are a few of the most common issues we see with metal roofs. Denting Denting can be a problem for metal roofs. We always advise our customers to strongly consider “dent-proof” metals, and also to remember that some metals – like steel – are stronger than others – like aluminum. Metal roofs can be dented in a variety of ways, especially during one of our strong hail storms or when being walked on by an inexperienced roofer. In most cases, dents are purely aesthetic problems but in situations where the dent is particularly deep, an issue with water runoff may develop. Oil Canning Also known as “stress wrinkling” or “elastic buckling,” oil canning is when the flat parts of a metal roof begin to appear wavy and even buckle in places. It is very common and is typically a byproduct of the actual metal itself, not (necessarily) the installation process. Once metal roofs begin to oil can, the affected panels must be replaced to solve the issue. Ways to prevent canning include using a thicker metal sheeting, choosing a “stretched” metal, and having the roof installed over a totally flat decking. Leaking Leaks are the number one problem for almost any roof, and metal is no exception. Metal roofs tend to leak most at their fastener points but proper installation can help. A number of factors can make leaks more likely on a metal roof including driving rain, heavy wind, structural damage, and even back-to-back ice events. When installing a metal roof the flashing, seams, and fasteners are the most important areas to pay attention to for preventing leaks. Scratching Almost all modern metal roofs have some type of coating. In many cases, the coating also doubles as a paint,…

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Is Your Roof Ready for the First Ice of the Year?

Ice…in Georgia? Depending on where you live in our great state you can expect anywhere from one to three ice storms per winter. Is your roof ready for the inevitable strain of ice? Accent Roofing sees far too many homeowners caught off guard by the damage ice can do! Here’s how to tell whether your roof is up for what winter has in store. Shingles, Flashing, and AttachmentsIce is most damaging to the parts of your roof that can detach. When water gets underneath your shingles, flashing, and other attached components (like antennas) and freezes, it expands. This constant contraction and expansion leads to detachment of your roof’s critical infrastructure and specifically, the parts that are supposed to keep it sealed! When the sealed components of your roof stop working correctly, water gets in and when it comes to roofing, water is the enemy. Guarded GuttersYou might be surprised to find out that one of the most common issues people report to us after an ice storm is broken or detached gutters. Why does this happen? Because gutters that are clogged with leaves and debris can’t effectively filter water away from the house. When that standing water freezes, it expands! This causes gutters to bend, break, and become far heavier than their supports are intended to handle. Keep your gutters clean and talk to your roofer about investing in gutter guards if you have a lot of overhanging trees. Structural StabilityOne of the untold dangers of ice, particularly here in the southeast where we don’t usually get a lot of it, is added weight. Ice is incredibly heavy. If an ice storm hits and lingers for more than a day or so, your roof is going to be under a lot of extra strain. When your roof is already structurally compromised due to unmitigated repairs or even old age, that extra weight can actually be dangerous. If you’ve been putting off much-needed roof maintenance until the spring, don’t wait; do it now. Insulation CheckThe insulation inside your attic can drastically alter how well your roof responds to ice. Heat rises, so the highest layer of your roof is likely to be the warmest; that’s where ice will melt first. If your insulation and ventilation systems are working properly, the temperature differential between the top and bottom of your roof won’t be all that significant. If it’s off kilter,…

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