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What Causes a Roof to Deteriorate?

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 a strong and tight fit is required to properly keep water out.  If your flashing is loose or deteriorating, water may find its way into your home through gaps and other penetrations.

Missing or Damaged Shingles – When your roof has missing and/or damaged shingles, the structural integrity of your roof is essentially compromised, which can leave the roof vulnerable to water damage because missing or damaged shingles make it much easier for other shingles to be blown off by strong winds.

To ensure that you address potential roof problems before they start causing major issues, you should inspect your roof several times throughout the year for signs of premature wear and aging.  If you don’t feel comfortable or qualified inspecting your own roof, you can have a licensed roofing contractor take a look for you..

What should you do if you spot the signs of a leaky roof? Here’s some actionable advice from Accent Roofing, Georgia’s local roofing company.

Step One: Encourage the Leak

If your roof is leaking and it’s raining outside, you need to do what you can to minimize your risk of serious structural damage. Most people notice significant roof leaks when the ceiling itself becomes discolored or drippy; if you see your ceiling starting to bulge, act fast. The best thing you can do while waiting for help to arrive is to give all that water an escape point so it doesn’t seek out the weakest spot in your drywall and collapse your ceiling. Poke a small hole through already-moist drywall where the water has collected then place a bucket underneath to catch the drips. This will reduce the overall stress on your structure.

Step Two: Protect Your Belongings

If you know you have a roof leak, take necessary steps to protect your belongings whether or not it’s already raining. In the attic, move any stored items to dryer ground and remember that the drywall and other makeshift “flooring” (like plywood) in this space may be compromised by moisture. If the leak has made its way to the interior of your home, remove any vulnerable items (furniture, books, clothing, etc.) to another part of the house. Do what you can to cover your flooring with tarps or other liners while you’re waiting on help.

Step Three: Locate the Leak

This step is more complex than it sounds and it may ultimately require the assistance of a qualified roofer. If it’s currently raining, locating the leak will be even more difficult. Remember that leak spots (i.e. the parts of your ceiling that are wet) may not necessarily line up with where the water is coming in through your roof. For safety’s sake, don’t attempt to go up on your roof to secure a tarp or other weather shield, particularly if it’s raining – leave that to the professionals.

Step Four: Contact a Professional Roofer

When possible, contact an emergency roofing company in your area for fast service. Experienced roofers understand that serious leaks don’t always happen during business hours! Your technician will give you instructions over the phone regarding specific steps you should take while you wait. It’s in your best interest to take plenty of photographs of the leak in action and of the resulting damage in case you need them for insurance purposes down the line.

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Accent Roofing is your experienced Lawrenceville Georgia roofing company.
1-770-277-4869