Your roof is one of the most significant investments you'll make in your home. With the average roof costing around $12,000, you want it to last as long as possible. Knowing common causes of roof damage can help you prevent unnecessary damage. While you can't prevent a hail storm, there are steps you can take to minimize other damage.
- Storms. Hail, water from excessive rains and falling limbs can all damage a roof severely. While you can't prevent these acts of nature, you can make sure to keep your roof well-maintained, so that storms are less likely to leave your roof in rough shape. Roofs with loose and missing shingles are particularly vulnerable to storm damage.
- Persons walking on your roof. Some roofing materials aren't designed to hold the weight of a person. Pressure from walking on the roof can cause punctures, dents and flashing to become unattached from the rest of the roof. Be careful to only allow skilled roofers atop your house.
- Poorly-installed flashing or roofing shingles. Flashings are the metal pieces that surround things like vents and chimneys as well as secure the seams where one part of the roof meets another. If these pieces are properly secured, they can allow water to seep into your attic. Since it only takes as few as 24 hours for mildew and mold to form, you could have extensive water damage before you even realize there's been a leak.
- Aging roofing material. The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is around 15 to 25 years. If your asphalt roof is at least 15 years old, you should be vigilant about inspecting for rotting shingles and other signs of aging before these vulnerable spots allow water to water to enter your home and/or compromise your ceiling joists.
- Ice dams. Ice dams are one common cause of roof damage that is extremely preventable. These ice formations at the edge of your roof line are caused by heated air from the inside of your home escaping and melting snow atop your roof. When this water reaches the eaves (and away from the heat), it freezes again, putting excess weight on your eaves and soffits and potentially damaging the edge of your roof. Prevent ice dams from forming by making sure that the top of your home is well-insulated and ventilated properly.
Keeping your roof free from damage isn't just a matter of luck. Making sure your roof is well maintained, that you only allow qualified roofers to access the roof and that your attic is well-insulated will go a long way towards extending the life of your roof. If you need roof repairs, visit HomeTowne Roofing.