With the recent influx of hurricanes hitting the coast, we thought it would be a good time to talk about the impact that they have on our homes—primarily our roofs. While many people are quick to protect their windows and doors, your roof stands alone during extreme weather. It’s your home’s first line of defense and works hard to keep you safe. Even if you don’t live on the coast and your home isn’t facing a hurricane, bad weather still affects your roof. The combination of powerful winds and heavy rainfall, sometimes combined with lightening or even hail, will wreak havoc. Even if you don’t notice visible signs of damage right away, over time, harsh weather takes a toll on your roof.
Unfortunately, as a homeowner, there’s not much we can do while the hurricane or storm is happening. We understand the risks that these intense weather conditions pose on our home and our roof, but once the storm has cleared, it can be difficult to fully understand the extent of the damage. That’s because, more often than not, if there’s no visible damage, most people assume that their roof is doing its job and they turn their attention elsewhere. However, your roofing system can be damaged and still look fine to the untrained eye. That’s why it’s so important to get regular roof inspections, especially after extreme weather. Even if you don’t live somewhere that’s prone to hurricanes, you probably experience some type of extreme weather—hail, high levels of rainfall, snow or blizzards, and scorching temperatures. All of which can cause damage to your roof. This is why it’s so important to know how hurricanes and other bad weather affect your roof. In this article, we’ll explore how some of these elements can damage your roof and what you should do to fix them.
Regardless of where you live in the United States, you’re going to experience rain. Even the desert gets monsoons. While roofs are installed for the exact reason of protecting you against elements like rain, it doesn’t mean they’re waterproof. Over time, depending on the severity of the rainfall and general maintenance, your roof can sustain water damage. If you don’t take care of your roof, this is more likely to be an issue. For instance, missing shingles or tiles allows water to seep into your home and is often the culprit for leaky attics. Even if your shingles are cracked, damaged, or simply installed improperly, you are more likely to experience water damage.
This is another reason regular inspections are essential. They allow you to find any damages or weaknesses where your roof needs improvement before the weather has a chance to cause further damage.
When temperatures drop, rain can freeze and turn into hail. It’s an interesting phenomenon to witness, and for some people it’s exciting, especially when then hail is large. Unfortunately, hail is extremely detrimental to homes, cars, and buildings and creates millions of dollars in damages every year. The problem is that there’s not much you can do to protect your roof from the hail damages. If you incur a hailstorm, the best thing is to schedule a roof inspection to check for any damages. Hail can leave a lot of damage in its wake, sometimes creating holes in the roofs infrastructure. When left untreated, these holes or cracks will expand and can lead to an entire roof replacement—especially if another hailstorm hits.
Snow creates a picturesque scene on top of homes, especially during the holidays. Neighborhoods look like they’re right out of a movie and most people don’t look past the nice aesthetic effect it creates. However, snow can cause a lot of damage to your roof, especially if it continues to build up. Snow is heavy and if your roof is already weak, it can cause more than water damage. If snow isn’t removed, the thaw-freeze cycle can create ice dams and large, dangerous icicles. This blocks melting snow from actually draining off of your roof and creates a vicious cycle that contributes to leaks, cracks, and even cave-ins. If the snow on your roof isn’t coming off, or you notice frequent ice dams, you likely aren’t receiving the proper attic ventilation. Luckily, we can help with that too.
Wind, regardless of if it’s at hurricane speed or not, causes a lot of damage. Yes, hurricanes and tornados are far more detrimental than infrequent strong gusts of wind, but both can cause damage. When a storm rolls in, it combines a mixture of different elements with strong winds that work together to cause your roof to deteriorate faster. Wind rips off shingles and can loosen your tiles or gutter system. If wind speeds are high enough, there’s even the possibility of incurring damage to your roofs structural frame.
Even if you don’t see visible damage to your roof after a strong storm, we recommend calling a professional for a roof inspection. This is especially important when you notice trees or shrubbery that have been blown around, as this indicates that the wind speed was high enough to cause severe damages. If you don’t, you risk more damage being done to your roof or leaks occurring during the next rainstorm.
As we mentioned, in high windstorms, shrubbery is often dislodged and thrown through the air. Sometimes, it just ruins your landscaping. Other times, it can damage your windows, siding, and roof. The larger the trees or bushes you have surrounding your home, the more at risk your roof is. That’s not to say that we recommend removing all of your landscaping features, but instead, you need to be diligent after major storms.
One way you can protect your roof is to make sure that any large, overhanging tree branches are trimmed and kept away from your roof. But keep in mind that wind can still carry items through the air. During a storm, if a branch is thrown onto your roof, it can cause damage to shingles and even the structural support frames. Obviously this depends on how big the branches are, but consider the best and worst case scenarios. Best case, a few small twigs get tossed up and you need to clean out your gutters. Worst case, lightening hits a tree and it crashes into your roof. You would immediately call your roofing contractor if you experienced worst-case scenario, but you shouldn’t write off calling them even in a best-case instance. Instead, make sure that you don’t overlook any minor damages that could expand and lead to major ones down the line.
Finally, we wanted to take the time to talk about extreme temperatures. If you live in extreme cold, we’ve already covered the worst of it with snow, ice, and winds. But that doesn’t mean that people living in extremely hot areas—ones that don’t see any snow—are safe from the weather. Roofs are susceptible to just as much damages in states that have high heat indexes. In fact, in certain situations, extreme heat can be even more damaging than other types of weather. Depending on where you live, if there is constant heat beating down on your roof, the prolonged exposure can cause both external and internal damages. Not only does your roof age faster in heat, the heat can affect the way that your attic and roof ventilation functions. This creates higher indoor temperatures, which lead to substantially increased energy bills. If you notice above average bills, shingle deterioration, or even discoloration, give your roofing contractor a call.
The fact of the matter is simple: extreme weather conditions do affect your roof and over time, can cause expensive damages. Instead of waiting until it is too late, regular roof inspection and maintenance are the best ways to make sure you’re taking care of your roof properly. While extreme weather might not cause a disastrous situation immediately, repeated exposure and minor inconveniences add up. Yes, you can try to inspect your roof and make repairs on your own, but oftentimes the untrained eye will miss small details indicating problems. That’s why we recommend calling a professional roofing contractor like the ones at Advocate Construction. It’s an investment well worth making.
When you hire a professional roofing contractor, you’ll ensure that nothing is missed in an inspection and any work needed is done right, the first time around. Roofing professionals, like the ones at Advocate Construction, have the experience and knowledge you need to make sure your roof stays in good condition for as long as possible. When you opt for an experienced roofing contractor, you can rest easy knowing the job will be done efficiently and with no hidden costs. That’s because we always put our clients needs first. To schedule a roof inspection today with Advocate Construction, give us a call at 888-777-ROOF (7663).