A roof is a big investment and worth every pretty when you consider what it protects. But even a roof that is five years old or less can have issues given the “right” conditions. So, it makes sense to have your roofing system cleaned and inspected at least once a year. The earlier roof problems that can lead to roof replacement are detected, the sooner they can be fixed.
Underestimating the effects of weather.
While it is designed and constructed to withstand whatever is thrown at it, never underestimate the effects weather can have on a roof. A windy day is capable of depositing a lot of debris that can hang around until it rains. Now you have wet debris sitting on roofing shingles – and if it is on places of your roof that aren’t fully exposed to light and air, mold and leaks can develop.
Windstorms and heavy rain are often the cause of punctures and holes that allow moisture in – another invitation for mold, mildew, and leaks. If the tree hasn’t come crashing through your roof, a broken tree limb resting on the roof tiles might not seem like such a serious problem. However, even small twigs and branches skittering across the surface can do harm over time.
Wind also has the power to lift up roof tiles, even dislodging them. Constant exposure to sun, wind, and rain is typically responsible for wearing away the protective granules of asphalt shingles.
Improper installation of roof components.
A roof installation done by an inexperienced or under qualified roofer can lead to a roof replacement. When poor quality roofing materials are used, roof shingle granules can end up in the gutters, leaving the roof vulnerable to UV damage and the gutter system to potential blockages. Another side effect of improper roofing techniques is gaps which can result in leaks, mold growth, and sagging. If the roof was installed using improper techniques, this can increase a roof’s vulnerability to shrinkage and cracking, reducing its lifespan.
Flashings have become damaged.
Flashing are pieces of metal used to prevent water infiltration. They are usually installed around chimneys, vents, dormer windows, and skylights. A drip edge is a type of roof flashing designed to guide water directly into the gutters. If any of these types of flashings are damaged, loose or missing, water seepage can cause wood rot, seams to open, loose shingles, and leaks. Damp (soft) spots on a roof reduce puncture resistance.
The way the roof is maintained.
When cleaning the roof, a pressure washer might seem like the most efficient way to get the job done. But if the roof is older than five years, it might do more harm by spraying water in behind roofing shingles.
Vigorous scrubbing in an attempt to remove advanced moss growth or other types of stains can crack or loosen roof tiles. Using the wrong chemical or harsh cleaning solution might prematurely age your roof, causing roof replacement before its manufacturer’s expected lifespan.
Some types of roofs, such as clay tile roofs and slate roofs should only be stood and walked on by professional roofers. A homeowner standing or walking on either type of roof is in danger of cracking the roof tiles.
The roof is poorly maintained.
Most professionals agree that the number one cause for roof replacement is poor maintenance. Roof stability depends on its structural integrity. As mentioned above, a roof’s worst enemy is water. When rainwater or snowmelt doesn’t drain efficiently into the gutters and downspouts, water collecting on the roof, in between the underlayment and the roofing shingles, and underneath loose or damaged flashings causes trouble. Water damage to the soffit and fascia also compromises the roof’s ability to protect a home. Regular maintenance such as clearing away debris, making repairs as required, and replacing worn or broken components in a timely fashion will increase the lifespan of the roof.