Everyone knows that tornadoes and hurricanes can cause extensive roof damage. But, you may not think about the impact that heat, humidity, and rain can have on your roof. The damage from common summer weather conditions can be costly. One insurance company recently reported that they paid out $3.1 billion on residential and automobile hail damage claims in 2020.
Causes of Roof Damage
Roofs are designed to withstand wear and tear and changing weather conditions. A new roof will often survive hail and high winds without suffering any damage. Some roofing materials are able to withstand more extreme weather conditions, but no matter what type of roof you have, summer weather can take a toll on any roof.
Here are five common summer weather conditions that could be damaging your roof:
The effect of hail damage to roofs differs depending on several factors including wind speed, the roofing material, age of the roof, and the slope of the roof. Damage can be either cosmetic or functional and it usually takes a trained professional to spot the difference.
Hail can tear asphalt shingles, dent and break gutters and downspouts, crack siding, and loosen the flashing around vents and ducts, causing leaks to develop. If you suspect your roof has suffered hail damage, it is important to have it inspected and repaired quickly to minimize further damage.
Humidity reflects the amount of moisture in the air. When high humidity combines with excessive heat, you may get water damage even if it doesn’t rain. The moisture from excessive humidity can damage your shingles, decking, and wooden roofing components. An overly humid attic can compromise the structure and stability of your entire roofing system.
A roof that is in good condition can easily withstand normal amounts of rainfall. However, as a roof ages, wear and tear make it more vulnerable to water damage. The smallest crack can allow water to pass through and even a small leak can have far-reaching consequences. If your gutters and downspouts are having a hard time keeping up with heavy rainfall, pooling water can put a dangerous amount of weight on the roof.
Normal wind speeds rarely damage a roof but extreme winds and high gusts can. Strong winds can lift a few tiles or shingles off your roof or cause an entire section to blow off. High winds can also knock trees and power lines onto your home, causing structural damage, roof punctures, and other serious damage.
Scorching summer temperatures impact your roof in several ways. Heat and humidity can combine and cause shingles to curl, bubble, or warp. Harsh UV rays can degrade roofing materials, dry out sealants and rubber gaskets, and cause them to crack and leak. High temperatures can wreak havoc on your roof and if your attic is not properly ventilated and insulated, condensation can build up inside your home, leading to moisture damage.
Checking the Damage
Summer storms in Missouri often arrive quickly. The best defense against serious damage is to do a quick inspection from the ground after a storm passes. A word of caution; we never recommend a non-professional climbing up onto their roof, as it’s a risky practice. You can, however, look for the following problems from your safe area on the ground:
Debris on roof
Pooling water on roof
Missing, lifted, or broken shingles
Damage to gutters or downspouts
Damage to skylights
Water spots or leaks inside the home
Addressing problems early and staying proactive can extend the longevity of your roof and minimize damage when problems occur. If you suspect your roof has been damaged or needs repairs, have it professionally inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
Three Important Ways to Help Prevent Roof Damage
Clean Your Gutters
Regularly cleaning leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts allows water to flow away from your roof. Clogged gutters can allow pooling on or next to your roof, leading to added weight and moisture damage. Homeowners with large trees may need to have their gutters cleaned several times a year to ensure that rainfall and snowmelt are able to flow freely off their roofs and away from their property.
Trim Your Trees
Keeping foliage trimmed and away from your home’s roof and siding is important for several reasons. Trimming branches and other foliage around your home not only helps keep your gutters clean but also prevents large limbs from causing damage to your home during a storm. Leaves and twigs piling up on your roof can trap water, holding in excess moisture which over time can lead to structural damage.
Insulate and Ventilate Your Attic
Two things that are key to the durability of any roofing system are ventilation and insulation. Without proper ventilation and insulation in your attic, moisture and heat will build up. Over time, rafters and sheathing begin to rot which can affect the outside of your shingles.
Proper ventilation and insulation are also key to reducing energy costs during both the winter and summer months. If you aren’t sure if your attic is properly ventilated or insulated, a professional roofing contractor can inspect it and offer recommendations.
Protect Your Home with Regular Roof Inspections
Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing & Construction has been installing residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting.
Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our experienced professionals will arrive on time, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to detect leaks and other problems your roof may be facing. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.