The risks of not replacing an old roof have to do with allowing old problems to worsen over time and trying to frequently repair a roof that is easily damaged. This is the cost of frequently repairing an old roof plus any hidden risks an old roof could cause someday.
These hidden risks are caused by:
- not being able to catch every single problem an old roof has at the time.
- It’s likely that there are more problems with an old roof than the homeowner or roofing repair contractor is aware of.
- Until the roof is replaced, not layered, will the majority of these risks be addressed. Otherwise they will inevitably worsen over time.
Keep in mind that depending on the location of the home, its surrounding environment, weather and frequency of storm events and a homeowner’s perception of their roof’s condition will affect whether these risks are greater or less than outlined here; By perception, we’re referring to their knowledge of their home and roof, and whether another problem with the home or roof has their attention at the time (missing issues with the roof).
At roofing mission (a.k.a “BulletpRoof”), we understand that most homeowners have no idea that they are taking on the risks of not replacing their old roof without knowing that they are. Which is fair to say because they're preoccupied with other repairs and life in general, that’s why it's important to consult multiple professionals when something doesn’t look right. Helping you to track down the source of the problem and address that instead of its symptoms. For example, a ceiling leak does mean a drywall installer will have to repair the area, but have a roofer or plumber assess for where the leak came from. That way the leak doesn’t persist and you’ll have to call a drywall installer the next time it becomes visible. That’s our advice.
Delaying the cost of replacing a roof will both:
- increase the cost of the roof replacement, as it will be more than the roof being replaced, and
- the cost of long term damage caused by keeping an old roof.
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Roof Failing or Causing Premature Failure
- Shingles Become Less Effective - After an average of 20 years, shingles have experienced a lot of wear and tear in that time making them absorb more moisture than repel; Missing granules, curling, cracking, fading, etc. are signs that shingles are overdue for replacement. Making it more likely for algae, moss, rot, mold, and other moisture retention issues that will cause the roof to fail sooner.
- Leaky Roof - Leaks become more likely as a roof’s shingles curl, crack, start missing granules, etc., flashing becomes damaged, and the roof begins to sag. These are all cracks in what was once a waterproof membrane that allow water/air to pass through, worsen these cracks and lead to more leaks. It’s difficult to catch all of them, many risks of putting off repairs to a leaky roof.
- Roof Becomes Weaker & Damage is More Likely - As the shingles, roof deck and roof framing get weaker, showing signs of softening or sagging. Debris, weather events, sun’s UV rays, other outside elements, etc. will cause more damage each time. Where any water accumulations will turn into leaks and the shingles will absorb more water into the roof deck, adding to each other's problems unfortunately.
- Damaged Attic Insulation - Aside from an older home containing asbestos insulation, modern insulation will clump up and compress when in contact with water. Reducing the energy efficiency of the home, and causing temperature fluctuations in the attic resulting in extreme heat damage in the summer and moisture buildup in the winter. Shortening the lifespan of the roof even more.
- Insufficient Attic Ventilation - Attic ventilation ensures enough airflow in and out of the roof, except added strain from additional moisture and heat will make the system insufficiently capable. Risks of poor attic ventilation will be many, mainly leading to mold and rot growth, additional water damage to the home and a shortened roof lifespan unfortunately.
- Reduced Energy Efficiency - Cracks and escaping air from the roof will cause utility bills to rise as the HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems have to work harder. Especially, the HVAC system will be overworking, unable to meet the demands of the home, needing frequent repairs and replacing sooner than prescribed.
- Water Damage to Home - Leaks left alone, will accumulate inside the attic/home and damage its other vital systems in the process; electrical, plumbing, framing, foundation and HVAC system. Compromising the structural integrity of the home, reducing energy efficiency resulting in utility bills to rise, and causing potential health/safety hazards that could make the home unlivable.
- Unwanted Organic Growth - Moisture buildup in the attic/roof will result in algae, mold and rot to grow; These fungus’ job is to break down any unprotected materials like the framing, roof deck, etc. while in the case of mold, spread toxic spores through the HVAC systems that will cause homeowners respiratory issues as a result; Fatal for young children, elderly, anyone with weak immune systems and pets, otherwise causing many respiratory issues.
- Plumbing Breaks Down - Leaks in the roof/attic will prevent the insulation from working as it should, and thermal expansion will cause plumbing joints/seals to crack from the pressure; Sooner with metal/copper pipes than PVC pipes. Due to moisture freezing into frost, then melting and freezing again in the winter, along with extreme heat buildup in the summer. Changing temperatures, moisture and humidity will eventually lead to a breakdown.
- Structural Integrity Failing - As leaks progress in their water damage to a home’s framing, it will eventually compromise the framing’s ability to hold the weight of the home. Slowly sagging and eventually leading to cave in or collapse.
- Pests Entering Through Cracks - Rodents, insects and other animals will enter the home, spreading to wherever they feel most comfortable inside of the home. These pests carry diseases, can chew through wires/walls/furniture, leave feces around the home, eat through food storage, drive pets crazy, etc. In the case, a bat or protected species enters the home, a homeowner will be forced to evict instead of the species.
- Electrical Short Circuits - Water leaking onto exposed electrical wires will cause sparks and short circuits, making the parts of the electrical system to become unreliable or lose power completely. There’s a possibility that sparks can come in contact with dry rotted framing, causing a house fire. Which is worse for an old roof which doesn’t have sectional protection to slow down the spread of the fire. Further detailed in can a leaky roof cause electrical problems.
- Manufacturer's Warranty Become Invalid - An old roof’s roofing materials and workmanship will no longer be valid at a point, not allowing a homeowner to receive repairs or assistance from the manufacturer anymore. Leaving the homeowner with additional out of pocket expenses in the event something happens.
- Insurance Claims Can Be Denied - Depending on the roof’s condition, expected life expectancy, any home inspection reports assessments, etc.; A roof’s coverage will be denied by an adjuster who is trained to look for neglected roof damage. Especially possible in extreme cases, avoid being surprised with an out of pocket expense and consult a local insurance provider for more information.
- Decreased Property Value - An old roof, in poor condition, will deter prospective home buyers in fear of the rest of the home’s condition and the added cost of having to replace the roof. When listing a home to sell, applying for an equity loan will be lower, and as the house sits on the market longer it will create more real estate agent costs and other selling costs to pile up.
- Leak Repairs - Depending on the leak, whether it is drywall, roof, or from some other source. A professional in that area would be needed to repair the affected area, sometimes multiple professionals are needed as it was a lingering leak that made its way from the roof to another area.
- Mold Repairs - After an indoor air quality test specifies mold levels are beyond a threshold, hiring a professional team to apply antimicrobials around the home and then dispose of the source is an expensive endeavor. As mold attaches itself to almost any surface it can, this means framing, drywall, etc. will need repairs after this mold is removed.
- Pest Removal - While pest populations are manageable, traps can be used, and will quickly go out of hand when their population multiplies. Hiring a professional exterminator to provide initial extermination and regular follow-ups as the pest population will keep coming back. Multispecies pests will require seasonal pest removals for each species of insect, rodent or any other pest. On top of this all, your home would require repairs to any damaged utility systems regularly.
- Professional Assistance - Repairs to any electrical, plumbing, framing, foundation and HVAC systems, depending on the level of damage will all require expensive repairs. Some more regular than others, potentially having major repairs being needed too.
- Double the Tear-Off Cost - Homes with multiple layers of shingles, who have further delayed replacing their old roof, will have both old and new hidden problems with the roof; Additionally, a multilayered roof will need to be replaced sooner as the lifespan of the roof has been drastically shortened, there are many reasons not to put shingles on top of shingles outlined here. Anyways, each layer of shingles will require additional labor and disposal costs, water damage to the roof deck will need repairs, and a possible reframing of the roof.
- Neglected Maintenance - As an old roof becomes under maintained or maintenance is no longer affecting the longevity of the roof since its already past due for replacement. By performing regular maintenance, walking on the roof for example, will be adding to the roof’s accumulated damage so far. Forcing the homeowner to take the risks of neglecting your roof maintenance or risk injuring themselves in the event the roof can’t handle the homeowner’s weight.
- Reframing and Replacing the Roof - Roof replacement will require the roof to be reframed before any roof installation takes place. This will require multiple contractors to work on a homeowner’s roof, each adding to the cost of replacing their roof. It’s extremely expensive, most homeowners are unable to afford this and may opt for a home tear down because the damage has gotten so extensive.
Conclusion About the Risks of Not Replacing an Old Roof
The risks of not replacing an old roof could lead to a number of diverse issues with the home. Reason being, the roof protects everything inside of the home, when it is old and unable to protect the rest of the home. The roof and the home will inevitably become damaged.
Simply put, the entire home’s lifespan will be shortened because of an old roof. Which is why a roof is what to fix first on an old home.
Where the cost of frequent repairs to the roof/home, rising utility bills and stress to a homeowner; Stress from living with an old roof and stress from wanting to avoid contractors due to past experiences. All of this will add up to be more than replacing a roof, while making the replacement more expensive by waiting longer.
Weighing the options here is the best advice for the homeowner in this situation.
The risks of putting off repairs on a leaky roof will save the homeowner the cost of completing minor repairs to the roof in exchange for dealing with major repairs related to the water damage it causes.
What a homeowner needs to understand is that the roof protects the rest of the home; This includes the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, framing and foundation. Along with the home’s occupants, preventing animal infestations and foreign organic growth (mold, algae, mildew, rot, etc.) from finding the conditions they need to thrive.
When it is allowed to leak, it can cause problems for the home and its occupants. That’s not to say that every leak is bad, there’s a chance of it becoming bad, because an aged roof will almost always have a few leaks; Some being noticeable and others are not, that’s the reality. So it's difficult to repair them all at the end of the day.
Bearing that in mind, we are going to discuss the risks associated with a leak that’s become bad to help a homeowner see what a leaky roof is capable of doing to the home.
At roofing mission (a.k.a BulletpRoof), it's our responsibility to tell the homeowner that an aged roof is expected to leak and that the cost of repairs at some point will be more than replacing the roof to solve the problem. Except to be fair, locating whether the water damage was caused by a leaky roof or some other reason could make this decision difficult for you; Especially when the homeowner is looking for ways to make their roof last longer and the risks of not replacing an old roof.
We’ll discuss the direct and indirect risks associated with a leaky roof.
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Direct Risks Caused by a Leaky Roof
These are directly caused by having a leaky roof because the leak broke down the roof system; roofing, attic, gutters and ventilation. Where the damage to the roof system prevents it from insulating and protecting the home, it cascades to indirectly damage the other home’s vital systems; electrical, framing, plumbing, foundation and HVAC.
- Soak the Insulation and Reduce Energy Efficiency - Provided there is insulation in the attic, leaks can soak the insulation over time to cause it to clump up and compress (fiberglass and other popular types will do this). As the insulation becomes less capable of maintaining the temperature of the attic, while reducing the energy efficiency of the home at the same time. Causing temperatures to fluctuate instead of being moderated in the home; Meaning in winter any hot air rising into the attic will cause condensation on the underside of the roof and in the summer it will cause the attic’s temperature to rise to 150 degrees fahrenheit (65 degrees celsius). Causing water damage throughout the attic and home, and shortening the lifespan of the roof at the same time.
- Mold and Respiratory Issues - Mold given time to grow in any damp environment will spread across any surface; Whether it is the roof, attic’s framing, drywall, ceilings, floors, etc. In general, this is a toxic spore that is responsible for helping rot to set in and break down the home, as a side effect it causes respiratory issues to humans. For the elderly and babies this could prove to be fatal, otherwise those in between will fall ill to some respiratory issue or another. Worse, the HVAC system will actively carry these spores throughout the home, requiring a professional in mold remediation to complete an expensive repair; Some of the risks of poor attic ventilation.
- Assist with Shortening a Roof’s Lifespan - A small leak can use gravity to spread along the roof deck to cause leaks in other areas, making the source of the leak become more obscure as it is left alone. Causing parts of the roof to remain wet instead of dry as it should, preventing fasteners from holding them in place as they should and shortening the life of the shingles in the process.
- Misaligned or Detached Gutters - As a leak causes water damage to soften the fascia behind the gutters, its fasteners will not be able to hold its parts in alignment or will detach altogether. When this happens there will be water damage that will work its way behind the drip edge every time it rains, and the water will drain against the home and its foundation causing damage to both. Worst of it being, a flooded basement, foundation cracks, ceilings holding pools of water, etc.
- Leaking Multi Layered Roof - When a homeowner notices a leak from a multi layered shingle roof, this indicates the roof is way past due for a roof replacement. As the water and heat trapped between the shingles have already caused considerable water damage to the home’s structure before it was noticed by the homeowner; Further details, reasons not to put shingles on top of shingles and are two layers of shingles better than one.
- Weather Damage will Get Worse - When wind, rain, snow and hail occur, and the roof is already retaining moisture in the roof due to the leak. It will make it easier for the roof to sag and crack, eventually allowing water to pool in less affected areas on the roof; These pools of water will leak at some point because water is meant to run-off of the shingles so that it can dry off quickly instead of remaining wet for a long period of time; Shortening the life of shingles.
- Punctured Sealants - Weather damage will cause the sealants or flashing around the chimney, air vents, skylights, etc. to develop holes in them; Example being, a pipe boot uses a neoprene sealant that breaks down from the sun’s UV rays and general weathering, developing small cracks in the seal. This allows water and air to enter into sensitive joints on the roof, where it is able to cause more water damage than the open spaces of a roof. Some of these joints or pipes lead directly into the home, where it could damage anything.
- Damaged Roof Shingles - Shingles are designed to break down individually to make for more cost-effective repairs, when a leaky roof is left in disrepair this is actually a bad feature. As the shingles begin to peel, crack and go missing, these will non-waterproofed sections of the roof for water to reach the roof deck and do water damage over time.
Indirect Risks Caused by a Leaky Roof
Due to a leaky roof breaking down the roof system, these are the cascading effects that are affecting the rest of the home and its vital systems; electrical, plumbing, framing, foundation and HVAC. Keep in mind, these effects obscure the leaky roof as a problem.
- Electrical Short Circuits & Fire - Water from a leak is impure, containing minerals that make it a good conductor allowing it to cause sparks or shorts when it comes in contact with exposed electrical wires. Potentially damaging the electrical system (small breaker trip, damaged appliances, etc.), causing sparks to set rotten wood on fire in the attic, and/or personal injury; Further detailed in can a leaky roof cause electrical problems.
- Slip and Fall Hazard - Leaks left alone can make their way through the attic and ceiling, to drip onto the floors and pool on the floor. These pools could lead to a slip and fall for any of the home’s occupants or pets, which could result in an unexpected injury.
- Insurance Coverage May Not Be Provided - Insurance companies, their adjusters have been trained to know when a leak is new or old; whether a homeowner’s neglected their repairs based on the structural damage to the home. Which will allow them to accept or deny a claim, with expectation of higher premiums in the event of an accident.
- Roof and Home’s Framing will Weaken - A leak given enough time to cause water damage to the home’s framing will both soften the joists and allow rot to set in. Causing the roof and home’s framing to sag over time, eventually not being able to hold the weight of the home along with any rain or snow added on top of it. With a worst case scenario being a collapse or cave in of your home.
- Underlayment Shrinkage - Underlayment is the last water barrier before water reaches the roof deck, over time this underlayment shrinks and shrinks faster when exposed to air. Eventually water will leak between the empty spaces that the underlayment is no longer covering.
- Thermal Expansion in Plumbing - Due to the extreme temperatures in the home due to the lack of attic/roof insulation, the air in the room will cause the pipes to expand and shrink; Causing the pipes to crack over time, go out of misalignment, develop cracks in their seals, etc. Especially for homes with copper or metal pipes, while PVC pipes will take more time to crack at the joints leading to leaks in the plumbing.
- Damage the Furniture and Interior Decor - Leaks, moisture and the humidity in the home are not a good combination for furnishings which will absorb the water over time. Leading to discolored cabinetry, furniture with water stains, mold growing behind furnishings, etc.
- HVAC System Overworked and Lifespan Shortened - HVAC system will have to compensate for lost warm or cool air lost through the attic in the summer and winter time; As a result of the leak creating spaces for air to escape and water to enter the attic through the roof. With the extra workload, it will not be able to meet the demand of the home, continually working. Which will require constant repairs until it finally gives out, needs to be replaced; Friendly tip, if different rooms in your home are different temperatures instead of the same, this indicates this issue is currently happening.
- Ice Dam Damage is More Likely - Ice dams occur when snow melts, refreezes and blocks water behind it. It’s a serious problem as ice will enter the cracks where leaks are occurring and more easily make its way under the shingles; Peeling the shingles up, damaging the nails that hold them in place and sometimes going directly into the roof deck to do damage. Allowing for more water to drip into the attic and cause further water damage in the home.
- Toxic Fire Hazards - Previously set in mold will create toxic fumes, combined with leaks causing electrical wires to create sparks that can cause rotten framing to catch on fire. Especially dangerous as the fire rescue department will have a difficult time reaching those in danger and fumes will ignite the fire further.
Conclusion About Ignoring a Leaky Roof Repair
The risks of putting off repairs on a leaky roof, especially a bad leak can be paramount on your home and it’s occupants well-being. While going completely unnoticed by the homeowner in other cases where it sneakily causes damage to the home.
Regardless, a leaky roof on its own is an indication that a roof is aged and leaving it in disrepair will allow the roof to deteriorate faster at the end of the day. Limiting its ability to protect and insulate the home, costing the homeowner more than a minor repair in water damage to the home due to negligence. It’s not worth it.
Left long enough, a leak can make a home unlivable for its occupants making it a serious issue depending on the severity of the leak.
The risks of neglecting your roof maintenance depends on a homeowner’s level of neglect and the length of time maintenance has been neglected. That really will determine the amount of damage repair the homeowner will have to deal with at the end of the day.
As a homeowner, it’s important to realize the home remains livable because of its vital systems; roofing, framing, foundation, electrical, plumbing and HVAC system. While the home’s roofing is responsible for protecting them all, when it is in disarray it will inevitably cause problems for all of the other systems; Which is for sure, not one of the 48 ways to make a roof last longer.
The roof system is a protective and insulating system; Made up of the attic, roof, gutters and ventilation systems. Together, when they are each working correctly will help the roof to stay cool and dry which will extend the life of the roof, along with the home.
Although, when a roof’s maintenance is neglected, meaning water is allowed to accumulate where it shouldn’t and/or the roof remains wet or moist then unfortunately this will lead to problems. Left long enough these problems will grow and the cost of repairing it will grow equally, while affecting the homeowner’s health at the same time.
At roofing mission (a.k.a “BulletpRoof”), we understand that homeowners sometimes neglect roof maintenance either because they didn’t know what to do or where the problem even came from in the first place. Hopefully, by informing more homeowners of the issues with their roof, they will be able to make a more informed decision when they see it happening to them.
For the sake of the homeowner, we’ll categorize the risks based on length of time neglected to level of risk.
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Naturally, the problems will worsen as they progress later on and can be prevented from progressing if caught early enough. While the timeframe of damage done really depends on the home’s location and its condition at the time.
Early-Low Risk Issues
While early on into neglecting roof maintenance, the main risk is that leaks will inevitably form and will be the core reason why many other issues are caused when left alone. At this point the damage is isolated to the roof; Where repairs and maintenance can still rectify the problem in time to prevent further damage.
- Leaky Roof - A neglected roof will inevitably leak at some point, water will seep into through the cracks or nail holes and will result in a host of problems when left alone; Expect leaks to enter through sensitive joints on the roof like where two roof planes meet, a roof plane meets a wall, etc. and roof protrusions like chimneys, air vents, etc. as the flashing or seals weaken over time.
- Roof Will Lose its Ability to Insulate - Leaks and moisture buildup in the attic will cause any insulation to clump up, retaining water, and as cracks widen in the roof, more air will escape. This will lead to fluctuations in temperature in the attic, by extension the home, causing more moisture buildup and more leaks. It’s a vicious cycle.
- Minor Repairs - Repairs are still manageable, being isolated to the roof at this point; Requiring patching any small holes and repairing any damaged flashing to prevent further leaks. Neglecting the costs of these repairs will grow quite quickly.
- Stress and Anxiety - When issues with the roof start, these issues will loom over the homeowner who will worry about costs, previous bad experiences with contractors, dealing with multiple quotes and the uncertainty of the best way to fix the problem. An overwhelming experience, that leads to neglecting the problem longer, as it is neglected longer this anxiety and stress gets worse.
- Overhanging Branches - Branches can drop leaves onto the roof, and could potentially fall on the roof in the event of a storm. This gets worse with more trees and leaves in the area, all of this debris helps to block water and allows it to pool on the roof. Leading to further leaks and issues along with those leaks.
Progressing-Medium Risk Issues
After leaks take place, this leads to water damage that can damage both the roof and home putting the entire home at risk. Meaning the problems are no longer isolated to the roof and other systems are being damaged, only a combination of major and minor repairs would restore the home/roof. Left alone, the roof problems are progressing faster and faster over time.
- Water Damage - Neglected leaks will result in water damage to the attic/roof’s framing, any electrical wires or plumbing pipes, and drywall/plaster in the area; Normally, noticeable when it reaches the home’s ceilings in the form of bubbles and sagging, or dark streaks begin to form throughout the attic.
- Slowly Compromising Structural Integrity - Water damage will enter the home’s framing, roof/attic’s framing and soften it over time. Naturally breaking down the structure of the wood back into soil as it does in nature. Unfortunately this will make a roof’s structure show signs of sagging, misshaping, etc. and the home’s structure will come out of misalignment; Causing problems for the entire home system.
- Layered Roofing or Shingles - Layering shingles traps water and heat between the shingles, making it more difficult to track down leaks of issues with the roof in general. Aside from shortening the life of the shingles, it will introduce more openings for the outside elements and pests to enter from, among the many reasons to not put shingles on top of shingles. Left alone, a home’s structural integrity as well as utility disruptions are expected at some point.
- Not Safe to Walk on the Roof - Water damage from a lack of insulation causing moisture to build on the underside of the roof deck coupled with leaks eating through the boards. Makes for an unsafe situation when deciding to walk on the roof, as one soft board could lead to injury along with a hole in the roof.
- Algae and Mold Growth - Mold will grow anywhere damp and dark, anywhere in the roof system where water can accumulate; gutters, attic, ventilation and/or roof. Mold is a serious health risk, toxic enough to kill the elderly and infants while causing respiratory issues to everyone else; Some of the risks of poor attic ventilation in the roof system. Mold repairs on their own, is an expensive repair.
- Pest Infestations - A roof left in disrepair will have cracks that will allow rodents, insects and other small animals to enter the home. These pests could be carrying diseases, leaving their waste in the attic and damaging any of the home’s vital systems they have access to. Posing both a health risk to the home’s occupants and disrupting utilities at the same time. In the case of bats or a pest on the extinction conservation list, will not be allowed to be evicted from the home and instead will be protected within it, for the homeowner’s information.
- Doesn’t Keep the Summer Heat Out - A roof left in disrepair will not insulate and protect against UV rays, allowing heat to be trapped in the home and attic. Aside from making the home really uncomfortable, similarly in winter it will release the heat for the homeowner. This excessive heat will only shorten the life of the shingles, create moisture buildup in the attic and lead to water damage.
- Utility Bills Will Rise - A sign that the roof isn’t doing its job of insulating the home, allowing air to escape and forcing the HVAC and electrical system to work harder to keep it comfortable. Reasons being leaks that are entering through cracks and holes are not only enlarging these cracks, but also allowing air to escape as well.
- Damaged Gutters - Gutters left to overflow regularly, gutter left misaligned and downspouts left detached will help water to run back towards the home instead of away from it. This helps mold and water damage to affect the roof and home, while leading to a damaged foundation (flooded basement, damaged landscaping, etc.) which is a worst-case scenario. Also, the fascia, siding, soffits, vents will all see some form of damage that will be costly to repair.
- Expensive Repairs - A combination of minor and major repairs, quite costly as the damage involves the roof, framing and any affected utilities if a homeowner is lucky. Leaks could seep into unexpected areas and cascade across the home, meaning even after a repair there could be issues with the home/roof.
- Noticeable Safety Hazards - Family could be put at risk; Mold can be causing respiratory issues; Utilities disruptions could hurt someone; Pests carrying diseases and/or allowing multi-species to live within the home; Excessive water damage could cause framing or the home to collapse.
- Decreased Property Value - Leaks, water damage, mold, structural damage, etc. are all deterrents for prospective home buyers who don’t find the home aesthetically pleasing and expensive repairs a scary situation for them.
- Increased Risk from Ice Dams - Being left in disrepair and maintenance being neglected, the homeowner would not have been clearing snow from the roof that is blocking water behind it. This will create further icing on the roof that will get under the shingles, easier as more ice accumulates, and leading to more leaks in the roof
- Potential Slip & Fall Hazards - Leaks that have made their way through the home’s ceiling will result in wet spots on the floors in the home. This can create algae growths and people could potentially slip on these spots, leading to unnecessary injuries.
- Manufacturer’s Warranty Becomes Invalid - A neglected roof will put the roof and its materials used under conditions that it wasn’t meant to be put under; Giving the manufacturer reason to not take responsibility for their roofing materials not performing as they were supposed to, avoiding the need to replace it on your behalf.
- Insurance Coverage No Longer Provided - Upon roof inspection, an insurance provider will have difficulty quantifying the life expectancy of the roof and the amount of damage it has sustained. This will be enough for them to not offer coverage, putting the entire expense of the repair on the homeowner.
Late-High Risk Issues
At this point, the water damage has caused excessive damage to the roof and home to the point it is no longer livable. Requiring a number of major repairs or an entire home tear down to restore the home. A point of no return.
- Expensive Roof Replacement - The level of damage includes the roof, roof’s framing and multiple of the home’s vital systems are in disrepair. Nearly getting to the point where the home is unlivable, requires the home to be rebuilt in some cases.
- Increase of Fire Hazards - When roof framing rots and dries out, mold is creating toxic odors throughout the home and electrical wires short to create electrical fires; as detailed in can a leaky roof cause electrical problems. This could easily turn into a toxic fire that isn’t safe for the homeowner to live in.
- Disrepair Leaving the Home Uninhabitable - With a combination of mold, water damage, damaged utilities, compromised structural integrity, etc. the home becomes a fire hazard and a safety hazard to live in. The roof is an integral part that prevents the entire home from falling into disarray.
Conclusions About the Risks of Neglecting Your Roof Maintenance
Neglecting your roof maintenance, given time will be enough to prevent the roof system from doing its job and start to damage the home. It’s the protective and insulating layer after all.
By doing so, the outside elements are allowed to break-down the roof/home like it does in nature is what will happen. Forcing the shingles which should be cool and dry to remain wet due to water pooling above it and moisture building up on its underside. Leading to leaks, water damage and issues with the home as it continues to break down.
To avoid all of these issues from progressing so far, a regular habit of maintaining the roof will prevent the vast majority of these risks and ensure the longevity of your roof/home.
Do you live in a region with regular thunderstorms and strong winds and are concerned about how to stop roof tiles from lifting? At roofing mission, we understand your concern. Roof tiles are prone to damage and destruction as a result of inclement weather and powerful winds. Tile lifting is the term used to describe the damage to tiled roofs caused by tiles dislodging and flying off. It also contributes to tiled roof failure.
Strong winds exert an upward force on the roof tiles that builds pressure on the undersurface of the tile. The intense upward force may cause partial dislodgement, which produces a rattling sound or total blowing off the tile, resulting in tile lifting and consequent roof integrity damage.
Tile lifting is a regular occurrence because most roof tiles are designed to resist gravity by clipping from the top. Wind pressure causes the unadhered and loosened bottom end or the tail of the tile to lift. It is a frequent occurrence that causes substantial damage to a house's roofing system. Repairs can also be expensive. As a result, preventing tile lifting is critical to ensuring a more secure roofing system.
Preventing Roof Tiles from Lifting
Here are some of the tips on how to stop roof tiles from lifting.
- Determining The Cause; Identifying the root cause of any problem is critical before attempting to solve it. Tile lifting follows the same logic. Many homeowners believe that blown-away tiles cause tile lifting. While this is somewhat correct, the underlying cause is the suction of tiles upward owing to pressure buildup; On the roof, there is a pressure imbalance, with the top experiencing lesser pressure and the bottom or underside experiencing more pressure. It is significantly more common on lower-pitched roofs than on higher-pitched roofs.
- Choose Wisely; It is pretty evident that tile uplifting is a common phenomenon in areas with heavy winds. Thus there is a stark contrast in the choice of roofing tiles when you live in such an area. The large and lightweight slates and tiles have an excellent potential for tile lifting when used on roofs; So, using smaller and heavier tiles for your roofs would be wiser. In such circumstances, tiles with screw fixing have also proven better than the nail fixing mechanism. It is also recommended to choose interlocking tiles laced with robust clipping systems.
- Skillful application of roof tiles; Modern problems require modern solutions. Even though tile lifting has been occurring for ages, the primary cause is the failure to deploy innovative solutions. The majority of roof tiles are laid traditionally; The conventional approach entailed clipping the tile's head or top and leaving the bottom end unhinged. The fact is that the lower end is stable due to its weight, except when subjected to high winds. Roof tile clipping on both vertical ends has been practically proven to be five times more stable against wind-generated lifting forces; Roof shingles are also a creative way of tackling this years-old problem. Adding a layer of silicone bead doubles up the protection against adverse forces of the winds. If your roof tiles make that annoying chattering sound, the modern method of double clipping can also tactfully eliminate that.
- Adequate Clip Installation; Tile clips must be installed correctly to ensure functional adherence and avoid tile loosening. It is critical to insert the tile clip at the right angle. While modern methods work effectively in most cases, they tend to fail in others; The latter performs better when modern tile clips are compared to the centuries-old wiring method. It creates a complicated interlocking that can last for 50 years. Therefore, either install the clip correctly or switch to the conventional wiring method.
- Emphasize on Roof Felt; Roof felt is essential for all roofs, especially if you intend to put tiles or shingles. It serves as the foundation and creates an even surface for applying roofing felt. It also serves as the roof's backbone, protecting it from wind and water damage. While roof felt serves water and wind protection, the latter is significantly more vital; Because of its usefulness, particularly for wind protection, it is installed beneath batons before tile installation. It acts as a pressure canceling force, preventing negative pressure from causing tile lifting; Even in the case of roofing felt, proper installation is critical. The suggested overlaps are set at 150 mm. Regardless, the overlapping section is deemed fragile and can be secured by installing an additional baton. Inadequately installed felt, especially in overlapping areas, allows for pressure accumulation.
- Fixing and Uplifting; Ridge tiles and slits are in desperate need of reinforcement. The areas most vulnerable to wind uplift include the eaves, verges, and ridges. It becomes critical if you reside in a region with high-velocity winds and want to protect your roof tiles. While mortar is an excellent solution for anchoring roofing tile crest and hip joints, it is insufficient. To ensure full-spectrum protection, use clamps, wires, and nails to secure the mortar.
- Regular Inspections; Weathering and aging are common phenomena even in the most high-quality and handpicked materials. Regular inspection to assess signs of weathering is even more critical in items like the roof tiles that are constantly exposed to the weather. Get your roof tiles inspected by a professional roofer at regular intervals to ensure that there are no loose or poorly clipped tiles prone to lifting by the high-intensity wind.
Additionally, how to extend the life of roof shingles? Discusses tasks the homeowner should and shouldn't do that are relevant to maintaining tiles in this situation too. Like to avoid making the roofing material brittle in any way;
- Putting pressure on the roof by walking on it often or pressure washing it to clear debris on the roof;
- Layering shingles, tiles, or any roofing material as it will result in its top layers catching the wind and helping it to lift up;
- Securing flashing that could tear off surrounding shingles with enough wind, etc.
Beware of Roof Tiles Lifting
In terms of destruction potential, tile lifting has a domino effect since it leaves the roofing structure open to further harm. It jeopardizes the safety and security of your home by causing damage to the roof. The hefty repairs can also put a significant dent in your wallet.
A little foresight and vigilance can go a long way toward reducing the likelihood of tile lifting. To save money and maintain the integrity of your roof in the long term, it is critical to prevent tile lifting. The ultimate key to preventing tile lifting is to ensure a robust adherence mechanism and an excellent resistance to the lifting forces of the wind, which is achieved by heavyweight tiles.
Roof leaking where porch meets roof? Not a fun situation to be in for any homeowner because the area where the porch meets the roof is a sensitive joint that is likely to leak if not protected properly.
As a precautionary step, roofing mission (a.k.a "BulletpRoof") recommends finding exactly where the leak came from and repair that area first to prevent further leaks or water damage in the future. This is normally anywhere on the roof or porch where water can accumulate easily instead of running off;
- Prime suspects to check are roof protrusions which are anything sticking out of the roof (chimney, air vents, plumbing, etc.), and any sensitive joints between house walls and the roof (includes the porch) or between two connecting roof planes;
- Other sneaky suspects are gutters overflowing due to heavy rainfall, causing a leak at one point of the roof (usually the weaker fascia behind it), and attic condensation causing a dripping leak due to extreme cold or hot outside temperatures and the attic not being well ventilated.
As roofers, we realize that finding a leak isn’t as easy as we say it is. To help the homeowner we’ve created a set of steps to find where the leak is without a professional, if you're planning to make the roof repair yourself.
Otherwise, it's important to consult a professional immediately if the roof has two or more layers and is leaking, as this indicates major repairs are required. Here are some reasons not to put shingles on top of shingles, or layer shingles, for further information on the subject.
In an emergency leak situation, for example during rainfall, it’s recommended to keep the area clear for safety; Use tarpaulins to keep leaking areas dry and seal the joints as soon as possible before installing new shingles or other roofing materials over the area; It will help to avoid water damage during a roof replacement.
As a general guideline:
- If the water can pool anywhere on the roof, then it can leak just as easily;
- Always track a leak downhill from the area and trace it back to find all of the water damaged areas;
Knowing where the leak actually is, is only half of the battle. While repairing it in a way that makes the most sense for your home will make it last way longer than you would first expect.
Without further ado, let's get right into it.
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General Approach to Repairs
Sensitive joints like where the porch meets the roof are areas that have gaps for water to enter through and are at risk of ice dams forcing this water through in colder climates. That’s why as the repair person, the goal is to redirect the water away from these areas and replace any damaged boards in these areas to prevent further damage to the home.
There are two approaches to repair this area are either to:
- apply caulking, or
- install flashing
Firstly, applying caulking to the leaking area is a short-term fix because the waterproofing lasts until the caulking dries up and comes at the cost of slowing water damage while allowing it to continue spreading. Repairing this further damage can become quite costly, an easier but not recommended fix for this reason.
Secondly, installing flashing is a long-term fix because flashing is waterproof sheet metal (aluminum, copper, steel, etc. - steel is the most common) that lasts as long as it remains secure to the area of the installation and the installation requires the installer to replace any damaged boards in the process. Properly installed flashing easily outlasts an average roof’s lifespan of 20 years, preventing the need for costly repairs in the future. A little more costly on the homeowner to install but is the recommended fix.
To install flashing where the porch meets the roof is as follows:
- Uninstall siding in the order they were removed for easy reinstallation later, uninstall any roof rafters, and uninstall any roof shingles in the area (4 to 6 feet radius to get the entire affected area);
- Inspect the underlying boards for signs of water damage (rot, mold, dark streaks of algae, etc.) that has made the boards soft, these soft boards need replacing while those still intact can be cleaned with denatured alcohol spray and a rag;
- Replace any wall siding, roof fascia and roof shingles that have signs of damage;
- Clean the surface where the flashing will be installed;
- Apply silicone caulking to the sensitive joint where the porch meets the roof;
- Install flashing to the roof deck, fastened with stainless steel roofing nails every 12 inches, and depending on the length of each flashing, overlapping flashing sheets every 4 inches with caulking between overlapping surfaces; Repeat until the entire area is covered.
- Reinstall roof shingles and wall siding on top of flashing and reinstall roof rafters to the area
During the repair, it’s worth considering what else could affect the longevity of a repair to the area where the roof meets the porch. Which we’ll go over in the next section.
Homeowner Repair Considerations
Depending on the home’s location, type of porch, its surrounding landscaping and weather conditions, it may be vulnerable to leaks because a home can only handle so much water and wind at the end of the day.
Meaning homeowners should consider wind-driven rain and falling branches to be a concern for their home because even the smallest hole from a missing nail could result in a leak.
Protecting a porch from the elements involves protecting it internally and externally:
Internal wood framing; Every home’s porch should have wood sealer applied to prevent water, cleaning products and chemicals from entering into the wood causing damage and making it unsafe by retaining moisture. Installed quickly with a garden sprayer and a quick mist over the porch’s surface is enough to provide this protection, especially for an exposed porch.
External barriers, depending on a home’s rain and wind conditions being:
- Lighter conditions; Consider planting trees and rain screens or window shades to cover large areas of the porch.
- Heavier conditions; Consider weighted water-resistant curtains and not planting trees close to the porch or roof (risk of falling branches). If budget permits, upgrade to a porch enclosure with glass walls and glass doors which protects it from the elements and allows natural light to enter.
For those fringe cases where the homeowners living in stormy areas want to be extra sure the area where the roof meets the porch is protected, they should install ice and water shielding under the flashing and/or roof fascia; Upgrading roof fascia to metal instead of wood is another inexpensive option worth considering.
A word of caution, ice and water shielding should never be permanently exposed to weather and rain, instead it should always remain covered by other materials. It is a backup solution to prevent water or leakage from coming through the primary roofing material (shingles, tiles, panels, etc.) or any other home covering.
Finally, small visible holes where the porch meets the roof can be filled with caulking because it will prevent any sneaky leaks from happening right under a homeowner’s nose. Caulking is acceptable here because it is able to fill the hole’s shape and it will retain its waterproofing longer like this as well.
Otherwise, any homeowner with a new roof that experiences this particular situation can contact their roofer to repair it on their behalf or pay another roofer to repair it correctly.
Homeowners with more unique porch and roof joint configurations may need an equally unique solution. Which is covered in the next section.
Variations of Porch and Roof Joint Configuration & Their Repairs
Where the porch meets the roof is a sensitive joint, which can vary based on the vertical elevation between the roof and porch and the steepness of the roof. These variations cause water to run-off into different areas and would cause the homeowner to consider how they can redirect this water away from this sensitive joint.
The key to redirecting this water is to trace where the water is currently traveling downhill on the roof and porch’s surface.
To make it easier for the homeowner, use our considerations and joint configurations to make the best decisions for your unique home’s situation.
There are a few considerations to help judge the situation:
- Elevation differences between the roof and porch normally results in up to a 3 feet water run-off splash range depending on the gutter installation in place
- Beware of water backing up against the house, roof fascia and house siding. Normally caused by a porch being within the splash range specified above or being right against the house’s wall, and/or the porch’s roof slope is redirecting water back to the house. If possible, a porch with a flat roof is best to reduce the effect of water back up.
- Replacing roof fascia wood boards is a nightmare that is completely avoidable; Major repairs include removing the gutters to replace the roof fascia boards, roof framing, roof deck, etc. and then reinstalling the gutters.
- Recommended to keep water run-off a minimum of 6 inches to 1 foot in front of the house, always away from the house’s roof fascia. The further away the better.
Porch and Roof Joint Configurations:
- Roof and porch have less than 3 feet vertical elevation between them; Causes water splash from the roof and water to back-up to saturate the roof fascia, so the easiest solution is to install metal roof fascia boards.
- Porch is within 1 foot or against the vertical (90 degree) house wall horizontally; Not ideal, water will splash both from the roof and the porch’s roof back onto the house and porch drip can quickly become a big issue if not dealt with. So the homeowner should install a porch roof overhang with metal drip edge to drop any remaining water away from the house, the vertical house wall and roof fascia/soffits require ice and water shielding installed (3 to 9 feet depending on the porch and roof slope), and continuous roof flashing against the vertical house wall and porch’s roof.
- Roof and porch sloped in opposite directions like a valley; This will cause water to run-off into the valley, a sensitive joint, so it’s recommended to install ice and water shielding under metal flashing and roofing material to offer the most protection possible. When the roof and porch slope the same way, this becomes less of an issue.
For whatever reason the homeowner is feeling unsure, install ice and water shielding and flashing within 3 to 9 feet of the joint to be extra sure the area is protected. If the roof fascia and soffit is within that range, install metal fascia to prevent the prospect of a future major repair situation. Always replace any damaged siding, roof shingles, roof fascia, roof framing, etc. to keep all roofing materials installed on top secure for the long-term.
As a final note, a porch is different from a veranda and a gazebo. Where a porch is a covered shelter supported with columns or screens for the house’s main entrance, a veranda is an open-air porch that wraps the front and sides of the house and a gazebo is a domed structure supported with columns or screens that is not connected to the house.
Suggestions provided above apply to homes with porches and verandas specifically. Although, adding an overhang on a gazebo never hurt either, if there are issues with water leakage.
A homeowner should not leave this issue unaddressed because the water damage to the porch and more importantly the home can become significant really quickly. It is recommended a homeowner repairs the area within 3 to 9 feet of the joint with ice and water shielding and flashing if they’re ever unsure, this will protect the area. Always replace any damaged boards and shingles in this area to avoid water damage from making its way into the home.
The homeowner should never attempt the repair themselves if it means putting themselves in an unsafe position, instead consult a professional with all of the necessary safety equipment. Risking avoidable injuries are never worth the risk.
If there is water damage in the area and it doesn’t look sturdy enough to hold weight, don’t risk doing the repair yourself.
By all means, at the first signs of the sensitive joint between the roof and porch looking water damaged get the minor repairs done earlier than later, to avoid costly major repairs in the future.
Have you saved up enough money to get a roof replacement? Hoping that there isn't water damage during roof replacement? Trying to find as much information beforehand to know what to do when things go wrong?
No matter how prepared you are, a roof replacement is a cumbersome process, we at roofing mission (a.k.a "BulletpRoof") can vouch for this from experience. It is always a good idea to be preemptively prepared for things to go wrong, considering that plenty of money and time is invested.
Roof replacement essentially refers to the process where your old and weathered roof and accessory materials are taken down to install new roofing material. The entire anatomy of a roof, including the tiles, underlying materials, and the batons, are taken down during the replacement process, which is spread over several days.
The homeowners are often displaced during the process and generally require months of savings to afford it. As for the homeowners, it's also a test for the contractors as a simple error can cause grave repercussions.
In most cases, the contractors thoroughly check the weather before beginning the roof replacement process. They choose to complete the replacement process during dry seasons when much rain is neither expected nor usual. They are prepared to deal with inclement weather in worst-case scenarios by covering the roofing with tarps.
Natural disasters don't always come with prior warnings. Even if there are warning signs, some contractors and roofing companies are too busy cutting corners to pay any attention to. A lot can go wrong.
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How Does Water Damage Occur During Roof Replacement
Understanding how water damage occurs is vital to preventing and managing it adequately. It can be a result of damage to any water pipelines on the roof during the process of tearing out old roofing material. However, this is a rare occurrence, primarily if you work with professional contractors who run a thorough inspection before embarking on the replacement journey.
Unexpected rainfall and snow are the critical reasons for water damage during the roof replacement. Depending on the intensity and extent, they can result in widespread damage to the roof, mainly when the process is underway. However, one of the least underestimated factors is high humidity levels, but they are equally destructive and adversely affect the roof's integrity.
What Happens If There Is Water Damage During Roof Replacement
The underlayment forms the backbone of water protection through your roof. Removal of the previous roofing from the deck is vital for the replacement process instead of installing more layers of shingles on top. Preventing old damage from worsening over time and making a roof replacement more costly. Here are how many layers of shingles are allowed to extend the longevity of a roof and the reasons not to put shingles on top of shingles; Contrary to belief, layering shingles only shortens the life of a roof drastically.
During the replacement process, when the tiles or shingles and the roof's underlayment are torn down, your whole house is vulnerable to water damage. It is imperative to protect the home at this point because water damage at this stage has a domino effect. It can potentially lead to widespread destruction of the entire interior.
Any of the home's major systems can be compromised when this happens; Its foundation, plumbing, electrical, framing and roof. Often the damage is so extensive that it may require extensive repair and, in some cases, even demolition. For further information, can a leaky roof cause electrical problems goes over the water's effects on the electrical system of the home.
Water can also harm the roof's decking, and building codes strictly advise against installing a roof in this case. In such cases, the underlying barrier is also not feasible for the placement of tiles or shingles. Often there are slits and gaps which breach the roof's integrity and provide inlets for water leading to further damage to an already compromised roof.
Water damage to the roof, particularly in the installation phase, predisposes the roof to failure by encouraging the growth of mold, mildew, and warping of the roofing. The longevity of the new material is severely compromised, and your hard-earned money put into replacement often goes to waste.
How To Counter The Water Damage During Roof Replacement?
Most experienced roofing contractors have years of experience, which helps them stay one step ahead and preemptively plan to counter any impending crisis, including water damage.
It is highly recommended to have high-quality tarps available at all times, regardless of the weather forecast. It prepares you to deal with an unprecedented situation and would not have to rush to arrange one if an emergency arises.
Watching out for feasible weather is one of the critical steps. Working during overcast days and rainy weather is hazardous for the roof's integrity and the worker's health. In most cases, the roof replacement will be rescheduled until favorable weather. But in case of unexpected rainfall, one can avoid water damage by covering the entire roof with a waterproof tarp and mainly sealing all the gaps and holes. It ensures that all the water inlets are taken care of.
It is also essential to secure the tarps in place because heavy winds and thunderstorms that accompany rains have the potential to blow away the tarps laid out for security. So ensuring it is just as important as the placement.
Roof replacement is not always a well thought and planned decision, and often it is an emergency decision to fix a compromised roof. It is vital during rainy seasons. Some roof types can be repaired during the rainy seasons, but when it comes to flat style roofs, repair and replacement are a big no-no.
But as they say, where there's a will, there's a way, and roof replacement ought to be delayed for as long as possible during the rainy season. But then, how to deal with a compromised roof? A roof sealant can be used as a temporary fix in this case. The roof replacement process can be initiated once the weather is feasible.
Conclusion: Prevent Water Damage from the Get Go
Water damage can prove to be a menace during the roof replacement. Often its effects are not noticeable immediately, but in some cases, they tell tale signs from the very first instance. Regardless, the widespread damage and destruction can severely compromise the roof and the whole building and lead to severe financial losses.
A professional, experienced, trained roofing contractor is well aware of the causes, effects, and management strategies for water damage to the roof, mainly if it occurs during the replacement process. It is essential to hire only renowned and professional contractors to save your roof from extensive damage and ensure a sturdy and dependable replacement to save money in the long run.
How does sun affect roof shingles? From experience, roofing mission (a.k.a "BulletpRoof") sees sun faded roofs, aged and damaged roofs on a regular basis, not all are due for replacement though.
Well, first what are roof shingles? Roof shingles are a sort of roof covering for sloped roofs that are set in an overlapping way so that each subsequent strip covers the next. They are small pieces of roofing material that are added atop the underlayment, sheathing, and roof trusses to enhance and safeguard your home from the outside elements.
There are quite a few types of roof shingles available, and they are popular amongst people. They include asphalt shingles, wood shingles, felt shingles, metal shingles, slate shingles, clay shingles, concrete shingles, composite shingles, and so on. These materials have various advantages and disadvantages. The type of roof shingle used in a building depends on personal aesthetics and the environment or climate of the area where the shingle is to be used.
A roof is a protective covering that covers or forms the top of a building. The roof is one of the most critical elements of your home, which serves as the first line of defense against unfavorable environmental elements and is one of the first areas that your home's visitors will notice right away. Because of this, however, weather conditions take a significant toll on your home's roof. In a building, the roof has the first direct contact with environmental factors such as rainfall, storms, snow, hail, heavy winds, and sunlight.
Unfortunately, these effects are compounded when a roof has two or more layers of roofing as it traps water and heat between it's layers; The polar opposite of what shingles were designed to do, as explained in the anatomy of a roof. Helping the sun to do more damage to the roof in the summer and cause more potential leaks in the winter. How many layers of shingles are allowed? We recommend no more than ONE layer and there are about 64 reasons not to put shingles on top of shingles; Content below is in support of this.
Wind and storms are the most likely causes of roof damage, which are immediate problems. The sun, though, is another factor that can affect a roof that is far more subtle and persistent.
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What does the sun do to roof shingles?
The heat from the sun results in the expansion of roofing materials, and as they cool, they begin to contract. This cycle can cause slow, long-term damage that intensifies as the years go by. Sunlight contains a variety of radiation, including UV radiation, which may harm the skin and building materials, as you probably recall from science class. A roof can become damaged over time by the sun's UV rays, which weaken the minuscule bonds holding the tiles and shingles together. Most significantly, if there is any trapped air or moisture in your shingles, which is usually a flaw of the manufacturing process, your roof might experience bubbles of hot, expanding air called blisters.
The sun harms roof shingles in several different ways, some of which are listed here:
- Asphalt damage: UV rays can seriously harm asphalt coatings on shingles by rapidly heating the material, causing it to run, deform, or otherwise deteriorate. Simply put, shingles will decay more quickly in the blazing sun. Other causes of asphalt damage include hail, snow, and water damage. Each factor causes a different intensity of damage to the roof structure.
- Coating damages: Coatings and adhesives absorb that radiation and can wither under the relentless sun. Just as paint can crack, protective coatings on roof panels and shingles can wear out when exposed to too much sun. However, some coatings, including reflective coatings, are formulated to resist long-term sunlight effectively.
- Bleaching: It is a phenomenon that does not compromise structural integrity. It will reduce the aesthetic quality of your home. If you've ever seen driftwood on the beach or old decks, you know how sunlight can bleach objects, destroying the particles responsible for color until the thing fades. This type of wear also occurs on rooftops, especially on darker rooftops. The sides of the roof exposed to the sun can fade over time.
- Warping: When some of the shingles on your roof start to curl or bend upwards, that is called warping. This situation gets worse with prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight. We see this damage most often with plastic materials and metal elements. Sunlight tends to heat these materials quickly. In addition to potential thermal shock, this extra heat can also destabilize the materials, thereby causing warping.
- Cracking: The pressure from warping can also produce cracking when there is tension in the shingle. Damage to the roof decking occurs shortly after cracking, just like deterioration and distortion do. Metal shingles may become weak and brittle, breaking more easily.
- Quick Aging: Sunlight wears out your roof, and the more sun a roof gets, the faster it ages.
- Decaying: Shingles begin to deteriorate due to repeated exposure to the harsh heat and sun. Newer shingles will typically hold up just fine because sun damage accumulates over time. The degradation will be easier to see on the older roofs. Shingles that are failing will appear distorted or rotten. They could be fragmentary or start to seem disruptive.
Preventing Sun Damage to Roof Shingles
Sun damage can be resisted to the best of our ability. Since the intense sunlight at high altitudes can hasten the destruction of conventional shingles, some asphalt shingles, for example, are designed to survive ultraviolet radiation for extended periods. Different materials are better than others at withstanding sunlight. For instance, metal roofing is reflective and resistant to warping and cracking. As a result, it is much less susceptible to sun damage than conventional asphalt roofing.
Additionally, solar reflective roofing, commonly referred to as cool roofing, can help stop UV shingle deterioration. These shingles have a coating on the shingle grains that increases their reflectiveness to reflect more of the sun's rays. The shingle is covered with this coating at the manufacturing facility.
Similarly, you might select a long-lasting roofing material that is resistant to sun damage. The good news is that asphalt shingle damage is cumulative or worsens over time.
How to extend the life of roof shingles in this case would be to add new coating to the roof shingles as a part of annual roof maintenance to slow this damage over time. Normally, a spray-on solution that can be lightly coated across the shingles is enough to restore some of the shingle's protection back.
Additional Proactive Measures for a Homeowner’s Roof
In conclusion, there isn't a roof-safe sunscreen that works perfectly, but there are techniques to prolong the life of your roof. Conducting routine inspections is the most crucial thing you can do to support roof maintenance. A yearly roof inspection can help prevent issues and opting to inspect your roof detects problems before they worsen. Sun damage is a persistent issue that can be successfully avoided by practicing excellent maintenance.
Do you have a leaking roof problem? Do you fear that a leaky roof cause electrical problems? Unfortunately, your fears are not irrational. Leaky roofs can likely lead to electrical problems.
We at roofing mission (a.k.a "BulletpRoof") agree that it is worth your concern because a leaky roof can damage any one of the home's vital systems like electrical, plumbing, HVAC, framing and the foundation. If not dealt with in a timely manner, it's likely to happen some day.
For those with a roof with two or more layers of shingles, signs of a leak only means the homeowner is too late (the damage has already been done) and the roof should have been replaced long ago. Consider reading 64 reasons not to put shingles on top of shingles and how many layers of shingles are allowed, for further information.
The roof is a protective overhead covering that forms the top of any architectural structure, including buildings and homes. A leaky roof is a crack, crevice, fissure, or hole that breaches the roof's integrity. It provides an inlet for water or other fluids into the top of the building and severely compromises the protective function of its roofing layers.
Contrary to popular belief, leaks are far more severe than mere breaches in the structural integrity of a building. We shall be discussing leaky roofs and their aftermaths, predominantly in the form of electrical problems, while water damage during a roof replacement covers water's many effects on the home.
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Causes of a Leaky Roof
The most critical of all questions is what causes roofs to be leaky? Several factors can cause a leaky roof. The elements can be broadly divided into human and environmental factors.
Human factors include:
- Cutting corners when buying roofing materials by purchasing inferior quality materials.
- The cheaply acquired inferior quality material is often quick to age, which means they become brittle due to losing their contraction and expansion abilities. It occurs due to long-term temperature fluctuations.
- Foot traffic: When repairing the roof or hanging a high satellite dish, there is a lot of foot traffic on the top. It can also lead to damage and weathering of the roof.
- Rooftop equipment replacement or addition may result in a mismatch in some of these materials, preventing them from overlapping. The resulting aperture will lead to leakage.
- Liquid chemicals also cause irreparable damage to the roof.
- Poor quality repair work, including inadequate hand work, incorrect patching materials, and adhesives, also harm the roof integrity and cause leaking.
- Home’s architect improperly designed roof to allow water to remain on the top after a heavy downpour, instead of making it slope or slant downwards as required for proper drainage, can also incur damage.
Environmental factors include the unfavorable elements in the surroundings. Most commercial roof systems in recent times are built to withstand heavy rains, strong winds, high heat, snow, and direct sunlight. Nevertheless, these weather conditions will eventually wear down the roof. Roof leaks are prevalent in areas with high winds, heavy rain falls, and heavy sunlight. Constant exposure to the sun's heat and UV rays can cause many roofing materials to dry out, become brittle, and crack. Flat roofs with vast expanses are entirely and constantly exposed to the sun's beating. Powerful winds can also tear away or puncture the roofing membranes, especially if they're old or brittle. The heavy downpour that seeks even the most minor cracks does not spare the roof ample time to dry.
Potential Electrical Problems caused by a Leaky Roof
Now, let's talk about the electrical problems due to leaky roofs. When a small crack or opening on a top allows water to enter the building, the insulation becomes waterlogged, and the wood begins to rot. A steady flow of water through this opening continues downward when there is a heavy downpour or ponding water on the roof. It drips into the walls, follows the electrical wiring, and enters the junction box. As its name suggests, a junction box serves as the point of electrical connection between two wire sets. The phenomenon of power distribution to multiple outlets occurs through this box. It carries bare wires that are 'hot' and active when electricity is present.
Thanks to the leaky roof, water seems in the junction box and comes in contact with electricity from the wires. In its undistilled and impure form, water proves to be an excellent conductor of electricity. Rainwater is enriched with minerals like iron, magnesium, and sodium and is neither pure nor distilled, making it a strong electrical conductor. A hot electric wire causes water to conduct current almost instantly when it comes into touch with it. Any electrical conductor, another electrical wire, or a human body in contact with that water or hot wire will also become charged.
Water's corrosive properties amplify and disperse the scope of potential harm. The damage is quite substantial if the water gets to your electrical panel. It should be common knowledge, and everybody should understand that electrical systems should be free of moisture for safety reasons. Electrical problems could lead to significant damage to lives and properties. For instance:
- Unregulated electricity can cause cables to overheat, which could cause a fire to start. Electric wires with deteriorated insulation pose a much greater fire danger since an open circuit could result from their existence. Electric fires that develop from this are difficult to extinguish.
- Significant risk of electrical shocks. If electricity is not grounded correctly, it can lead to shocks. Water also seeps into a metal junction box containing exposed wires, and if someone touches an electrically charged wet wire, they might get shocked. There is a significant risk for injuries.
- Your ceiling light fixture can be a conduit for minerals in water to deliver an electrical current to your floor and other surfaces. When this happens, you can experience a shock simply by touching the light fixture or flipping the light switch.
- It can lead to a ripple effect causing extensive damage to the rest of the electrical system.
How to Prevent Roof Leaks and Electrical Problems
Preventative measures are always better than corrective ones. It is essential to keep an eye on the roof's structural integrity and take preliminary steps to counter roof leaks. Keeping your roof free from leaks should be a top priority, especially during the rainy season. A periodic roof inspection is a helpful way to prevent leaks from spreading.
After a heavy storm, you should find an experienced and insured roofer to inspect your home and check for vulnerabilities you may have overlooked. These issues may involve loose or exposed wires and mold or corrosion, which can cause short circuits, ultimately leading to electrical fires.
So, suppose you have never searched for vulnerabilities or leaky roofs in your home or have never had the knowledge those leaky roofs can cause electrical problems. In that case, you should quickly get a roofer and electrician to go through your roof and home and check.
In conclusion, when you suspect a leak near anything electrical, prevent any movement around that area, then turn off electricity at the main panel and get a roofer and electrician immediately. Remember, the longer you put off roof leak repair, the longer the danger exists.