Causes of Leaky Roofs
Some homeowners tend to ignore leaky roof repair until the last moment, by which time it is already too late. Usually the attic is the first place to be affected by a leak, which inevitably expands to affect the rest of the house. That’s why it is important to schedule quarterly inspections of your house by a roof specialist, to identify and address leaks and vulnerable spots before serious damage results.
Knowing the causes of leaky roofs will help you make more informed decisions about your roofing system. Let’s look at some of them.
Snow and Ice: During the winter, snow tends to thaw and refreeze at the overhang of the roof where the surface is cooler, which results in the formation of an ice dam. This clogs the gutters, completely blocking normal drainage functions. Typically, during an early melt stage, the gutters are filled with ice and may sustain serious damage from this alone. The lack of drainage may lead to water seeping underneath shingles as well as through other roofing materials, and eventually it will filter through to the interior of the roof.
Rain: Nothing causes a roof structure to rot faster than when water gets through to the roof deck, as it seeps under shingles, shakes or other roofing surfaces. This causes the entire roof structure to rot. The presence of moisture in these structures can lead to the growth of mildew and rot almost everywhere in the house, including in your walls, ceilings, electrical systems and insulation.
Wind: Windy conditions can lift the edges of shingles and other roofing surfaces, allowing (or even driving) water and debris underneath them. Powerful, high winds can seriously damage a roofing system and cause leaky roofs.
Missing and worn-out shingles/shakes: When shingles go missing or break off, it leaves the surface below and the interior of the house susceptible to rot and water leaks. When a shingle gets torn, it can affect and damage nearby shingles as well, spreading the damage. Any missing or broken shingles should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage. Additionally, when shingles are aged and worn, they may curl up and split, making them no longer perfectly waterproof. Worn out shingles should also be immediately replaced.
Sun: Constant exposure to heat and UV radiation causes some roofing materials to deteriorate over a period of time. This can happen faster on the sides of the roof that face south or west.
Condensation: Condensation typically occurs in particularly humid conditions. It is often a problem in poorly-ventilated attics, and may lead to the decay of rafters and wood sheathing. Condensation in the attic can do lasting damage to the roof structure. The way to prevent this problem is to have proper attic ventilation in place by installing larger vents. Ventilation cools the air temperature in the attic, bringing it closer to the temperature of outside air and preventing the buildup of condensation.
Trees and leaves: When tree branches touch the roof, they may rub, scratch and damage the roofing material, especially in windy conditions. Falling branches are another hazard for roofing material. Additionally, when a tree drops leaves and debris on a roof, they must be removed to prevent them from retaining moisture and causing rot. If leaves and twigs fall into those essential gutters, clearing and cleaning that debris is vital to maintain good drainage.
Moss and algae: Moss mainly grows on damp wood shingles and shakes. Moss facilitates the buildup of harmful moisture on the roof surface, leading to damage and rot. Moss may actually even penetrate and grow into wooden structures. Algae grow in the presence of moisture and are usually found in damp areas on wood shingles. Algae create an ugly greenish-black stain, that can lead to rot and the deterioration of the entire roofing system. To prevent the growth of algae and moss, overhanging and nearby trees and bushes should be trimmed regularly, and gutters should be kept clean to ensure a proper drainage.
For all your roofing requirements, trust the #1 Beaverton, Oregon Roof Specialists, America’s Best Contractors, Inc. Oregon Roof Specialists is a local, family-owned and operated business that specializes in composition and cedar shake roof replacement and repairs. We have decades of experience in the roofing industry. You will be impressed with our work-ethic and our commitment to providing the best roofing service to all our valued customers. Call us today at 503-259-0538 for a free estimate.
We are a family operated business that specializes in roof repair, conversions, over layment and replacements. We take pride in the services that we provide and make sure that all of our customers are satisfied before the project is complete.