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What wears your roof out?

As a homeowner you probably want to keep your current roof as long as it’s possible. It’s no mystery that roofs tend to wear out. In order to lengthen the lifespan of your roof it’s crucial to understand that there are four main reasons as to why this occurs.

1. Ultra Violet Radiation

Every single day (even cool and cloudy days) the UV rays from the sun damage and break down the roof. Under the exposure of UV rays of the sun, not only does the roof deteriorate but also the oils in the roof dry out loosing its waterproofing qualities.

2. Heat

Heat accelerates the breakdown process. The damage done from the UV rays is greatly speeded up when the weather is hot. A typical capsheet roof gets up to 160º on a hot summer day when the air temperature is 90º. Over time the roof looses flexibility and becomes weak.

3. Expansion & Contraction

The roof expands and contracts every day. This is referred to as thermal shock. The sun’s heat makes the roof stretch out in the day. At night, the evening cools the roof causing it to contract. Flashings and drains are typically metal. They expand and cool much quicker than the roof membrane. Over time, the tremendous strain from the thermal shock causes metal drains and flashings to pull away from the roof assembly at these critical areas. The movement also causes the roof to split.

4. Maintenance Neglect

When a roof is not maintained properly, great damage will occur causing the life span of the roof to be reduced. Debris clogs up drains, ponding water wears out low areas and weakens the roofing membrane. Heavy foot traffic to maintain roof top equipment, grease, improperly installed equipment all damage the roof. The neglect can drastically speed up the process for roof failure.

5. Wind

Strong winds can potentially move panels and roof tiles. Those items don’t need to be thrown to the ground to affect the roof’s properties. Even the slightest move can essentially leave your home exposed to the elements. And that can lead to major damage once rain arrives. Even chimneys and other sturdy items could be at danger from these problems.
Damage caused by the wind doesn’t necessarily stop there, either. This is especially true if you have trees that overhang near the building. When winds force trees to rub against the roof, the abrasion can be very harmful indeed. Lastly, you need to look out for damage caused to guttering by blowing debris. Again, the immediate impact might not be overly noticeable. Over time, though, the negative effects can be huge.

6. Snow

On one hand, we love it. On the other, it’s the worst thing we’ll ever come across. It can cause major disruptions to your roofing solutions. If you’re unlucky, snow can bring the worst elements of wind and rain. Meanwhile, the added weight can cause even worse damage if the roof isn’t properly protected. The last thing anyone needs is to have a part of the roof or guttering collapse under the added weight. Alternatively, you must be sure that you remove collected snow at the earliest opportunity.

Similarly, ice can clog gutters and cause damage to the roof. Worse still, damage to eaves and other delicate areas can be accelerated by the moisture, which can lead to major problems. But as long as you treat the roof with care, you should be just fine.

Remember that a quick checkup on your roof system in the fall and spring will help diagnose potential problems early. Provided you see and signs of damage contact us and we will be happy to help you. Keep in mind that the sooner you deal with roof problems the more money will stay it your wallet.

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