7 Causes of roof damage to look out for
- By: Sangeeta Ranade
- March 2021
Any damage to your home can be costly and cause potential safety issues, but roof damage can be the most severe. So, it’s vital to be aware of the causes of roof damage and continue to look for them.
Not only can the damage itself cause many issues, but a roof in need of repair could also be structurally unsound, causing further damage inside the house itself.
It’s important to know about the many things that can cause roof damage as well as have an understanding of what your options are to fix it if it does happen.
One of the most common causes of roof damage is the weather, more specifically weather conditions such as rain, hail, or wind. These situations can lead to portions of the roof getting knocked out of place or dented.
Heavy rainfall can also lead to blocked gutters. Additionally, heavy rainfall can cause wear and tear that leads to leaks and other forms of damage. At least twice a year, you should clean your gutters.
In the coldest winter months, there may also be snow, sleet, or ice, which can lead to blocked gutters as well.
Extremely cold weather
Extremely cold temperatures can also cause issues. For example, if you live in a region that sees a lot of snow and freezing temperatures, moisture that gets into small spaces on your roof can freeze causing the materials to expand.
When this moisture unfreezes, it can cause space to be created which can eventually lead to leaks.
Extremely hot weather
Another top causes of roof damage is the opposite! Extreme heat can also cause some damage to your roof. The exact damage caused will vary depending on what kind of materials were used to build the roof in the first place but can include warping and bending.
A roof that has proper ventilation has the best chance of avoiding this issue.
A side effect of the previously mentioned weather conditions such as wind can be fallen tree branches or other debris that can knock pieces of the roof loose. Heavy items that fall such as a fallen tree can actually fall through the roof and cause significant damage inside.
This can also be a safety issue as well. So, it’s important to make sure your roof is well-built with secure materials and carefully maintained to avoid unnecessary damage.
One of the biggest causes of roof damage is improper installation. Not only does it create issues now but it also may be more likely to suffer from damage as time goes on.
Improper installation can be as simple as the person who is physically installing it taking a short-cut that causes a lack of structural integrity, or it can be due to faulty materials being used.
If you are not the person who owned the home when the roof was being installed, you likely won’t be able to address it with the person installing the roof. Instead, make sure you have a thorough roof inspection conducted when you move in.
What are the most common causes of roof damage?
It shouldn’t surprise you that the most common type of roof damage is normal wear and tear. Even an incredibly well built roof will wear out eventually, even if you’re conducting regular maintenance and your house never endures the damage that may come from extreme weather conditions.
Most roofing materials can last 10-15 years without significant damage, and some materials such as rubber can last up to 50 years without wearing away.
There may also be damage caused if a pipe bursts, for example. Not all roof damage is caused by a massive weather event, but it may occur slowly and steadily over time.
What do you do if your roof suffers from damage?
When you notice roof damage, don’t panic! Although it’s stressful to deal with roof damage and the associated costs, there are many professionals out there that can help you through the process of assessing and fixing the damage that has occurred.
As tempting as it may be to investigate the cause of the damage yourself and attempt to fix it, it’s best to avoid doing so unless you are a qualified professional.
Walking or crawling on the roof can cause pressure to the roof, and you might knock something out of place and make it worse if you do not already know what you’re doing. Therefore it’s best to follow these steps if you are dealing with roof damage.
Understand your insurance policy
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your home insurance policy even if there’s no urgent damage to address at the moment. You do not have to have it memorized, but it’s beneficial to be aware of the big picture items.
For example, it may help alleviate stress if you know the basics of what’s covered. That way, if damage occurs you’ll be as prepared as you can be and know what your options are.
What you can to prevent further damage?
While you should not climb onto your roof or attempt to investigate the damage in a way that will cause additional stress to your roof, try your best to contain the damage that has occurred and may be currently occurring.
For example, if the damage in question includes water leaks and you have a stream of water dripping into your home, place a bowl under the leak to catch the water. These small and simple steps can help you avoid additional damage to the rest of your house.
Do a quick survey of the damage
Even without climbing onto your roof, you may be able to assess the damage that has occurred. If you are seeing water damage inside your home, can you see what part of your ceiling or wall was the first to show damage? This may help track down where the damage is the most severe.
Call a professional
Once you understand a little bit more about what the damage is and what your insurance policy may cover, call the relevant professional and coordinate an appointment for them to come and fix the damage.
Although roof damage can be stressful, you have many options to address it, and many home insurance policies offer assistance for situations such as this. So be aware of the many causes of roof damage and be watching for them.