Just because winter is over does not mean that your roof is safe from weather-related damage. Summer too can cause a range of problems that can be costly to repair. From scorching temperatures to severe storms, summer can create or exacerbate problems with your roof unexpectedly. While you cannot always prevent summer roofing issues, you can minimize the risk of costly repairs by preparing your roof for the harsh elements. Learn more about the main causes of summer roof damage and how a roof repair contractor can help prepare your home for seasonal changes.
Causes of Summer Roof Damage
While most forms of roof damage occur during the winter months, summer conditions can also contribute to the need for repairs. Consistently high temperatures are a common cause of roof damage during the summer months. Although the climate in Virginia is considered relatively mild compared to other areas in the United States, Northern Virginia homeowners often experience hot and humid temperatures for several months of the year. Excessive heat can cause a wide range of issues, such as cracks and curling in shingles, as well as deterioration and weak spots in the roof deck.
Along with heat, humidity can cause a number of problems on your roof. Humidity is the moisture that is present in the air, either indoors or outdoors. It is to blame for the uncomfortable muggy feeling you experience during hot days and can actually damage your roof. If the temperature of your roof is cooler than the air outdoors, condensation can begin to build on the roof’s surface. This causes moisture buildup when in excess, can create water damage that weakens your roof over time. Too much condensation can also cause leaks in your home.
While you no longer have to worry about snow, rain showers are still common during the summer months. While the occasional light sprinkling will likely not cause too much damage, long or excessive periods of rain can make your roof more susceptible to damage. If there are cracks, worn spots, or weak areas in your roof, you may notice some leaking during heavy rain. Dips in the roof from old age can also cause water to pool and eventually seep under the shingles and into your home. This is especially true in older homes that lack adequate waterproof layers.
Wind is another common cause of roof damage during the summer. As high wind levels sweep through the air, it is not uncommon for shingles to loosen or even detach from the roof. Without shingles there to protect your roof, you may experience leaks and water damage. High winds can also worsen existing roofing problems and speed up the rate of deterioration. In addition to severe winds, storms can also lead to significant roof damage. Hail and other harsh elements can cause cracks and excessive wear on roofing materials. Tree limbs and other debris can also fall and hit your roof causing costly damage that requires repair or replacement.
Signs That You Need Roof Repair
It is not always easy to determine if you need roof repair just by looking at the roof’s surface. It often takes the keen eye of a roof repair contractor to figure out the extent of the roof damage and the best course of action. However, there are a few red flags you should look for when examining the surface of your roof. First, keep an eye out for any missing shingle granules. Older shingles begin to harden with time and granules start to break away. Without those granules, the shingles are susceptible to excessive weather.
Damage can also occur to the flashing on your roof. Flashing that has been improperly installed or has suffered damage can cause leaks in the home. If the flashing has been damaged, it typically needs to be replaced to stop leaks from occurring. In addition to flashing, also inspect your roof’s chimney cap. A rusty, old chimney cap not only looks aesthetically unpleasing, but can also cause problems if it is not functioning properly. A well-functioning chimney cap is required to prevent water from entering the chimney.
Mold and mildew growth is also a common concern when roof damage is in question. Algae growth develops when airborne algae is deposited on the roof’s surface. Algae growth can cause unsightly black or green stains to develop. If left untouched, the mold can also cause irreversible damage to shingles. Another area of the roof you will want to inspect carefully is the fascia boards. When fascia boards begin to rot along the roof line of your home, it can create leaks that damage your home’s interior. Over time, water damage can actually affect the structure of your roof and home.
Sometimes roof damage can be subtle, like the mild presence of water damage on your attic ceiling. Other times, it is more apparent like when light is coming through your roof and into your attic from visible holes. When your roof experiences severe damage or has long surpassed its expected lifespan, you may also see damage in the form of sagging. The top of your roof should follow a straight line along its ridge. If you spot a sag or saddleback in the center, it could be a sign of structural damage. If structural damage is evident, your roof may need to be replaced.
Contact a Roof Repair Contractor
There are a number of things you can do to prevent roof damage from occurring. First, ensure that your home contains proper ventilation as this can reduce the impact of heat on the roof. As the hot summer sun can be hard on your roof, consider installing a reflective roof coating which can protect your roof for up to 10 years. Also take the time to perform routine attic and ceiling checks for moisture to catch any issues before they get worse. For more information about how to look for and prevent summer roof damage, contact a reputable roof repair contractor today.