Your roof protects you from elements. But it is not invincible. Your roof has to endure a lot in order to keep you safe and comfortable inside your property. Different weather conditions are constantly affecting your roof’s health which could lead to a leak. While some roofing materials are better able to withstand weather damages, some weather conditions can prove to be lethal for all roofs regardless of their type. If you are wondering what type of weather conditions can cause your roof to leak, then this article is just for you.
Six Weather conditions that may cause roofs to leak
Rain is a roof’s worst nightmare. If it rains more than two inches per hour, water will seep through roof materials and lead to leaky roofs. Therefore, roofing materials should be able to withstand this kind of weather condition. Composite roof shingles are great for weather conditions with heavy rainfall. Apart from this, you must use roof coatings such as a rubber roof coating or an elastomeric roof coating to prevent leaks, especially if you live in regions where heavy rain frequently occurs.
You should always inspect your roof for any leaks after heavy rainfalls. Old roofs can be vulnerable to water damage, and the smallest crack could allow water through, which may have far-reaching consequences if it’s not fixed in time. Furthermore, you need to also keep an eye on the gutters during rainy conditions as they are prone to debris buildup that can lead to them being clogged or overflow, especially when there is too much rainfall at one time.
Heavy rain comes with plenty of hidden dangers to your roof. First, long-term rainfall does not give the materials a chance to dry out, which makes them susceptible to rotting even if there are no signs of leaks. Secondly, it can cause pooling on flat rooftops leading to moisture damage.
Snow accumulates on roof surfaces that have lower temperatures and high humidity. The weight of snow on your roof can cause your roof and gutter system to collapse. Not just that, but when the snow melts, it can leak through roof materials like clay tiles or slate roofing materials. Slate roofing is not suggested as a roof covering material for areas where there is an average annual snowfall over 30 inches per year. Instead, choose roofing shingles that are made of fiberglass material for their ability to offer good resistance against snow accumulation and melting damage.
Another issue roofs at extremely low temperatures face ice accumulation. When the roof is not well insulated and roof temperatures drop at night, it could lead to ice accumulation. This will ultimately lead to water penetration which can quickly wear down your roof materials. Your best defense against ice damage is to properly insulate your roof. This involves adding more insulation between your roof deck and attic floor, installing additional blown-in insulation, or installing rigid foam board insulation above ceiling joists in cold climates.
High winds can rip roof shingles or roof tiles right off your roof. It could also damage roof flashing, which is a part of your roof that prevents water from penetrating through the roof deck. Wind can also cause roofing materials to come loose, and that makes them more susceptible to wind-driven rain. Apart from this, strong winds can also bring fallen branches from the tree next to your house. You should inspect all roof flashings for any signs of wear and tear after windstorms to ensure they are still functioning properly.
Hail can be very dangerous for roofing materials. When it impacts roof shingles or roof tiles, it will transfer the force to the roof sheathing and create stress on roof fasteners which may shear off. It may also trigger cracking of wood roof decking that leads to leaks.
If you live in an area where hail is common, then roof flashing around penetrations should be effective at diverting damaging ice accumulations away from vulnerable roof components. They don’t stop the ice accrual completely, but they minimize damage significantly. You could also put up a protective covering over your flat roof like a tent that will act as a shield against hail accumulation during severe weather conditions such as hailstorms.
Sunlight can play havoc with roofing materials when left exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays for an extended period of time. It can cause the color pigments on roof shingles or tiles to fade and disappear, which could also lead to blistering or curling of the surface finish. The intense heat of summer can cause a material to expand and shrink, which could lead to immediate damage. Furthermore, shingles will crack and become brittle in the sun due to UV rays.
The UV rays from sunlight are also capable of damaging waterproofing membranes that lead to roof leaks. You should regularly check for signs of roof damage due to UV exposure and repair it immediately. You also need to have roofing materials that are resistant to the harmful effects of weather, such as sun fading or water repellent roof coatings.
Heat and humidity are a dangerous combination, constantly attacking your roof from all angles. The heat can cause shingles to crack or detach by making them dry up too quickly, so they’ll break off when touched; meanwhile, a humid climate will make water droplets form on the surface of these shards, which can lead to severe moisture damage with time as well as leaks and other sorts of issues that could potentially plague your place for years if not dealt with promptly enough. Condensation is one of many causes of roof leaks and water damage, and the best way to avoid it is by using waterproof roofing materials.
Other common causes of roof leaks
Age of the roof
One of the primary reasons for a leaky roof is age. The older your roof, the greater its chances are that it will take in moisture and become less effective due to natural progression over time. This can happen because as roofs get older, they expand from fluctuating temperatures or weather conditions like rainstorms which leads them to deteriorate more quickly than others.
Clogged gutters can lead to a leak
Your gutters are an essential part of your house that many people overlook. They direct the flow and water away from the roof, but when there is a blockage or clog in them, they can be disastrous for your home as rainwater will have more opportunity to seep through cracks into other areas on your property.
The beauty of a fireplace cannot be denied, but it is important that the chimney meets certain safety standards. If your home has an improperly installed or unsealed chimney, water can leak into the roof and cause major damage to your property.
Metal flashing is installed under shingles and around transition points in order to create a water-resistant barrier. When the metal deteriorates or becomes loose, it provides an environment for leaks that can quickly ruin your property.
Blocked roof vents
Ventilation is essential for your roof and attic space, and roof vents can be blocked by debris in the wind, which contributes to an environment that causes roof leaks. Also, if there are roof ice dams, it will cause a backup of water into the roof vents and leak into the home.
One of the best features any home can have is a skylight. However, old and improperly installed ones are nightmares for homeowners to deal with. If a roof leak is coming through the skylight, it should be inspected to ensure that there isn’t any roof damage associated with it.
Broken Tiles or Shingles
If roof tiles or roof shingles are broken, it exposes the roofing material to the elements leading to roof water damage. A ridge tile is prone to cracks and leaks, especially when they are old or too light. This is why you should install a new shingle or tile as soon as you see a broken, missing, or damaged shingle on your roof.
Overcrowding Of the Roof
Roof crowding occurs when there are too many items on your roof, such as cables, wires, pipes, or antennas which makes your roof susceptible to roof leaks because they block necessary elements like gutters and vents that lead to water damage in areas like the valleys under tiles and shingles.
The roof is one of the most significant investments you’ll make in your home, which is why you should be on the lookout for roof-related issues during all times of the year. The best way to avoid roof leaks is by regularly inspecting your roof for cracks or other forms of deterioration that could lead to future problems. It’s also important not to delay roof repairs, as it can make matters worse than they already are; the longer you wait to have them looked at, the less effective any repair will be because natural weathering processes will start damaging your roof even more so depending on what type of material it is.
You can’t possibly expect a roof to perform properly if it’s not fully protected from environmental hazards, so keep a close eye out for anything that could potentially undermine your roof’s performance when outside elements are at their harshest.
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