Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What types of enemies can destroy a roof's performance?
A: A roof system's performance is affected by numerous factors. Knowing about the following will help you make informed roof system buying decisions:
Sun: Heat and ultraviolet rays cause roofing materials to deteriorate over time. Deterioration can occur faster on the sides facing west or south.
Rain: When water (can and will) get underneath roofing materials, it can work its way to the roof deck and cause the roof structure to rot. Extra moisture encourages mildew and rot elsewhere in a building, including walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems.
Wind: High winds can lift edges of roofing materials and force water and debris underneath them. Extremely high winds can cause extensive damage.
Condensation: Condensation can result from the buildup of relatively warm, moisture-laden air. Moisture in poorly ventilated areas promotes decay of wood sheathing possibly destroying a roof structure. Sufficient ventilation can be achieved by installing larger or additional vents and will help alleviate problems because the inside air temperature will be closer to the outside air temperature.
Moss and algae: Moss can grow on moist around drains. Once it grows, moss holds even more moisture to a roof system's surface, causing rot. In addition, moss roots also can work their way into a wood deck and structure. Algae also grow in damp, shaded areas on wood or asphalt roof systems. Besides creating a black-green stain, algae can retain moisture, causing rot and deterioration. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from buildings to eliminate damp, shaded areas, and drains and scuppers should be kept clean to ensure good drainage.
Trees and leaves: Tree branches touching a roof will scratch and gouge roofing materials when the branches are blown by the wind. Falling branches from overhanging trees can damage, or even puncture roofing materials. Leaves on a roof system's surface retain moisture and cause rot, and leaves in the drains or scuppers block drainage.
Roof deterioration: When a roof is not maintained properly and is old and worn out it might split and lose its waterproofing effectiveness. A weakened roof system are easily blown off, torn or lifted by wind gusts. The end result is structural rot and interior damage. A deteriorated roof system only gets worse with time-it should be replaced as soon as possible.
Flashing deterioration: Many apparent roof leaks really are flashing leaks. Without good, tight flashings around vents, skylights and wall/roof junctions, water can enter a building and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems. Flashings should be checked as part of a biannual roof inspection and maintenance cleaning.
Snow and ice: Melting snow often refreezes at a roof's overhang where the surface is cooler, forming an ice dam. This blocks proper drainage into the drain or scupper. Water backs up under the roofing materials and seeps into the interior. During the early melt stages, drains and downspouts can be the first to fill with ice and be damaged beyond repair or even torn off a building.