12 Common Threats to Your Roof’s Structural Integrity

When it comes to property safety, our roofing systems play an essential role in ensuring the structural integrity of our homes.

As a protective barrier against the outside elements, each roofing component is designed to work together to guarantee that our properties are comfortable, energy-efficient and well-protected from a variety of potential risks.

While the quality and materials of each structural component are critical to the home’s overall performance, it’s important to understand that a poorly-functioning roof can have long-term consequences ranging anywhere from property damage and deterioration to personal injury and expensive repairs.

At T. Simpson Roofing, we are committed to helping our customers maintain safe and reliable homes through industry-leading products, reliable customer service and preventative client education.

To help you better understand your property, the following article will help you identify the 12 common threats to your roof’s structural integrity.

12 Common Threats to Your Roof’s Structural Integrity

While modern roofing systems are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, it is also important to consider the power and persistence of Mother Nature.

Exposed to a variety of harsh seasonal conditions, it is not uncommon for Canadian homeowners to miss the red-flags caused by environmental damage until it is too late!

As a full roof replacement project is no small undertaking (especially when internal damage has occurred), we highly recommend that homeowners familiarize themselves with the environmental risks that can impact the safety of their homes.

Fortunately, it is rare for a roofing system to fail without warning. If identified early enough (through routine roof inspections and maintenance repairs), homeowner’s will be able to isolate the problem and correct it without the expense of a full roof replacement.

To help you better protect your home, here are the 12 most common threats to your roof’s structural integrity:

1. Water:
Water damage is one of the most common causes for roof deterioration. As parts of the roof start to wear down (such as cracked, broken and/or missing shingles), any water from rain, snow and/or ice buildup will have open access into your internal roofing structures where moisture, condensation, deterioration and mold are at risk.

2. Sunlight / UV Rays:
While direct sun exposure can often fade the colour of indoor furniture, these UV rays can also wear down your roofing shingles! Although asphalt roofing materials are typically more resistant to UV light than their alternatives, long-term exposure to heat damage and direct sunlight will eventually degrade the quality and performance of your shingles no matter what materials are used.

3. Trees:
Although large, beautiful trees make aesthetic additions to your property, the risk of storm damage and/or fallen branches can cause devastating problems for your roofing system. In order to avoid this risk, we highly recommend that homeowners trim any branches that might pose a potential threat to your home, or in some cases – consider removing the tree altogether.

4. Hail:
One of nature’s most dangerous forms of precipitation, it is not uncommon for hail storms to result in a wide variety of roofing damage. From missing shingles to dented materials, it is important for homeowners to inspect their properties for any damage following an environmental hail storm. Unfortunately, any damage that goes undetected will create a greater risk for water damage, mold and deterioration down the road.

5. Wind:
Believe it or not, a strong gust of wind is powerful enough to tear the shingles (and other roofing materials) right off of your home!  Often accompanied by severe thunderstorms, wind damaged roofing structures can leave your home unprotected from water leakage and the increased risk of moisture damage, sagging and mold.

6. Snow:
While Canadian homeowners are familiar with the harsh realities of winter, the presence of snow can also cause damage to your home. While we recommend that homeowners have their roofs professionally inspected in the fall, any underlying problems that were not addressed before the winter may become worse with long-term exposure to snow and water damage.

7. Ice Dams:
As snow melts from your roof (either from internal heat or changing climate), the risk of water refreezing into ice along the gutters can quickly result in risky ice dams. With proper maintenance, attic insulation and ventilation, homeowners are better equipped to prevent ice from building up and spreading water damage to the internal property structures.

8. Ponding:
Ponding occurs when water starts to pool on the flat surfaces of a roofing structure, compromising its ability to effectively drain water. A major risk for erosion and algae growth, if ponding is left undetected there is an increased possibility for it to collapse altogether. To prevent the risk of property damage and personal injury, we highly recommend that homeowners keep their drainage systems under routine inspection and maintenance.

9. Pests/Animals:
From squirrels and birds to racoons and termites, many Canadian homeowners have trouble keeping nature’s creatures from invading their homes. While they may be enjoyable to watch and feed, nesting animals can result in a number of problems for your roof by damaging your shingles, blocking ventilation, leaving behind debris and more.

10. Clogged Gutters:
Similar to the risk of ice dams, a clogged drainage system can cause a number of water problems for your home. Without anywhere else to drain, water will seep under your shingles leading to leakage, rotting and deterioration of any internal structures and rooms. To avoid any expensive damage repairs, we highly recommend keeping your gutters well-maintained to prevent overflow.

11. Time:
While this one is a bit harder to prevent, it is important to note that every roof will have an inevitable expiry date. As the materials begin to fade over time, the risk of leaks and roofing damage will continue to grow. By maintaining regular inspections and maintenance repairs, homeowners can feel more confident in the quality and reliability of one of the most important structures of their home.

12. Poor Installation:
Although the majority of this list contains natural environmental risks, the quality of the materials and installation process can have a vital impact on the quality and longevity of your roof. As an improperly installed roof will not be able to perform as intended, it is very important that homeowners work with qualified professionals when it comes to something as safety-oriented as their residential roofing structure.

If left undetected, these common risks can often grow into a myriad of bigger problems as they seep deeper and deeper into the home’s internal structures.

By maintaining a routine roof inspection with a trusted professional, you can ensure that your home is always functioning as safely and efficiently as your family deserves.

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If you are interested in learning more about your residential roofing options, please feel free to click here or call 1-800-925-3044 for more information.

T. Simpson

Originally founded by a 16-year-old Tony Simpson as a way of acquiring funds to help pay his way through university, T. Simpson Roofing, propelled by Tony’s strong work ethic and commitment to delivering quality work and unbeatable customer service, quickly grew into a thriving business.

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