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7 Common Types of Roof Damage to Watch Out For

brick house with front yard and driveway
// 6-minutes Read

Did you know that asphalt roofing systems have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years? Slate, clay, and concrete roofs can last even longer, surpassing 100 years!

As great as those figures are, they only apply to properly installed and maintained roofs. Proper maintenance includes regular inspections and timely repairs for isolated damage. As a result, it can help homeowners avoid a badly damaged roof that may require early replacement.

To that end, we created this homeowner’s guide to the types of roof damage to watch out for. Discover what they are, their causes, and what to do if they occur to prevent further degradation. 

1. Ultraviolet (UV) Damage

Uv damaged on the roofing shingles

From June to August, Detroit, MI, experiences its annual highest average UV index of 6.

A rating of 6 is “high” on the UV index scale, representing a high risk of danger from unprotected sun exposure. For instance, it can burn the skin in just 20 minutes or less. This occurs as the sun’s UV light can cause adverse changes in the body’s cells and molecules. 

Something similar can happen to your roofing materials’ molecules. For example, UV rays can break down the molecular structure of an asphalt shingle roof. This can lead to the asphalt’s oily material evaporating.

The more and longer such evaporation occurs, the more granules the shingles lose. They can then crack, buckle, warp, or become crumbly. They may also develop heat blisters that appear as tiny holes or bubbles on a shingle’s surface. 

2. Heat Damage

The sun’s heat, together with its powerful UV rays, can damage roofing materials. For instance, it can hasten the evaporation of oils in asphalt shingles. This can lead to signs of roof damage similar to those caused by UV exposure.

Prolonged heat exposure can also cause roofing materials to expand. Then, as the temperature drops, the materials contract. As this cycle repeats, it can cause the components to crack and blister.

Whether you need to repair or replace your roof depends on its age and the extent of the UV or heat damage.

Fortunately, a reputable roofer offers a free initial inspection to determine these factors. They may then suggest repairs for isolated or less severe damage. However, they may recommend a replacement if your roof is within or beyond 80% to 85% of its designed lifespan. 

3. Wind Damage

close up to lifted shingles of the roof

With wind speeds averaging 20.9 miles per hour, Michigan is the third windiest state in the United States. While 20.9 mph is non-threatening, it’s only the average, meaning much faster wind speeds can occur.

For example, in Metro Detroit, gusts of 40 to 50 mph aren’t unheard of. These winds are strong enough to cause roof damage; they can curl, rip, lift, and tear away shingles from the roof.

Once it’s safe to go out, inspect the perimeter of your house to look for fallen roof parts. If you have binoculars, you can check your roof’s state from the ground. Look for curled, ripped, bald, or missing roof sections.

If you find any, please get in touch with your local licensed roof repair specialists. Prompt repairs can often save your roof from requiring premature replacement. 

4. Water Damage

Just as water causes physical erosion on rocks, it can do the same on roofing materials. For example, rains can hasten the loosening of granules on asphalt shingles. The water can then seep through, destroying the underlying materials.

Dips or valleys in shingles are signs of a water-damaged roof. Roof components, especially the shingles, may also feel spongy or soft.

If not addressed immediately, water can penetrate the inside of your home. Dark spots and water dripping from the ceiling are solid signs you have a leaky roof. Reach out to a professional to inspect and repair your roof as soon as you see these symptoms.

However, it’s much better not to wait for your roof to leak. Instead, schedule regular roof maintenance. This preventive measure can help identify and correct early flaws before they worsen. 

5. Ice Dams

ice dams on the house roof

Ice dams are the product of snow that melts and refreeze due to uneven roof temperatures. If not removed promptly, they can cause water to back up under the shingles. The water can then seep into the roof sheathing and deck.

Aside from causing water damage, ice dams can also rip off shingles. This can happen when the blocks of ice break and fall, taking down the shingles with them. They can do the same to your gutter system. 

The good news is that you can prevent ice dams by getting a pro to install an ice and water shield. It’s a waterproof membrane that creates a seal around shingle nails. Ensuring your attic has adequate ventilation can also help. 

6. Hail Damage

Hailstorms can damage your roof because of their weight and impact. They can bruise, crack, dent, rupture, or even tear off roofing components. Your gutters and vinyl siding can also sustain similar damage.

Since hailstorms can hit the Metro Detroit area at any time, you’d want to monitor your roof after one. Be sure to inspect your gutters and siding for potential damage, too. Then, call a licensed professional roofer for help as soon as you see significant damage. 

7. Other Storm-Caused Types of Roof Damage

Storms can also damage your roof through debris.

For example, strong winds can break and drop large tree branches on your roof. The odds of this occurring are higher if a tree with low-lying branches is nearby. You can reduce these risks by trimming tree branches at least six to ten feet from the roof. 

Intense and severe storms can also uproot entire trees and make them fall over. The trees can then fall over the roof, causing significant damage. Depending on the fallen tree’s size, it may even be heavy enough to cause a roof section to collapse. 

Call a licensed roofer for help if you believe your roof has sustained storm debris damage. 

Never Delay Repairing a Damaged Roof

Now you know that the most common types of roof damage are UV, heat, wind, water, ice, and debris damage. You also learned what can cause them and how they can destroy your roof and other parts of your home.

All that should be enough reason to invest in regular inspections and timely repairs.

If you suspect you have a damaged roof, please get in touch with us here at Tresnak Roofing. We’ll be more than happy to investigate your roofing woes and fix them ASAP!

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