5 Common Causes of Shingle Damage and Deterioration

Workers Ladder on a Residential Roof Replacement — Minneapolis, MN — D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc.

In every home, the roof serves as the primary defense against harsh weather conditions, which makes its condition important for the homeowner. Among various roof types, shingle roofs have become more prevalent as the standard roofing material. However, they are not impervious to damage and deterioration over time.

Understanding why and how your shingle roof may be at risk is integral to maintaining the longevity and safety of your home. Delve into five common causes of shingle damage and deterioration to give you the necessary knowledge to better care for your roof.

1. Severe Weather

Asphalt shingles are installed such that their edges overlap and provide a watertight seal. However, these shingles can become brittle and destroyed after prolonged exposure to severe weather.

Wind is one of the most common weather factors that can damage shingles. Winds can lift, bend, and rip shingles from a roof, revealing the roof’s substrate. This form of wind damage is most likely to occur to the shingles along the edges, corners, and ridge lines of your roof. Flying debris can also rip the roof to shreds and damage it under hurricane-force winds.

In addition to wind and rain, hail can be a problem for asphalt shingle roofs. Hail can damage shingles by knocking loose the granules that protect them from the sun’s rays and boost their ability to shed water. Loss of these granules exposes the asphalt covering and fiberglass mat beneath, significantly shortening the lifespan of the shingles.

2. Heat and Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation

Unprotected ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can break down the shingles over time. The asphalt in the shingles dries out and becomes brittle because the UV rays degrade the chemical connections inside the asphalt. This increases the likelihood that they will crack, break, and fall off the roof.

Damage can also occur from the daily expansion and compression of the shingles because of temperature fluctuations. Additionally, the constant stress generated from the sun’s heat can lead them to curl and break, making them even less reliable. This raises the possibility of roof leaks and water damage.

3. Debris

Tree limbs and other things that break off in high winds can cause water leaks and other issues by puncturing or loosening roof shingles. The weight of debris is a major factor in why it might cause damage to your roof.

For example, tree limbs might break off during a storm and crash down on your house. Depending on the weight and composition of the debris, it may be able to penetrate your roof and cause water leaks or other damage.

4. Poor Installation

Mistakes can happen when untrained people try to put the shingles themselves or when a novice or unqualified contractor is hired for the task. If you want to prevent premature degradation and other roofing issues, have a professional roofing firm install your shingle roof.

A qualified roofer will know that there is a certain method for laying shingles. This necessitates the right equipment and supplies and strict adherence to manufacturer specifications.

Incorrect installation of shingles can leave them not properly attached to the roof. This can make them easier to dislodge or lift in strong gusts. Incorrect nailing or positioning on the roof can cause the shingles to fracture or break.

5. Roof Growth

The growth of organic matter on a roof happens when organisms such as mold, moss, algae, and lichen establish themselves and multiply on the shingles. Even though they may look harmless at first glance, they can cause significant damage to a roof’s structural integrity and functionality.

Growth on a roof can cause damage to shingles because it traps moisture, which freezes and thaws repeatedly. Water can become stuck on a roof if it is home to mold, moss, or algae, which all prefer damp conditions. This accumulated moisture has the potential to infiltrate beneath the shingles, making them mushy and prone to breakdown. Because of this, the shingles can become brittle and easily broken.

Contact us at D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc., for roofing services in Minneapolis, MN, and surrounding regions.

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