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Have you ever experienced putting out a bucket or two to catch the rain dripping into your home from a leaky roof? It happens to the best of us. But  why does a roof that was perfectly fine one day turn all leaky the next? Roof problems  are one of the most common things homeowners have to deal with, but we often don’t know what causes them.

Of course, normal wear and tear can cause a roof to detriorate over time and eventually break down – even if you have the most durable of roofs. External factors such as these are sure to contribute to the weakening of your roof structure in various ways:

1. Rain

Leaks in the home can start from a burst indoor pipe too, but more often than not, roof leaks are attributable to strong rains. Ideally, rainwater should always be safely channeled away from the home straight down through the gutter but, sometimes, issues such as blocked gutters or unexpectedly high levels of precipitation can cause water to penetrate past the roof surface and leak into the home. These leaks can then cause futher damage from within your home itself.

2. Snow

Like rain, snow can cause significant roof damage, moreso since it doesn’t easily slide off the roof; it can accumulate quickly and put a lot of weight on the roof. This excess weight can cause your roof’s components to warp or crack. Additionally, packed snow can form ice dams, which can prevent the water from melting ice from reaching the gutter, where it can then more effectively be directed away from the home.

3. Wind

Everyone (especially those in hurricane-prone areas) knows that strong winds can tear roofs apart or blow them away entirely. But contrary to what most homeowners think, less powerful winds, too, can cause roof problems. Even a moderate breeze, for instance, can get through small gaps between panels or your flashing, where it can push parts of the roof upwards, and make existing gaps bigger.

4. Sun

If you think a sunny day is perfectly fine for your roof, think again. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause your roof’s color to fade but, even worse, can also cause your shingles or panels to warp from too much heat. Even more damaging is when a bright hot day is followed by a cold night, as your roof will then be more likely to develop cracks caused by the constant changes in temperature.

While these external factors often do cause a lot of problems, there are also issues that can arise from a problem in the roof itself.  What do we mean by that? Find out more in the second part of this series!