A roof’s integrity isn’t solely determined by what it’s made of or how it was installed; some factors come from other sources, more specifically, from what’s around the roof itself.
Rain, Snow, and Hail
These three are some of the — if not THE — most well-known environmental factors affecting a roof’s integrity. They may be essentially just water in different forms but they pose more risk than just moisture damage. Rain, for starters, can erode a roof’s surface over time, while snow can accumulate and strain the decking or support beams with additional weigh. Hail, on the other hand, is more than capable of denting or punching holes through roofs, damaging outer surfaces.
Some people may be surprised to find out that even mere sunlight can affect a roof’s integrity. Sunlight can cause roofing to heat up and expand, warping or getting bent out of shape. This process repeats over and over, weakening a roof over time. In some cases, however, the lack of sunlight is the problem, like during rainy days. Without sunlight and the heat it brings, water on a roof doesn’t dry out fast enough, encouraging mold and mildew on a roof’s outermost layer.
High winds are known to have enough intensity to blow off roofs from homes but even moderate winds can pose problems. Say, a roof stays intact after getting hit by a series of strong winds. It may not show damage but the roof may have been compromised in the form of loosened nails, hooks, or adhesives. These don’t appear to be big problems but when not reinforced, they’ll make a roof more vulnerable to strong gusts of wind later on.
Pests come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from tiny insects to birds and mammals. Animal excrement, for instance, can have acidic or corrosive substances in them, speeding up roof deterioration than normal. At the same time, the presence of one pest may also attract others, like insects attracting predators such as shrews and mice which are more than capable of chewing through roofing materials.
In the next part, we’ll give you the lowdown on human factors affecting roof integrity. Read on to learn more about factors you can control.