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3 ways summer weather can cause roof damage

storms

While homeowners should be keeping up with roof maintenance year-round, summer deserves extra attention. Between hot, sunny afternoons and sudden storms, summer weather is not the kindest friend to your roof, and roof damage often goes unnoticed at first. Minor damage caused by previous weather only gets worse with the next wave of storms and heat spells, which can lead to serious problems down the road.  

Issues can come up fast and turn into major repairs or a total replacement if they’re not dealt with right away. Here are some of the most common types of roof damage caused by summer weather:

3 ways summer weather causes roof damage

Rotted roof decking 

In a nutshell, roof decking is the base of your roof. So, if there’s damage to your decking, there’s likely damage to other parts of your roof as well.

Most decking is made from plywood (or a plywood composite) and sits on top of the outer shell of your attic. This acts as the foundation of your roof and supports the weight of the shingles. All the other layers that make up a roof sit on top of the decking and work as a protective layer — but it’s not indestructible.

Since roof decking is made of wood, it’s susceptible to water damage. If water makes its way to your roof decking, the wood can warp, bend and rot. When this happens, it cannot support the weight of the rest of your roof or keep itself firmly attached to your attic and rafters. This type of roof damage can be severe, putting your whole roof at risk of collapse.

Leaks from broken shingles or torn underlayment from summer storms aren’t the only things that can cause your deck to rot. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, the damage could be coming from inside your home.

A roof that isn’t properly ventilated can cause the attic to overheat. As warm, moist air builds up, it will begin to condense, leading to wood rot within your attic. This can then spread up to the roof decking, causing serious roof damage.

Read: How do I know if I have rotted roof decking?

Moss and mold growth

Water is the enemy of a healthy roof and the main cause of most roof damage. When moisture collects in your attic or between the layers of your roof without a way to escape, it can cause moss and mold to grow, killing your roof from the inside out.

Moss grows best on and between shingles in warm, wet climates. Spores spread between the tiny cracks in these dark, damp places since they provide the perfect conditions for growth. Eventually, the moss can invade your roof, making it look like your home is covered in a thick, green carpet.

Not only is moss aesthetically unpleasant, but it can lead to more intense roof damage over time. As moss grows, it sucks up all the moisture and rain that it can find. In doing so, the moss creates concentrated areas of moisture along your roof that constantly leak water into your roof decking, which we know is not good for maintaining the structural foundation of your roof.

And once moisture enters your home, it can easily create unhealthy mold growth, not just in your attic but in other rooms of your house as well. It’s not just your roof that is put in danger when summer storms work their way into your house — your health is on the line, too.  

Read: 3 reasons why roof ventilation is important for your home

Cracked or warped shingles

Although it is one of the most common, moisture isn’t the only cause roof damage. In fact, the sun can cause just as much damage as the rain.

The temperature inside your attic can get up to 65% warmer than what the thermometer reads. If it’s 100 degrees outside, that means your roof temperature could be all the way up to 170 degrees! This kind of extreme heat can cause serious damage to your shingles.

Asphalt shingles are built to last and can take a serious beating, but even they have their limits. When the heat gets that intense for several days at a time, shingles can begin to curl or dry out, making them brittle and prone to cracking come the next storm.

Once water penetrates the cracks in your roofing system, it’s all downhill from there for your roof.

Don’t let the dog days get you down 

If summer takes a little too much out of your roof, give the roofing experts at Long Roofing a call! From Boston to Richmond, we’ll work with you to design a roof that fits your needs, style and budget. Visit us online or call 866-270-7058 to request a quote and schedule an in-home consultation today.

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