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How Do Roofs Deteriorate Over Time?

Person laying tiles on a roof

How Do Roofs Deteriorate Over Time?

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Roofs are an essential part of our homes.  They keep out the elements, insulate us against hot and cold weather, and give us the peace of mind that our loved ones and belongings are safe.  Unfortunately, the average roof only lasts for ten to thirty years.  This timeline means that within that period, you’ll see more shingles missing and more leaks popping up, which could ruin your possessions and make your heating and cooling bills skyrocket.

If you’re as frustrated with this as everyone else, you may wonder what makes them fall apart.  Here’s why most roofs deteriorate so quickly.

Areas With Rapid Temperature Changes

Thermal cycling is one of the quickest reasons a roof will decline.  Most areas in the United States have to deal with roofs getting worn out faster.  The reasoning behind this is that heat will cause the shingles to expand or thicken, and then cool air will make them brittle again.  Cycling between those two is like bending a piece of plastic back and forth. Eventually, it’s going to snap.  This plan can be most clearly viewed in areas like Iowa or Western North Carolina, where the weather cycles in large amounts every year, bouncing between heat and snow.

Wind And Storm Damage

One wind storm won’t make all of your shingles fly off and force you to look for a roof repair fund, but if they happen enough in your area, you may be facing down a replacement sooner than you’d want to.  Wind, mighty wind, can force up roof shingles or wiggle them looser so that they eventually tear off.  Areas that are hit a lot by tornado force winds, or seasonal hurricane weather, may have to face off against this type of struggle.  The wind and rain combination can cause water to get into your roof, which will cause further damage.

Built-Up Moisture

In areas with a lot of moisture, like the American South, there’s a higher chance of mold, mildew, and rot set in.  Although every roof is built to try and be waterproof, there’s no promise that it will be able to do this.  Instead, water can get in through small cracks and areas where the shingles have warped from thermal cycling and cause rotting, which will make it so that you promptly need to replace your roof.  One of the things you can do to help with this is to get debris off of your roof as soon as possible.  If your gutters aren’t doing their job, you can look at spending a couple of thousand dollars on replacing them since bad gutters are quick to ruin any roof.

Poor Design

Sometimes the reason a roof fails is that it was a poorly designed roof, to begin with.  If your roof was installed before you purchased your home, you probably didn’t get a say in who installed it.  A poorly installed roof is the number one reason why a roof may fail before its time.  Look at who installed your roof before you buy the home, and also consider shopping very carefully for your next roof: don’t just go for a low price.

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