The Roofing Resource Blog

Your Roof Enemies

Thu, May 15, 2014 @ 09:25 AM | Exterior Pro Roofing

There are many enemies for a roof, most of the time we think of the storms, hail, or a tree falling on the roof, but there are actually other enemies for roofs that can cause damage and bring costs to you. Let’s go over these enemies so in the future we can remember to think about our roof and help maintain and protect it better so it can last longer. Knowing how these enemies can cause issues can also help when you are buying a home/building or needing a new roof as well. 

Let’s start with the sun. The heat and UV rays can cause damage to roof materials which is the deterioration that occurs over time that the roof is exposed. This especially during drought seasons or when your roof has all day exposure to the sun. If you do not have trees around this can probably happen sooner when it does not have some relief from the sun.

Rain of course we all know can cause major damage to roofs. The water gets underneath shingles, shakes or other roofing materials and can work its way to the roof deck and cause the structure to rot. Any extra moisture can cause mildew and cause rotting elsewhere in a building including the interior walls as well as exterior, ceiling, insulation and sometimes electric systems.snow, ice, rain, wind damage

Snow and ice, we know that in this area there can always be snow, melting and then suddenly refreezing which causes damage to roofing materials.  It often happens on the roofs overhand forming an ice dam. This causes the proper drainage blockage in the gutter. Water backs up under shingles or other materials and seeps into the interior. When we begin the melting stages, gutters and downspouts are the first to fill with ice and be damaged beyond repair and sometimes even torn off the building. 

Condensation results from the build up of warm, moisture-laden air and when there is poor ventilation in the attic, this will promote decay of the wood sheathing and rafters and possibly can destroy the roof structure. As mentioned in a previous blog, the ventilation can help with condensation and protect your roof structure and other roof components. 


Moss and algaegrow on many things, rocks, trees and even buildings. This means they will especially grown on shingles or shakes and some other roofing materials that are close in elements. They like to grow on moist wood and this is why they will end up on your roof.  Once moss gowns, it holds even more moisture to the roof system also causing rotting. Moss roots also can work their way into the wood deck and structure and seep to inside the attic. Algae browns in any damp shaded area and roof systems. This causes a black green stain and it also retains moisture causing rotting and deterioration. The trees and bushes she be trimmed away from the building to eliminate damp shaded area and gutters should be kept clean. 

Trees and leaves are probably an obvious to many of us also. The branches on trees, let alone the tree itself, can cause scratches and gouge on roofing materials. Especially if trees are close to the building and we have high winds. Many storms and winds we have cause breaking branches to fall or blow to the rooftops. They puncture roofing materials which can cause water to get in and also can cause shingles or shakes to come off. The leaves of course cause the blockage in gutter and drainage systems but they can also cause rotting because leaves hold moisture.

Wind is another that has given many of us damage to our property and home. The high winds can cause shingles to lift around the edges and other roofing materials can also get lifted and the wind can force water and debris underneath roofing materials. The extremely high winds that we can get in Southern Indiana and the tri-state area can also cause extreme damage to your roof on any roofing material.

Now that we have discussed some of the mother nature enemies another few enemies you may not think about because they are on the roof is the shingles and flashing. 

flashing damageFlashing deterioration, sometimes flashing is what leaks and if the flashing is not tight around chimneys, skylights, or vents the water can enter the building and cause damage inside. This should be checked along with your roof and gutter cleaning.

Shingle deterioration, when the shingles are damaged in any way, old or worn out thewaterproofing effectiveness is almost diminished and therefore can cause damage to your roof and interior because they are letting water in, when they begin to look old or are damaged with splits, tears, curled or any other they should be replaced so that you can protect the structure.

old shingles/shakes

Missing and torn shingles is about the same, you need to give attention to your roof if this is apparent because you do not have complete protection from other roof enemies we have gone over. This can cause rotting to many areas of your roof and interior.

You may not be able to control the weather or the climate of your buildings location but you can help maintain your roofing system and make sure that whatever damages to your roof is taken care of as quickly as you can. Sometimes is small and we ignore it until it gets worse and then we have higher replacement costs. It is better to get it done then have more damage to your roof structure and interior.