Roofs are pretty amazing if you stop to think about it. After all, they’re the first level of defense between you and everything that falls from the sky, and they do it all day, every day in every kind of weather. While we’ve touched on the subject of why roofing materials wear out, we haven’t gone over all of the reasons that you’ll eventually have to invest in new roof installation. Let’s take a look at why Roofing Companies stay in business…because entropy happens!
White light might heat up shingles (more on that in a moment), but that’s not the part that’s directly affecting the molecules of the shingles. It’s the UV rays that are actually breaking apart the molecules as they sit out in the sun. After all, UV light is the kind that can penetrate deep and destroy cells, whether it’s a human’s skin or a plastic chair that’s left out on the deck all winter. Once you break apart a shingle’s cells, they become brittle and easier to crack if something hits it.
Many roofs are black or some other dark color, whether it’s dark gray, dark green, or dark red. Think about it…when’s the last time you saw white or baby blue shingles? In most areas of the country this is to absorb the sun’s rays in order to heat the home and melt snow. But absorbing all that heat during the day means that the shingles are expanding. Once the sun goes down or the weather suddenly turns cold, the shingles contract. If that happened occasionally, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. But to some degree this happens every day, which means that asphalt shingles are stretching all the time. Combine that with the breakdown of the molecules that we mentioned above and eventually the shingles will start to fall apart.
Of course, heat and UV rays are also affecting the adhesive in an asphalt shingle. The adhesive is keeping the granules attached to the shingle sheet. That’s when it detaches and simply washes away during a rain. And speaking of rain…
At first it might be difficult to believe that rain could affect something as hard as a shingle. But there are examples all around of what happens when trillions of raindrops get together to do damage: floods, hurricanes, and thunderstorms that can absolutely destroy home. So it should come as no surprise that all of those raindrops hitting your roof incessantly during a storm can eventually wear down the shingles. After all, if an ocean can wear boulders into a sandy beach, the raindrops can ruin your roof.
Say the word hail and the word damage immediately comes to some people’s minds. Often it’s associated with getting a good deal on a hail-damaged car, but it can also mean that’s it’s time for your insurance company to buy you a new roof!
Depending on the age of your roof, it doesn’t take very big hail to damage a roof. Sure, brand new roofs might require golfballs-sized hail in order to damage the shingles, but old shingles can be damaged by run-of-the-mill hail that you might not even think twice about until you notice just how many shingle granules show up at the bottom of your drain pipes. When that happens, it’s a good idea to contact a roofing company so that they can perform an inspection.
One of the most common ways that shingles are destroyed is by high winds. Sometimes a roof is old enough and has suffered so much from the above problems that the shingle is torn right off, often torn right in two. Other times the wind can lift shingles so much that they bend, which then means that water can get up under them, freeze and expand, and cause the shingles to become even more damaged.
When it comes to wind, it’s not as gradual a change as it is with rain or UV damage. When wind takes a shingle, it’s there one second and gone the next. Once one shingle is gone, it’s important to call someone for shingle repair…because a missing shingle often leads to more missing shingles.
Sure, tornados are a type of wind, but they certainly require their own category!
When a tornado comes to down, much more is going to be destroyed than just some shingles. Sure, shingles will be torn off, but entire houses will also be long. And it’s not just the winds themselves, but what they throw around. Branches, car parts, and everything else will be flying through the air, causing the need for siding repair and gutter repair as well. Of course, roofs are also destroyed by…
Trees are great. We love trees, and we think that you should plant more of them. But sometimes trees are planted too close to a home, and as they get bigger they begin to loom over the roof. Eventually something comes along to make a branch fall off — lighting, high winds, or, hey, a tornado — and it suddenly it rips off some shingles (and hopefully doesn’t destroy the entire roof). When that happens, it’s time to call your insurance agent and a Roofing Company.
While we’ve mostly been talking about traditional asphalt shingles, there’s one way that slate shingles can be damaged that won’t hurt asphalt shingles: feet. It takes a special skill in order to walk on a slate roof, because they’re put together in such a different way. If you have a slate roof, make sure you call a specialist (like us) to work on it. Otherwise, simply walking on it wrong could cause shingles to break.
Fire can destroy a roof in many ways. Sometimes it’s something that goes up the chimney and comes back down, like a piece of paper that shouldn’t have been thrown in the fire in the first place. While traditional shingle roofs have some level of fire retardant, they’re still made from asphalt, which is made from oil. Fire can also be a problem if the house is burning from the inside; not the most common way a house is destroyed in today’s world, but house fires do still happen. If the fire reaches the attic, there’s no doubt that all layer of the roof — the plywood, water barrier, and shingles — will all need replacing.
As you can see, water, earth, wind, and fire (and feet!) are all against your shingles. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on them, because one missing shingles can cause a domino effect that could damage the unlying parts of your roof. When your shingles are damaged, call a roofing company and get it taken care of as soon as possible!