Weather and Your Roof
Living in the Midwest means we get our fair share of weather. Tornadoes, wind storms, thunderstorms, and other extreme weather strikes Missouri throughout the year. This can compromise the integrity of roofing systems as these weather conditions blow through. Check out our guide to how bad weather affects your roof and what to do about it.
Why Are Roofs Important?
To understand how bad weather can affect your roofing system, it’s important to understand why a roof is so crucial. A roof is your first layer of defense against the natural elements. A sold roof protects from snow, rain, heat, ice, and hail. It helps keep your home more energy-efficient and protects you from falling debris and other natural elements that might harm you.
When your roof is compromised, it could lead to leaks, mold, mildew, and poor structural integrity. If left neglected, these repairs only become more expensive over time. A sound roof is just as important as having a solid home foundation.
How Weather Affects Roofs
There’s a joke in Missouri: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few hours.” It’s funny because it’s so true – we can experience 4 seasons in one day! Our summers can get hot and humid, our winters intense, and springtime is the perfect time for tornadoes and thunderstorms. Here are a few of the bad weather conditions that could affect your roof.
Living in the Midwest, any season can bring tornadoes and high-speed winds, tearing off shingles or even removing the entire roof. The high wind and rain can do serious damage to rooftops, causing leaks, cracks, and other issues that will worsen over time.
If a tornado or windstorm has hit your home, you will need to keep an eye out for missing or damaged shingles. You should also look for damage to the chimney or flashings and roof gaps. This type of damage can cause more harm to your roof when it rains.
It’s advised to call in an expert for these types of repairs.
Trees can fall on your rooftop at any time, but especially so in the event of strong winds and rains. Large branches can puncture your roof, strip off shingles, or even create large holes that damage the frame of your roof.
Even smaller branches can cause damage. If you have a lot of trees around your property, check for fallen branches after a storm.
Every homeowner in America should be wary of roof damage due to rain. Roofs are meant to protect you from rain, but they’re not totally waterproof. Light rainfall, as well as monsoons and heavy downpours, can cause problems for your roof.
Rain can cause shingles to fall off. This exposes your roof’s underlayments to the elements and can lead to clogged gutters or damaged flashing. This could lead to serious structural damage to the roof.
You should also watch out for standing water on the roof. This can cause mold, mildew, or leaks that damage the structure before you even realize there is a problem.
Wind from tornadoes can be strong, but other storms also create strong winds that do substantial damage to rooftops. Some roofing products are more resistant to high wind speeds, but most are vulnerable to the effects of strong wind.
If you’ve experienced a recent storm, it’s important to inspect your roof for loose shingles, fallen branches, and other signs of damage. The edges of the roof are more susceptible to damage, because the wind does not always hit a roof evenly, so make sure to inspect those.
You would think that snow is harmless to a roof since it melts and eventually just slides off the rooftop. However, some roofs cannot handle the heavy weight that collects on a roof after a heavy snowstorm. If the snow melts and turns to ice, it can create even more of a risk for your roof.
Wet snow is heavier than dry snow, making it more likely to damage or cause the roof to collapse. Remove snowdrifts from your rooftop after a big storm to minimize the risk of snow damage.
Thunderstorms are common here, and they can cause serious damage to rooftops. These storms bring heavy rain, lightning, and strong winds. One lightning strike is enough to cause serious damage to a roof, creating gaping holes, scorching roofing materials, starting a fire, or damaging the attic. A bolt of lightning can even send electricity through the home’s wiring and plumbing.
If lightning strikes your home, check to see if your outlets and circuit breakers are working. Look for damaged wiring, water leaks, and damage to plumbing. An experienced roofing professional can assess the damage and make necessary repairs.
Hailstorms happen often here in the Midwest and can be a major risk to the structure of your roof. Hail can cause cracks and holes in the shingles of your roof and weaken the entire roof.
If these cracks and holes aren’t repaired right away, they can lead to bigger holes or even the risk of the entire roof caving in. Make sure your roofing material is durable and high quality to avoid the risk of damage from a hailstorm.
Extreme cold can cause melting snow to quickly turn into ice. Ice doesn’t cause any noticeable leaks while frozen, but it will eventually melt and could cause moisture damage later on. Therefore, roof damage from ice is more common when temperatures are rising and falling over a short period of time.
After a cold spell, be sure to check the attic for signs of leaking.
Heat and Humidity
Extreme heat can be just as dangerous as major storms. The sun’s UV rays cause shingles to lose their natural oils and dry out quickly. This means that sun exposure can shorten your roof’s lifespan.
Extreme heat can also damage the structural ventilation system of your home. This increases energy bills and makes your home feel warmer. Humidity can cause even more damage as the moisture seeps into the rooftop and allows mold and mildew to grow more quickly.
What Should I Do?
There are a few things you can do to keep your roof in shape to mitigate some of these issues. Regular roof maintenance and inspections are key to prolonging the life and integrity of your roof. We are an experienced roofer and we are here to help you keep the best roof possible over your head. Call us at 636-699-0449 today.