7 Common Causes of Roof Damage

Roof Damage kansas city

Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements, safeguarding your property so it retains top value. When you have roof damage, it’s something to address quickly and thoroughly. Of course, it’s best to avoid problems in the first place—and knowing what to look for is key to prevention. 

Read on to learn what causes your roof to wear out, so you can be proactive in handling issues before they grow worse.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Damage to a Roof?

To avoid problems, you’ll want to examine your roof regularly to spot these 7 concerns early.

1. Aging Roof Materials

Every roof eventually wears down due to age. Check your manufacturer’s warranty for details—but on average, asphalt shingles last 20 years, polymer 50 years, metal 30-60 years, and tile 30-40 years. As your roof approaches the end of its lifespan, it shows damage and invites leaks—which means it’s time for a replacement.

2. Wind, Hail, and Other Storm Effects

High winds and tornadic weather can tear roof shingles right off, exposing the vulnerable structure underneath. Hail can crack tile or asphalt shingles, letting moisture sneak underneath to create wood rot. Flying debris and fallen tree limbs can break roof beams and create holes that expose your attic. Anytime a storm comes through, check your roof for signs of harm.

Tip: Storm damage is often covered by homeowners insurance. Take photos of any damage you see, and check with your insurance agent and roofer to coordinate claims.

3. Ice Dams

Snow and ice are a powerful enemy to roofing. An overly heavy snowfall can make shingles buckle, but the more common challenge results from ice dams—large chunks of ice that form at the edge of your roof as snow melts and then refreezes. The longer ice dams are allowed to form, the worse moisture leaks can get. New roofing provides insulation to help prevent ice dams.

4. Lack of Maintenance & Timely Repairs

While roofing isn’t typically a high-maintenance home feature, it does need a little care now and then. Trees should be trimmed to prevent limbs from scraping your asphalt shingles. Gutters should be properly cared for. Missing roof elements should be replaced, and anything that’s loose should be secured. Failing to do so when the problem is small is a sure way to face more significant and costly roof damage. 

5. Walking on the Roof

While it can be tempting to climb atop your home to clear gutters and remove stray tree branches, this can damage your roof. If your shoes are spiked, they can puncture asphalt shingles. Even if your shoes are smooth, you can dislodge the protective granules that help your roofing resist weather damage. Getting atop the roof is best left for professionals who have the right equipment and training to do it safely. 

6. Faulty Gutters and Moisture Intrusion

To ensure your roof performs at its best, your gutters also must be working properly—because this is how water is removed from your roof safely. If gutters are misaligned, crooked, bent, broken, or clogged, where does the water go? It stays on your roof, finding little crevices where moisture can sneak in. The resulting mold, mildew, and wood rot damage your attic and weaken your roofing system.  

7. Pest Infestations

If your roofing is worn or broken in spots, critters can sneak in to make nests. From rodents and squirrels digging shingles out of place, to termites and carpenter ants eating away at support beams, roofing issues grow worse if pests are involved. If you spot signs of nesting in your attic, call a pest removal company to treat the issue—and fix areas of your roof that are vulnerable.

Enjoy Peace of Mind with a Strong, Lasting New Roof from Smart Exteriors

Maintenance and prevention play key roles in helping your roof protect your home—but sometimes, storm damage, age, and other problems crop up. And when they do, it’s important to address the issues they cause. That means it’s time to turn to local pros who deliver trusted solutions for your Kansas City area home.

At Smart Exteriors, we go above and beyond to ensure your roofing is installed properly and resistant to the elements. We even offer a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty on every job we do. See how we can help you enjoy a beautiful, high-performing roof for your home.