By Anita Ginsburg
A roof can last a long time, usually decades, without needing to be replaced. However, natural causes like hazardous weather and nearby trees may cause serious damage that means your roof will need to be repaired or replaced earlier than expected. Consider having your roof inspected by a professional roofer, if you experience any of these in your area:
Stormy winds, wind shear, straight-line winds and tornado-type winds can wreak havoc with your roof. All it takes is a sharp gust of wind to hit your roof at just the right angle to cause serious damage. Existing problems from long-term wear and tear or previous windstorms can weaken the roof, removing shingles and loosening downspouts, as well as eroding chimney bricks. When the next high-speed wind comes along, your roof can be severely damaged or blown off.
Repeated bouts of heavy snow or dowsing rain can put significant pressure on a roof. Over time, shingles can break off along with other kinds of structural issues that require immediate repair to keep the problem from getting worse. Water damage leaking in through cracks and missing shingles can do significant damage. Failure to notice the damage or take steps to correct it makes your roof more vulnerable to the next major downpour, which can exacerbate the damage and lead to more costly repairs.
Freezing rain or melting snow can deposit layers of ice on your roof, adding pressure to the structure and damaging the shingles, gutters and downspouts. Depending on the extent of an ice storm or the amount of ice buildup on your house, the damage could be extreme, costing thousands of dollars to repair. While you can't thaw the ice that accumulates on the roof, you can check the damage when it melts and take care of any initial problems right away.
A weak or aging tree near your home can topple without warning, crushing part of your roof and gutter system. Even a sizable tree branch can cause heavy damage by falling on your house and scraping at the shingles or chipping at the chimney. Remove tree limbs that pose a danger to your home as soon as possible. If part of a tree does fall on your home, check for damage and repair it immediately.
While you may be able to handle minor roof repairs yourself, you should plan to hire roofing experts to take care of the bigger problems. They have the know-how and experience, as well as the tools and teamwork, to get your roof back to normal as quickly as possible. Get an inspection for the damage assessment along with a quote for the necessary work. You can then negotiate when and how to get the job done.
Roof problems are not uncommon. Check your roof when you suspect damage, and call roof experts for help when needed. Keep an eye on the elements and how they affect your roof to prevent serious issues in the future.
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. She recommends contacting a roofing professional as soon as you notice roof damage. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.