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August 10, 2023

Common Roofing Problems in Huntsville: How to Address Them

One of the most crucial components of our homes is the roof, which must withstand the elements throughout the year. Other than normal wear and tear, our roofs are vulnerable to a variety of problems that necessitate quick and appropriate repairs.

Keeping our homes safe as a top priority necessitates that we, as homeowners, give serious attention to the condition of our roofs. This article will go over the most common roofing problems in the Huntsville area and provide actionable advice for fixing them.

How the Weather in Huntsville Affects the Roof 

Alabama has some of the hottest summers in the United States, with average highs over 90° F (32 °C) for the whole season. Snow is extremely uncommon in Alabama's mild winters, which are typical of the Southeastern United States as a whole.

In addition, hurricanes and tropical storms frequently bring heavy rain to Alabama when they weaken inland. Roofs are more exposed to the severe weather that Alabama is prone to, especially during large hail storms.

Whether you are a long-time resident or a newcomer, understanding how weather causes roofing difficulties and how to fix them can save you money and property damage. Let's look at some preventative measures you can take to keep your roof in good shape and your home safe from weather-related damage.

The Most Frequent Roofing Problems in Huntsville

Imagine the rain playing "Guess the leak" with your ceiling. Worry not, though; we have everything you need to become a roofing superhero. Learn the signs of roof issues that might lead to leaks and how to repair them with our help.

These problems cause damage to the roof, both apparent and unnoticed, and are a regular result of the heat waves that occur during the summer in Alabama. Homeowners can prevent future damage to their roofs from the following issues by having a professional evaluate them during or after a heat wave.

  • UV ray damage

Your roof is consistently exposed to UV rays from the sun, which causes it to decay or age quickly. Although it also happens during winter or cloudy days, the effect is more severe and harmful during the summer season.

Unknown to you, extreme UV light can damage roof cladding over time. It can cause asphalt shingles to buckle and split while making the oils in your roofing and construction material dissipate.

Popped roof seams and loose screws might be the result of extreme heat, strong sunlight, and expansion and contraction of the roof surface. Skylights, vents, and other openings are particularly vulnerable to this.

Solution:

To prevent UV damage, you can block sun rays with shading by hiring a contractor to install polyurethane foam on top of your roof. It makes your roof waterproof and protects it from the severe sun.

Although insulation is primarily associated with winter, it can also help keep your roof heat-proof in the summertime. Insulation helps in keeping the warmth outside the roof, just like it keeps the heat inside during the winter.

  • Thermal shock

Temperatures during the hot summer days can build up and then quickly decline after the sun goes down. This makes the roofing and construction materials expand and contract, which weakens the entire structural integrity of your roof over time.

When your roof has a dark color and isn't shaded, it can absorb high temperatures. These high temperatures accelerate the chemical processes, making your roof and other elements break down quickly.

This is a common problem for metal roofing as the material can warp out of shape and cause gaps in the seams.

Solution:

Higher sloping roofs prevent thermal shock since lower sloped roofs are fully exposed to sun heat. Since a large part of your roof stays in the sun for a long time, heat damage might occur faster.

Although you can't adjust your roof's slope, it's something to consider for future homes. While you can't stop the sun from shining, you can protect your roof.

  • Faded roof color

Have your shingles started to lose their color? It may be because of the sun. Powerful UV rays can cause discoloration of your roof. This discoloration can further affect the ability of your roof to perform its job well. The color of your roofing material works to reflect the sun's light. It keeps the harmful sun rays from damaging your roof's surface and keeps the inside of your house cool.

Solution:

Roofing materials with lighter colors are less likely to fade over time. Darker roofs tend to get warmer quicker than their lighter counterparts.

Surfaces with white or lighter color shades bounce the sun's rays back into the atmosphere. A cooler home and a longer life for your roof are two benefits of heat reflection.

Roofs are constantly exposed to the forces of nature, with the wind being one of the most formidable elements they have to endure. Strong winds, often caused by tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes, can create problems for a variety of roof types including.

  • Missing, lifted, or Damaged Shingles

Strong winds can shift or damage shingles, which is an easily noticeable effect. Having shingles missing might expose the roof deck underneath, which water can damage and lead to rot.

Reinforced shingles are a good option if you reside in a windy region since they aren't easily blown off. These winds can also cause asphalt shingles to degrade by removing the granules.

ShingleWind rating
3-tab shingles60-75 MPH
Laminate shingles110 MPH

Solution:

To fix missing or damaged shingles, homeowners should inspect their roofs regularly for any signs of wear and tear. Replacing the damaged shingles quickly can prevent water penetration and protect the underlying structure.

When installing shingles, regulations such as the number of nails per shingle should be followed. Using roofing cement or sealant to secure loose shingles can also reinforce their stability.

  • Lifted Flashing

Strong winds can dislodge or otherwise damage flashing, the roofing material used to seal off seams and edging. This creates a space under the flashing where water can seep in and cause leaks.

This is seen in the flashing around skylights, chimneys, and other sources of ventilation. The flashing seal should be inspected and replaced on a regular basis because it might deteriorate with time.

Solution:

Repairing loose flashing or installing new flashing is necessary to keep a roof from leaking. Flashing is more likely to withstand subsequent storms if it is properly secured by roofing experts using the right fasteners and sealants.

  • Gutter and Downspout Damage

When gutters and downspouts come loose from a roof, water can pool and cause structural damage to the building below and discolor the walls. Strong winds often cause leaves to blow off roofs and into gutters and downspouts, where they can become a clogging nuisance.

Solution:

For efficient water flow, gutters must be cleared of debris on a regular basis. The risk of damage from wind can be reduced by employing gutter guards to keep them clear and by tightening the connections between the gutters and the downspouts.

  • Roof Deck and Structure Integrity

Strong winds can put stress on the entire roof, weakening the trusses and rafters and possibly even lifting the roof deck. When winds exert a greater force on one side of a roof, the entire roof structure is put under stress and not just from the weight of the roof itself.

Additionally, strong winds can elevate the underside of your roof, increasing the likelihood that it will be ripped off entirely.

Solution:

If you have any doubts about the roof's stability, you should get an expert's opinion. Using hurricane straps or clips to reinforce the roof's framework might considerably lessen the likelihood of structural damage during future wind events.

Depending on the source, water damage might happen quickly or slowly. Over time, water that pools and collects on your roof can work its way through the roofing material and into your home.

This buildup could occur for a number of reasons, including a blocked gutter or vent. Preventing water accumulation will save you the trouble and expense of repairing structural damage to your property.

  • Storm Damage

A roof and its components could be damaged if nearby trees or branches were to fall during a strong downpour. There could be leaks if the shingles or gutters are damaged or if cracks are formed in the roof from falling debris.

Water accumulation on the roof increases the risk of structural failure or makes any existing problems worse. When water collects on a roof, it can rust metal panels or fittings and destroy the roof deck or other wooden components.

Solution

Keep an eye out for any hidden leaks within the house during a storm. It's important to make sure the gutters are clear of debris and that there aren't any large pools of water left on the roof without drainage after a storm.

You may have a more serious gutter problem on your hands if you see your gutters drooping or overflowing. You should also be wary of and remove any adjacent dead or weakened trees or branches that could fall on your roof.

  • Ice and Hail

Homeowners in Alabama should be wary of ice and hail damage to their roofs even though the state rarely has snow storms heavier than a dusting. Hail can cause impact damage to roofs, breaking tiles and shingles or causing them to loosen and fall off.

It can also cause granule loss on asphalt shingles, which can make them thinner, weaker, and less effective against the sun's rays. In addition to denting metal roof panels, larger hail can dislodge and damage structural components like satellite dishes.

Solution

Clean up and check for damaged or missing shingles after the storm. If your roof has warped or buckled shingles, water damage is probable.

Check the flashing, roof fittings, and other roof components for damage after a hailstorm. If your roof is damaged by a violent storm, consider hiring a storm damage restoration professional.

4. High humidity problems

A commercial or residential roof is particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of extreme heat and humidity. Roofs are especially vulnerable to retaining moisture in regions where the summers are humid, and the roof has expanded owing to elevated temperatures.

  • Moisture Retention

Leaks are common in spring due to spring rainfall. The sooner trapped moisture is removed, the less probable leaks will occur.

Dampness might also result from trapped wet leaves and other plant debris on the roof. As plant matter rots, it attracts air moisture and spreads it over your shingles.

  • Mold and moss growth

Extreme humidity is a common side effect of high temperatures. Summer condensation between shingles and underlayment can cause leaks.

Mold can spread and harm your family if allowed to grow in wet environments. Moss growth weakens the roof's structure and causes roof leaks and interior dampness.

  • Ventilation Damage

Many homeowners overlook the importance of attic ventilation to roof health. If your attic doesn't have enough ventilation, heat may blister your roof's shingles.

Ventilation can deteriorate over time, so homeowners should have a roofing specialist evaluate the attic ventilation system every two years. Check the ventilation system if your attic is particularly warm.

Solution

You can install intake vents and exhaust vents to protect against roof damage caused by summer heat. These vents prevent trapped heat, mold, and moisture.

If any ventilation is damaged, you may have to replace it and mitigate the causes of the ventilation damage by hiring professionals to inspect your roof and fix it for moisture damage and leaks.

This is especially important in Huntsville, where summer temperatures and humidity are above average. If your roof is covered in moss, you should get rid of it as quickly as possible.

Signs You Need A Roof Inspection After A Storm

Don't know how bad the storm hit your house? High winds, heavy rain, hail, and flying debris may do a lot of damage, so it's important to assess the state of your roof after a storm. Some problems, like missing shingles or leaks, may be easy to spot, but others will require the expertise of a professional.

The costs of fixing the resulting structural damage and inconvenience caused by ignoring these warnings could add up quickly. To keep your roof in good condition after a storm, it is crucial to recognize the early warning signs and to fix any problems as soon as possible.

Keeping your roof in good condition throughout the years requires preventative maintenance and the hiring of experts when problems arise. Keep in mind that a roof that has been properly maintained will serve to both protect your investment and increase its worth.

Southern Roofing Solutions

Southern Roofing Solutions specializes in providing 
roofing services to residential and commercial properties 
in the Huntsville area. Our services include Roof Installation, 
Roof Repair, Roof Maintenance, and Roof Replacement.
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