What Causes a Roof to Go Bad?

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As top Salem roofers, we see plenty of bad roofs each year. Many home and business owners wonder what makes a roof go bad.

Asphalt, PVC membrane, metal, and stone are all very durable products, which can lead home and business owners to question how their roof can go bad. In this post, we’re going to break down some of the biggest enemies Salem roofing contractors face out there. In many cases, the elements can actually be a roof’s biggest enemy!

  • Rain can get underneath roofing materials and cause your plywood decking and insulation to rot. It can also deteriorate the seams of welded roofing materials and break down the binding on the granules of an asphalt roof over long periods of time. Rain is an especially big problem if your roof holds and pools water easily. If your roof pools water, you might consider tapering your roof with a cricket.
  • Wind can lift up on your roofing materials and either tear them off or push debris up underneath them, minimizing the effectiveness of your water barrier. This will allow moisture to seep in and cause rot over time.
  • The sun can also cause problems for your roof. Much like the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause harm to a person’s skin, they can deteriorate your roofing materials. This can lead to aesthetic changes like color fading as well.
  • Trees, branches, leaves, and other debris can scrape your roof, or in some cases even puncture your roofing material. This will allow moisture in and can require a complete re-roofing if enough damage is sustained.
  • Moss and algae growth allow a roof to hold more moisture in addition to staining your roof. This can lead to rot forming much quicker. We wrote an article on protecting your roof from moss and algae growth.

Oregon is a beautiful state, but the rain and trees we have here, while sometimes nice to have, can quickly become a menace to Salem roofers. Ensure no tree branches are scraping your roof and try to keep them trimmed neatly away from your home.

Written by
Terry Slate
Terry is the Vice President of Slate & Slate Roofing and has over 28 years of experience with both residential and commercial roofing. He specializes in metal roofing, composition roofing, and PVC membrane roofing.