Your roofing system is your home’s primary defense against the elements. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure its longevity and performance. This includes getting rid of leaves, branches and any other types of debris that can collect on the surface of your roof. They are more than just an eyesore when seen from the curb; they can cause some amount of damage to your roof if not dealt with properly.
We recommend watching out for these types of debris that are the worst at inflicting damage on your roofing system.
High winds and other serious weather occurrences like hurricanes or tornadoes have the strength to break off and carry actual pieces of other houses around you. These include bits of masonry, fencing, antennae and other roof components like asphalt shingles, metal panels, vents and flashings. In comparison, plants, trees and rocks can better withstand windstorms.
Once up in the air, these bits and pieces of building components become high-speed projectiles that can be dangerous and damaging when they collide with your roof and other exterior parts of your home. You can’t protect your roof from getting damaged by flying objects during a storm, which is why you need to get in touch with your local roofing company as soon as possible. With its team’s expertise, these pros can identify all of the damage and perform the necessary repairs.
Hail damage is a common cause of concern for homeowners, even for those with newly installed roofs. Its extent and severity boil down to several factors, all of which comprise the “impact energy” of hail or the amount of energy transferred to the roofing material once a single hailstone hits the roof surface. These factors include:
- Hail Size
Larger hailstones have more impact energy than smaller ones. The bigger they are, the faster they fall. The damage, however, varies depending on the density of the hailstone, angle of impact and the properties of the roofing material.
- Hail Velocity
The hailstone’s size, shape and quality can affect its velocity as it falls from the sky. Impact energy increases as the velocity increases, resulting in extensive roof damage.
- Hail Density
The density of hailstones is an indication of how hard or soft they are. Some tend to be softer and lighter than others, and that is because of air bubbles underneath the layers of ice. While they don’t inflict as much damage as the denser hailstones, they can still leave marks on the roof surface.
- Hail Shape
Most hailstones are round, but some can be irregularly shaped. This can affect how their impact energy transfers to the roofing material they strike. A hailstone with one end that is wider than the other may disperse its impact energy over a larger area. Conversely, the narrower end hitting the roof can create more force, increasing the likelihood of damage.
Keep an eye out on your roof for any signs of hail damage. Heavier and denser hailstones not only cause cracks, but also dislodge the protective granules off the surfaces of the asphalt shingles. Bald patches soon appear, exposing them to the elements that can shorten the lifespan of the whole roof. Depending on the impact energy created when hailstones hit the roof, punctures may also manifest, but won’t be as visible as the other types of damage. If not detected right away, there’s a good chance that moisture can seep through the roof, resulting in leaks.
The surrounding trees on your property provide shade and curb appeal. However, they can also pose a threat to your roof and home during severe windstorms. If they are old and poorly supported, strong winds can either tear away tree branches or cause them to fall and land on your roof. They may not reach the velocity of building components and hail, but they can cause cracks and puncture roof surfaces. After a storm, check for signs of destruction caused by tree branches, be it wood chips or leaves.
It is worth noting, however, that even healthy trees can inflict roof damage. If a tree is close to your house, and it is swaying with the strong wind, its overhanging branches can brush against your roof repeatedly. The bruises they leave will render your roof more susceptible to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, moisture and other elements, shortening its lifespan.
Protecting Your Roof From Debris Damage
While you can’t stop debris from landing on your roof, there are a few effective ways to protect your investment from further damage. Working with a contractor that specializes in roof repair and replacement is always a good start. Scheduling your roof maintenance at least twice a year is recommended to ensure your roof is in good shape.
Another way to protect your roof from the threat of debris damage is to clean your gutters. They may not be as big a part of your home’s exterior as your siding or roof, but they are nonetheless vital. If they are clogged by leaves and other debris, water could spill out onto your siding and landscaping. This can lead to issues on your home’s exterior and foundation. Thus, see to it that your gutters are cleaned regularly. Alternatively, you can invest in gutter guards that allow water runoff into your gutters, but take out unnecessary dirt and debris.
If you have trees around your home, make it a point to trim any overhanging branches. Getting them too close to your roof and home exterior can lead to gutter clogging. Dead leaves and twigs may also collect on your roof, accumulating moisture that promotes organic growth. Experts recommend cutting back the branches at least 6 to 10 feet away from your roof. In doing so, it is less likely for tree limbs to fall on the house itself if knocked off during a windstorm.
At AQ Roofing LLC, we offer the highest quality residential roof replacement, repair and maintenance services. You can also rely on us to provide comprehensive services for your storm damage restoration needs. From preparing your insurance claim to installing new exterior products, we can help you through every phase of your repair project.
Give us a call today at (501) 951-1683, or fill out our contact form to request an estimate.