The fall season in the USA typically signals the end of the rainy season as storms and hurricanes often occur during spring and summer. Hence, many believe the worst is over once the autumn leaves start falling. That’s usually until the next heavy rain pours, and then many homeowners discover unexpected roof leaks.
So, can fall season damage your roof? The short answer is yes.
Below, we’ll explore the different reasons fall can be just as damaging to a roof as the hurricane season. We’ll also briefly discuss preventative measures to protect your roof and, by extension, your home.
How Can Fall Season Damage Your Roof – 5 Things to Watch Out For
Autumn in the US is from the first of September to the end of November. It falls entirely within the hurricane season, which is from June to November. The peak of hurricane activity, however, usually happens in September. As such, roofs often take a beating at the start of autumn and the resulting damage starts appearing in fall. Additionally, autumn brings other problems that can also lead to water and mold damage.
Here are five examples of fall-related roof damage:
Blocked or Backed-up Gutters
Backed-up gutters are typical in houses surrounded by tall or aging trees. Falling leaves, twigs, and debris on a roof can collect in the gutter drain, causing rainwater to back up the roof instead of flowing through the downspout and into the catchment system (which can be a water storage tank or the public works drainage system). Even gutters with screen covers can get clogged by finer debris particles. Sometimes, wet leaves cover the gutter screens entirely, preventing rainwater from passing.
With rainwater having no place to go, it will usually saturate the roofing materials until moisture makes its way inside the roof system. If there’s a wide enough crack or gap, water will leak through the ceiling or cascade down an interior wall, depending on the crack’s location.
Sometimes backed-up rainwater on a roof doesn’t leak inside the house. While this is fortunate, it is a temporary relief because what could follow is a potentially bigger problem.
Ponding water, or water that has remained on a roof for 48 hours or longer, can weigh down a roof system. If it exceeds the capacity for which the roof system was built, sections of the roof could collapse.
Damage from ponding water emerges in the fall when homeowners forget to inspect their roofs after the hurricane season. Small amounts of water accumulating on the low-sloping or flat areas of the roof system may seem harmless, but over time, ponding water can cause roofs to sag and weaken
Shingles stick together in hot weather and turn brittle when the temperature drops. As a result, shingles that wear out or crack in summer can go unnoticed because the material sticks to the roof and the adjacent shingles. However, the material will begin to shrink and crumble once the weather starts getting colder. The signs of loose, dislodged, and damaged shingles – leaks in the attic, ceiling stains, and sagging – then emerge from autumn to winter.
Like damaged shingles, warped flashing signs often become apparent during the fall. Roof flashing refers to thin, narrow pieces of metal sheets installed to cover the joints or seams in a roof structure. They prevent water from entering the roof system through the joints and seams where roofing materials meet. Cracked, dented, rusted, or punctured flashings cause leaks. In worst cases, the fascia, ridge board, and other wood components rot due to moisture.
Water and Mold Damage
If any of the above occurrences cause a leaky roof, water and mold damage often become inevitable.
Water damage can range from mere discoloration to warping and rotting. Water-damaged sections must be repaired as soon as possible because it can compromise the entire roof system.
Meanwhile, microbial growth can start as early as 72 hours after mold spores come into contact with water. Spores are naturally occurring, microscopic, and can spread through the air, so they are likely inside your home already. However, uncontrolled microbial growth can deteriorate surfaces inside your home.
The deterioration of roof systems accelerates when either mold or water damage occurs. Therefore, to have both at the same time is doubly dangerous because, apart from the roof’s structural weakening, residents might also suffer adverse health reactions due to mold exposure.
Knowing when and how fall season can damage your roof is crucial for preventing it. Preventing the five scenarios in this list is a good start because so many issues can stem from each. An annual roof inspection in the fall will help prevent extensive damage and ensure your roof maximizes its expected lifespan.
Address Roof Damage To Prevent Water and Mold Damage in Your Home
Although roofs are built to last, they naturally weaken with constant exposure to harsh elements. Since the switch-up in temperature and the changes in the natural environment as the fall season in the USA are beyond anyone’s control, it is up to homeowners to initiate preventative measures and timely repairs for roof damage.
Restoration 1 of Minnetonka, an expert water damage restoration and mold remediation company, is the best team to call when your roof shows signs of damage. Our residential property restoration services are top-notch, thanks to our crew of experienced and highly-trained construction professionals. We’ll be happy to service your roof in the fall and throughout the year.
Avoid the stress of a leaky and damaged roof. Call Restoration 1 of Minnetonka at the earliest sign of trouble.