The Importance of Roofing Maintenance to the Integrity of Your Home
Many homeowners take their roofs for granted and overlook its incredible importance in protecting and maintaining the structure of their home. This protection extends far beyond the obvious shielding from wind and weather. Some of the elements of your home protected by your roof may even surprise you. It is vital to ensure the quality and maintenance of your roof so it can continue to protect your home and valuables year after year.
Rain and Weather Shield
Your roof is your home’s primary defensive layer against wind and precipitation. No other part of your home is really built to handle a bombardment of hail or rain. This is particularly true of siding and windows. When your roof has leaks or drainage problems, water can run down the side of your exterior walls. This may not seem like that big of an issue. After all, the water is still outside. It isn’t damaging your home’s interior. Except that exterior siding is only slightly more durable than interior walls when it comes to weather and water. If water exposure is not stopped quickly, the siding is likely to rot and buckle or come loose and expose the even more valuable layers underneath.
Protection from Heat and Sun
In hotter climates, sun exposure may be even more of a problem than inclement weather. Your roof is also your primary defense against the heat—so long as it is properly designed for your climate. A roof built to withstand heat and sun will likely be made of clay tiles, slate or a similarly sun-resistant material. These materials can not only resist damage from direct sun exposure but also tend to insulate the house better against ambient heat.
The common asphalt roof is typically less durable in the sun for two reasons. First, asphalt will break down under direct exposure to UV radiation. Most asphalt roofs are coated with materials to help reflect this radiation, but if that protective coating gets damaged or worn, asphalt shingles may literally disintegrate off the roof. Second, asphalt shingles tend to be darker in color and are more likely to get very hot. This can pose a problem in certain situations. A superheated roof is vulnerable to damage from sudden summer showers, and it is harder to keep the under layers of the roof and the attic cool.
A roof built for hot climates may have some under layers that help to protect from the heat. This includes insulation or thermal reflective barriers. These primarily serve to keep the attic space cool, which is very important for the rest of the house. When an attic gets too hot, it becomes much harder to keep the interior of the house cool and comfortable. The extreme heat may also cause rafters and other parts of the roof support structure to warp over time.
Protecting the Foundation
Your roof literally protects your home from top to bottom, and that includes the foundation. A properly designed roof and drainage system work together to shed water away from your home. This is vital to ensuring the integrity of the foundation and thus the rest of the structure.
Water is your foundation’s number one enemy. When water soaks too close to the foundation, it can cause all sorts of problems. The water slowly compromises the concrete and seeps inside. When the foundation becomes compromised, it usually results in flooded basements and water damage. If the foundation begins to fail, it could compromise the integrity and the safety of the entire home. Protecting the foundation from this threat begins with a roof that properly diverts rainwater and snow melt to a safe distance from the foundation.
Keeping your roof in good condition can prevent much more costly damage to the rest of your home. Roofing experts in Colorado Springs can help you through maintenance, repairs and replacement services. Through a preventative approach, you can ensure that your roof remains a reliable source of protection for your home and family.
Cool Roofs, U.S. Department of Energy
Insulation, U.S. Department of Energy