Although age is the main reason to replace or repair a roof, shingles can also be damaged before they reach the end of their working life. Knowing some of the main causes of shingle damage can help you be more proactive when it comes to repairs.
1. Wind Damage
Wind may be the biggest culprit when it comes to most minor shingle damages. If the wind hits the roof at just the right angle, it can lift up and ruffle shingles so they don't lie flat anymore. In extreme cases, the wind can tear the shingles right off the roof. Always check your roof after windy days to make sure there is no shingle damage.
2. Overhanging Trees
A tree overhanging your home may provide shade, but those branches will scrape against the roof and eventually tear off shingles or at least cause some damage. The best course of action is to trim back tree branches so they won't reach the roof, no matter how hard the wind whips around the tree's branches. Falling branches can still cause damage though, so inspect the roof periodically in good weather and after every storm.
3. Snow Removal
Heavy snow loads on a roof pose their own hazard, as the excess weight can lead to roof collapse. Removal is necessary but care must be taken so shingles aren't pulled off. When using a snow rake, only pull downward and never push upward with its blade. Pushing upward can lift up and break shingles. Better yet, contact a roofer to see if they offer safe snow removal services.
4. Hail Storms
Hail damage on shingles can be invisible if you don't know what to look for. Hail stones may sometimes crack or tear off a shingle, but it's more likely that the hail will knock loose the protective granule coating on the shingles so they are no longer as weatherproof. If shingles have shiny or smooth spots after a hail storm, then it's time to schedule repairs.
5. Roof Traffic
Walking on the roof for any reason increases the chances of shingle damage. If work must be done on the roof, such as a chimney repair, it's best to consult with a roofer about safe access instead of trying to do it yourself. Of course, it's not just human foot traffic that can cause shingle damage. Animals like raccoons and squirrels will sometimes pull up shingles, so you must keep an eye out for problems even if you never walk on your roof.
Contact a shingle repair service immediately if you notice loose or missing shingles.
To learn more, contact a company like United Roofing & Restoration Inc.