The roof is that structure in a house which is exposed to maximum stress and strain. It experiences the maximum exposure to natural elements and also has to take the full brunt of the changes in weather and external environmental conditions. It is also the least looked after structure within the house. Most of us go in for wall upgrades like a new coat of paint or maybe an installation of a bathtub or a Jacuzzi in our bathrooms, but how many of us go in for regular roof repair or roof upgrade. I am sure that the last time you must have seen your house roof must have been the time when you had the house constructed, or some time shortly after that. Like any structure, a roof if not maintained properly will deteriorate and gets damaged. In spite of the improvement in roofing designs in recent years, roofs still have a relatively shorter life that the walls. This is a direct result of both the vertical as well as the horizontal stresses that the roof experiences.
The reasons for roof damage are many and cannot all be illustrated here, but the major ones are:-
Extreme environmental conditions prevailing outside like snow, hail storm or gust of wind.
Poor material used in the construction of roof.
Improper shielding from water and direct sunlight.
Presence of hanging trees and branches on a roof.
Lack of proper maintenance during the life of a roof.
Thinner layer than advised in the location where the roof has been installed.
Age of a roof.
Earthquake and other natural disasters.
This list can go on endlessly, but the factors to note here are the ones related to lack of maintenance and exposure to natural elements. Any roof is going to get damaged if not maintained regularly and minor defects not taken care of while they are still minor. Usage of substandard or thin plywood, bad storage of roofing material etc are some of the other causes of roof damage. Any roof which does not receive prompt attention on the occurrence of a flaw is going to develop into a major problem at a later date.
Proper care and maintenance of a roof is essential to ensure its longevity. Care of a roof includes removal of dirt, debris and snow from its surface from time to time. A careful inspection of the roof is warranted periodically and an internal inspection of the wall and the attic close to the roof is required more frequently. Besides personal inspection by the owner, it is also advised to consult a professional roofer from time to time in case the occurrences of a leak and such symptoms are reported frequently. An average roof under normal stress has a life of approximately 15 years. This is however an ideal situation. During this lifetime there might be a few cases of leaks and moisture formation along the wall. These tell tale signs must be taken carefully in order to ensure that they don’t balloon into major causes of concern at a later date. Roofs are to be taken care of and treated like any other structure within a house. If a minor repair is not done promptly then it might lead to a situation where the entire roof might require replacement. Beware of such a situation as it is very damaging to your pocket as well as to your house.