Rainy Day Exteriors
How Weather Impacts Your Roof
In the Pacific Northwest, we are known for our rain, but we also experience warm summers and other unique weather patterns, and our roofs work hard to keep the weather outside. Weather can impact the roof of your home in Gig Harbor, Tacoma, or Port Orchard in many ways, especially as your roof ages.
Here’s how our common weather conditions impact your roof.
Rain is a common occurrence in Western Washington, but it’s not to be underestimated. It’s the most common reason homeowners start to see leaks, and when these leaks go unnoticed that is when the damage is done.
Heavy rainfall will naturally head right for the weak spots on your roof – like that flashing that wasn’t looking too hot when you did your last inspection.
The ongoing, consistent rain that we see is often more of an issue because it can easily pool on rooftops or will settle in any moss or tree branches left on your roof. The moss then acts like a sponge and holds the water on your roof for a prolonged period of time.
With all the rain we get, it is easy to forget that when it’s sunny, your roof is at risk. Sunlight exposes your roof to ultraviolet rays, and long-term exposure to sun and UV rays can cause shingles to become brittle and crack. In the Pacific Northwest, this typically happens to roofs that are 15-20 years old.
Strong winds can be very damaging to homes, and it doesn’t have to be a hurricane for the wind to cause damage to your roof.
During a windstorm, gusts of wind or sustained wind will loosen or lift your shingles. This can cause large patches of the roof to be exposed, or it can leave your shingles cracked.
After a windstorm, wait for the storm to pass and be sure your roof is safe to access. Then do a visual inspection, and if you notice missing or cracked shingles, get them replaced immediately. Replacing shingles is something you can do yourself, but the important thing is to protect your roof before any real damage is done.
Snow isn’t as common in our part of the country, but we occasionally get significant amounts of snow. After a period of significant snowfall, it is important that you inspect and remove any snow or ice buildup along the edges of your roof. The weight of the snow can damage your roof as well as your gutters.
Hail is uncommon, but when it hits, it can cause serious damage. It is more likely to do damage to your windows or damage siding, but hail does have the power to crack metal roofing sheets and loosen or break wooden or asphalt shingles. If we experience a damaging hailstorm, we recommend you have a professional inspect the damage. This is because the hail can cause structural damage that is not easy for a DIYer to notice.
Keeping the weather outside is a big job, and your roof works hard to keep you and your family warm and dry in the winter and cool and protected in the summer. Be sure you keep up with your routine maintenance so that the next time any wild weather decides to appear, you will know your covered. And if you need help, give us a call. We would be happy to help.