How Moisture Affects Roofing Materials

Water Is Your Roof's Worst Enemy

When it comes to roof damage, excessive moisture is one of the most common culprits. As one of the most destructive elements, water is the last thing you want getting into your roofing materials. Many people assume that because we live in Arizona, we don't have to worry about moisture. However, as you well know, we get our fair share of rain during the monsoon season (June through September). During this period, we receive most of our rain and experience above-average temperatures. This combination can wreak havoc on your roofing materials, leading to significant damage.

But, you are not powerless. There are things you can do to protect your roof. Below we review how you can help protect your roof from moisture and what to do if you notice signs of wear or damage.

How to Protect Your Roof from Moisture

Our customers often ask how to protect their roofs from water damage. This can be tricky, especially since it's our roof's job to protect our homes from the weather, and naturally, our roofs are exposed. The good news is that your roof is designed to withstand inclement weather, and water protection is built into how your roof is manufactured and installed. Roofing materials are chosen, treated, and manufactured to put up with a certain amount of exposure to water.

When it comes to putting the roof on your home, it is installed in layers and sealed. These layers (including the roof membrane, shingles, drainage system, and flashing) all work together to keep water flowing off and away from your roof. Consequently, your roof is unlikely to suffer from water damage unless it is in disrepair or a particularly nasty storm comes through.

Signs your roof is suffering from water damage include:

  • Moss, algae, or other plant life is growing on your roof
  • Signs of mold and mildew on your roof or inside your attic
  • Musty smells inside your attic or crawlspace
  • Excess moisture in your home, attic, or crawlspace
  • Rotting or decaying shingles
  • Rusted flashing
  • Signs of a leak inside your home
  • Pooling water on your roof

The biggest issues when it comes to moisture and water damage on your roof is when water gets inside the layers of your roof or when it gets trapped and cannot drain. When water is left to sit, it can cause your roofing materials to degrade and come apart. Additionally, because it is so hot in Arizona when water molecules get trapped inside your roofing materials, they expand in the heat, causing further damage to your roof.

Review our blog to learn more about how heat and the sun impact your roof.

#1: Keep Your Roof Drainage System Clear of Debris

One of the best ways to keep water from pooling or collecting on your roof is to ensure that your roof's drainage system is flowing freely. This is a relatively easy task. Most drainage systems encounter trouble when debris, such as leaves, builds up on the roof, creating dams and clogs. When this happens, water gets pushed back up into your roofing materials, threatening the integrity of your roofing system. Simply keeping your roof clear of debris will do wonders in keeping water flowing off and away from your roof.

We recommend you inspect your roof and clear it off every 3 to 4 months. However, during monsoon season, you may find that you need to clear it off more frequently. The more often you clean your roof, the easier and faster it will be in the future.

Note: if your roof has a high pitch or your home is several stories, you may want to leave roof cleaning to the professionals. For guidance on how to clean your roof, reach out to Lyons Roofing for help. We are happy to assist you.

#2: Make Sure Your Attic Is Well-Ventilated

In addition to trapped or pooling water, another major roofing issue is when moisture can't evaporate. If you're having moisture issues, and it's getting trapped as condensation inside your attic, crawlspace, or roofing materials, it can fester, allowing mold, mildew, algae, and moss growth. By improving your attic ventilation, you enhance the flow of air on the underside of your roof, helping moisture and condensation evaporate away. This can also help stop trapped water from superheating and expanding, both leading to a deterioration of your roofing materials.

An easy way to improve your roof's ventilation is by installing a solar attic fan. These fans are quiet, unobtrusive, quick to install, and don't cost a ton of money. Give us a call to find out if this is the right answer for you.

#3: Stick to Your Roofing Maintenance Schedule

So, you've kept your roof clear of debris and know your attic is well-ventilated. Is there anything else you can do? There sure is! A roof in good condition is much less likely to be affected by moisture or water damage. Therefore, sticking to your annual roof inspection and maintenance routine will go a long way in keeping your roof in stellar condition.

During your roof inspection, our professional roofers will go over your entire roof, looking for signs of damage, wear, and tear. If we find anything, we will review your repair options and help you pick the best services that suit your needs and budget.

If you are concerned that your roof has been damaged by moisture, call Lyons Roofing for professional help.