Lack of maintenance, weather, and aging are common threats to asphalt roofs, but they aren't the only things you need to worry about. Mechanical damage can also lead to shingle damage, even if your roof is perfectly maintained. Here are five causes of mechanical damage you should be aware of:
Foot traffic is an avoidable cause of mechanical damage. Such damage may occur when cleaning, inspecting or repairing the roof, especially when an unskilled or inexperienced person undertakes those activities. Foot traffic can break asphalt shingles, especially those that are already brittle.
Therefore, leave activities that involve walking on the roof to experienced persons. If you must walk on the roof, take these precautions to limit damage:
- Don't walk on the roof when the weather is cold, because shingle brittleness increases during those times.
- Tiptoe and avoid stepping on raised or cupped sections of the roof.
- Avoid walking on shingles with loose granules. The granules may make you slip and fall, causing further damage and injuring yourself. Don't forget that it's not just old roofs that experience granule loss; even new roofs may have loose granules due to installation wear.
You can't prevent hailstorms, but you can prepare your roof to avoid significant hail damage. Dings, cracks, and granule losses are common effects of hail damage. The best protective measure for hail damage is to use impact-resistant shingles during roof installation or replacement. For a roof already in place, the best you can do is to inspect the roof after a hailstorm and repair any damage.
Roof debris causes damage and staining by trapping moisture and encouraging algae and moss growth; thus, it's necessary to keep the roof clean. However, your chosen method of cleaning can cause further roof damage. For example, using a stiff brush or applying too much pressure while cleaning the roof can remove granules from asphalt shingles.
For larger debris, such as fallen leaves, using a soft broom or brush is sufficient. It is best to do this from a well-positioned ladder or when standing from the ground. For small debris, such as algae, stains or dust, washing the roof will do. Hire a professional to do the work if you can't handle it safely.
Falling Tree Branches
Be careful with trees growing near your house, because falling branches can also cause mechanical damage to shingles. Sometimes even whole trees can fall and damage the roof. Therefore, monitor such trees and trim away damaged branches that may fall and damage the roof. The risk of falling branches increases after a storm, so you need to inspect nearby trees after that.
Removing snow from the roof is not only dangerous, but it can also damage the shingles. For example, using a shovel or an inappropriate rake can crack the shingles or strip the granules off them. Instead, use a rake with built-in rollers so that the blades stay safely above the shingles.
For more help, contact a company like K&R Roofing and Gutters.