3 Ways Moisture Can Damage Your Roof

Bad flashing on a roof that needs replacement

Aside from a house fire or other disaster event, moisture is one of the most damaging elements that can affect your roof. Not only can it wear out your shingles, but if it gets inside your house, it can cause even more damage like structural decay and mold growth. The photo above shows flashing that has failed – a sure sign that moisture can enter the home.

Here are the main three ways that moisture can damage your roof.

1. It Can Rot the Interior Roof Structure

Most homes are made of wood. The supports are wood, the floors are wood, and the decking (plywood that holds up your roof) is made of wood. Something you should know about wood is that it absolutely hates moisture. Small amounts of moisture can cause it to warp and bend, while heavy moisture can even lead to rot.

If moisture is allowed inside your home, either from a leaking roof or an improperly installed vent, it could cause serious structural damage to the underside of your roof. Nothing shouts “you need a roof replacement” like a cave in!

2. It Can Cause Mold to Grow

Of course moisture can cause mold to grow, but what does that have to do with my roof? Mold likes to live in locations with three things: darkness, moisture, and food. Well, your attic is dark and if there’s a leak it’s likely damp. So, what about food? Mold eats wood. In fact, mold destroys more wood every year than fires and termites combined! It’s definitely not something you want growing on the underside of your roof. Mold can eat away at the underside of your roof, causing leaks and deterioration.

Mold also likes to spread, so whatever mold is in your attic is likely to make its way into your living area, which can lower your indoor air quality and pose a health risk to you and your family. If possible, it’s just best to keep moisture levels low and avoid mold altogether.

3. It Can Deteriorate the Outside of Your Roof

If you’ve ever seen a picture of the Grand Canyon, you know what water (moisture) is capable of. Excessive moisture from heavy rain—something Pacific Northwesterners know a lot about—can wear away your roof and decrease its lifespan.

Most roofs in the Pacific Northwest are covered with composite shingles. Over time, excessive moisture can wear away the granules and cause them to deteriorate at a faster rate. Have you ever seen sand-like particles in your gutters or downspouts after a heavy rain? That’s the moisture eroding your shingles. If you notice a lot of granules, it could mean it’s time for a new roof.

Tips to Protect Your Roof from Moisture So Don’t Need a Replacement

Moisture is a common problem in the Pacific Northwest. That’s why it’s important to take all possible steps to protect your house and your roof from the harmful effects.

Making sure your attic has proper ventilation will help to remove some of the excess moisture from your attic, keeping mold and rot to a minimum (which is hopefully none). Check your attic regularly for signs of mold or rot, like discoloration or warped boards.

While you’re up in the attic looking for mold and rot, keep an eye out for leaks too. Leaks are the fastest way for moisture to enter your attic and cause damage to your roof. If you find any, make sure they’re repaired right away to avoid any unwanted moisture-related effects.

If you can’t keep up with the moisture in your attic, it could be time to replace your roof. New roofs are more durable and better at keeping out moisture. If you’re tired of endless repairs and gathering pots and pans to catch water, contact the experts at Cloise & Mike Construction for a free roofing estimate.