Lack of Maintenance
The failure to find and correct minor roof deterioration in the earliest stages is probably the greatest cause of premature roof problems. This is particularly true of roofing materials applied on relatively low-sloped roofs.
All roofing materials deteriorate from exposure to the weather at rates determined largely by the kind of material and the conditions of exposure. In general, inorganic roofing materials tend to deteriorate less rapidly from exposure than organic roofing materials. All types of roofing materials may be damaged by hail. Exposure to air pollutants and industrial or salt-laden atmospheres may accelerate the deterioration process of some roofing materials.
Wind Damage, Storm Damage, Hail Damage
Roofing materials are subject to damage from strong winds and flying debris. Generally, roofs are not designed to withstand winds of hurricane and tornado intensity. However, roofs may also be damaged by winds of moderate intensity, with gust that may reach 50 to 75 miles per hour. The primary cause of wind damage is from the partial vacuum created by wind blowing over the edge of the roof. Nature tries to neutralize the low-pressure area by bringing in air from a higher pressure area, usually from inside the building. This air pushes up on the bottom side of the roof assembly and, over time, loosens fasteners and breaks the adhesion making the roof susceptible to damage from the next moderate or strong wind. To counteract the effects of wind-uplift forces, the roofing and insulation should be adequately fastened to the roof deck, and a securely-fastened perimeter detail should be provided.
Troublesome and costly roofing problems are often the result of faulty initial design of the roof system. Design deficiencies are costly to correct, and usually can only be corrected during roof replacement. However, unless design deficiencies are discovered and corrected during roof repair or re-roofing, the problems relating to them most likely will recur. Some examples of faulty design are:
- Weak roof structures that deflect excessively under load, causing splitting of the roof membrane
- Inadequate roof slope, sagging roof structure, or insufficient number or location of drains, resulting in ponding water
- Inadequate provision for expansion and contraction at changes in deck material or direction, causing membrane splits.
- Incompatible roof materials - i.e. the use of asphalt to adhere a torch-on material
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