Whether you're shopping for a new house or building your own, knowing your roof's vulnerabilities can help you enact the best maintenance system for your roof and correctly estimate how much you'll need to budget for roof upkeep and repair. Different types of roofing materials have different lifespans, but there are some circumstances that can influence how leak-prone your roof is irrespective of the type of material used. Here are four signs that your roof could be at a higher risk for leaks and should be inspected frequently.
1. It has a "valley"
If your roof has two peaks that slope down to form a "valley" in the middle, the lowest point in the valley will be very susceptible to leaks. This is because gravity, which helps the steep areas of the roof shed water, actually works against this more horizontal area by helping water seep into the roofing materials. The more horizontal your "valley" area is, the more prone to valley leaks it will be.
2. It's low-slope
Low-slope roofs are at risk for leaks for the same reason as valleys are. The shallower your roof's slope is, the more gravity will work to help water seep through the material rather than helping it run down and away from the roof. In addition, "flat" roofs (although no well-built roof is literally flat, since there's a recommended minimum amount of slope to allow for drainage) must have a waterproof seal around the entire roof to function correctly. This adds another component that has potential for failure and can allow water through your roof.
3. It's overhung by trees
Trees can damage your roofing in several ways. Of course, they can cause catastrophic damage if a large portion of the tree falls directly on the roof. But in addition to that, they can cause smaller amounts of damage to an asphalt roof that build up over time by dropping small, light branches and twigs and leaves on the roof. These dislodge the small granules that cover your roofing shingles, which play an essential role in protecting each shingle from deterioration caused by UV rays and rough weather. When these granules wear away and leave the roof exposed, its life can be shortened drastically and leaks can form more easily.
4. Your house is in an exposed area
This is another factor involving roof damage. Wind damage, which frequently leads to leaks, is much more likely if you live in an area where wind can hit your house directly. This is especially true if your house is right in the path of a "wind tunnel" that's channeled between other buildings. Having your house situated in the lee of a larger building can help prevent this type of leak.
These four factors can all influence the likelihood that your roof is prone to leaks. If any of them sound like they might apply to your house, you may want to look into taking precautions (such as removing overhanging trees or building up your low-slope roof to improve drainage).
For more information and assistance, talk with professional roof repair companies, such as Affordable Roof Care.