Common causes of roof damage in Nevada

A rainbow over the damaged roof

From caves to makeshift tents to variants that we know today, humans always prioritized having a roof overhead. For tens of thousands of years, it was the best shield we had to protect us from the elements. That basic idea stuck with and evolved with us throughout history. Still, one thing never changed. Roofs were never indestructible. Even today, with all our tech, they remain one of the most exposed and vulnerable parts of our homes. However, in harsh environments, the problem is more evident than anywhere else. And Silver State definitely counts among those. With its scorching summers and freezing winters, an average Nevada roof has quite a lot to endure. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to counter the most common causes of roof damage – if you know what they are. Which is exactly what this guide is aimed at. So, let’s jump right in.

Nothing’s made to last forever

We have to start with one of the most obvious and common causes of roof damage – age. Time catches up to even the finest built and maintained roofs. Wooden beams decay and rot away. Shingles get weaker and more brittle by the day. And as the elements keep beating upon it, they only speed up the natural deterioration process.

A person preventing common causes of roof damage.
With regular maintenance, your roof will last for quite a while. Not forever, though.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it if your roof is old. Even with regular maintenance and repairs, you can only delay the inevitable. However, that doesn’t mean you should just give up on it, right off the bat.

You cannot stop time – but you can slow down the decay rate

There are many ways to protect your roof from the elements and prolong its lifespan. Some of the most effective ones are:

  • Professional roof pressure washing Las Vegas companies offer. Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to increase the longevity of your roof;
  • Applying a protective roof coating. This not only increases its longevity but helps keep the roof protected from heat and UV rays;
  • Scheduling regular inspections. Pros can spot the problems that an untrained eye often misses. Therefore, regular inspections are a must if you want your roof to last as long as possible.

Now, there’s something we must note here. Said activities will help prolong the lifespan of your roof, no doubt about that. However, sometimes, it is just not worth the trouble. Sometimes, the roof may be in such a poor condition, that repairs could easily cost a lot more than a full replacement.

Therefore, before you go down this road, it is best to consult the pros. A reputable contractor or a roof maintenance expert will help you reach the best decision and, in doing so, save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.

The Sun: Enemy No. 1

A silhouette of a bird during sunset.
Nevada’s scorching sun is one of the most common reasons for roof damage.

We all love basking in the warmth of the sun. In fact, that’s one of the prime reasons people are moving to Nevada in the first place. Yet, hardly anyone thinks about what that sunny weather will mean for their homes. Which, needless to say, is a big mistake.

High heat and UV radiation, combined with extremely low humidity can (and will) cause severe roof damage. Shingles are, by far, the most at risk as the combination of said factors will cause them to dry out and deteriorate. Granted, it won’t happen overnight. But, while it is a slow, gradual process – it is inevitable.

Now, we already mentioned one of the ways to save your shingles from premature deteriorationprotective roof coatings. However, it is not the only one. For maximum protection, you should combine it with quality insulation and ventilation. That way, you’ll be covering all the bases and ensuring your roof reaches its full potential.

The elements are merciless

The Sun isn’t the only thing affecting your roof that you have no power over. There are plenty of other elements that will take a crack at your roof. Granted, most of them are seasonal occurrences. Yet, that’s all it takes to ruin a perfectly good roof.

Rains and hail

Nevada is the driest state in the US. Still, that doesn’t mean it is safe from rain. As we witnessed on August 11, 2022, even Las Vegas can suffer greatly under it. Therefore, it is wise not to exclude it as a possibility.

A photo of a roof during heavy rain.
Heavy rain can damage all but the sturdiest of roofs.

Rain is one of the leading causes of roof damage around the globe. Heavy precipitation can easily strip your shingles of protective coating. This leads to forming of unprotected spots, which can cause several problems, such as:

  • Leaks;
  • Moisture;
  • Inefficient UV protection;
  • Pest infestation.

Said problems get even more exasperated, if the rain is heavy, icy, or followed by hail. In this case, preventive methods are the only solution. A regular inspection will help discover hidden issues and give you the chance to fix them before they escalate.

Winds and storms

Strong winds may not be as common in Nevada as they are in some other parts of the US. Still, that doesn’t mean there’s none. Thunderstorms are a regular occurrence during the summer months in every part of the Silver State. So, that’s another thing you should be wary of.

The effects of the strong winds are mostly “reserved” for shingles. The sheer force can lift and misplace them or even blow them off completely. This opens up your roof and home for moisture and critters, as well as dust and debris. You can mitigate this issue by choosing wind-resistant materials for your roof. However, you will still need an inspection after a big storm. Therefore, if you notice some out-of-place shingles, be sure to schedule one ASAP.

Snow and ice

Most people imagine Nevada as a barren desert, where the sun blazes and snow can be seen only in photos. While there is some truth to that, it is not the whole truth. In fact, snow is quite common in Nevada, more so in some areas than others. For instance, Elko sees snowfall on average 33 days a year. Vegas, on the other hand, barely ever does. So, if you live in the latter – this is something you don’t have to worry about too much.

A modern cottage in the snow
Snow is common in some parts of Nevada – and it can be a cause of roof damage.

For those in northern parts of Nevada, though – you’ll have to take the snow and ice effect on roofs into consideration. Especially if the temperature varies often during cold months. The cycle of freezing and thawing allows for small quantities of water to seep under the shingles. There, it re-freezes and lifts them up, thus creating openings in your roof. Therefore, if you live in the north, make sure your roof is sealed tight before the winter hits.

Poor installation can lower the lifespan of your roof

Improper installation is one of the most common causes of roof damage in Nevada. Unfortunately, it is also the one you can’t rectify in full. Well, unless you’re an architect, you’ve built your home from scratch AND were there the whole time to inspect the work quality. Which, for the vast majority, is reaching way too far. It is more realistic to assume that you bought your home pre-built, with all the perks and pitfalls. The latter being the more common.

The sad reality is that a lot of contractors take shortcuts to speed up the work and reduce expenses. Of course, cutting corners leads to subpar results, which translate into low(er) quality roofing. And that only means one thing: the need for frequent and, often, expensive repairs. The only “workaround” here is to hire the most reputable contractor you can find, whether you’re building a new home or repairing an existing one. Experience and professionalism are bases for quality that stand the test of time.

Lack of proper maintenance/inconsistent maintenance

A worker in a safety harness taking care of some common causes of roof damage.
Regular maintenance is the best way to extend the lifespan of your roof.

The roof needs regular maintenance, like any other part of the building. And yet, it rarely receives the attention it needs and deserves. Which, in most cases, opens the door for other problems. The two main mistakes here are:

  1. Inconsistent maintenance. Lack of continuity in roof maintenance is among the most common causes of roof damage. Simply, this area is frequently overlooked when others receive a TLC. Often, owners remember to call for an inspection when the issue(s) blow out of proportion. However, at that point, it is already too late. To avoid excessive repairs or even full replacement, be sure to schedule regular inspections. Once a year will do the trick and keep you safe.
  2. Improper maintenance. The roof is not the part of the house to practice DIY handyman skills on. And, yet, a lot of people do. This is often the case with minor repairs and cleaning roof elements. Solar array maintenance is a prime example of this, as it combines roof mounting with the regular need for cleaning. The thing is, most people have only a vague idea of what should be done. Compared to, say, solar panel cleaning Henderson services, it can only lead to subpar results. What’s worse, it puts one’s well-being, and that of their home as a whole, at risk.

As it stands, both mistakes can lead to major problems that can significantly cut the lifespan of your roof. Therefore, always have pros do your roof inspection, cleaning, repairs, and installation. It is the only way to be certain the job will get done, and done correctly.

Pests are among the common causes of roof damage, too

We already mentioned pests and critters in this article, but mostly as a consequence of other factors. However, pests can be the cause of roof damage, too. The two main culprits here are birds and insects.

Birds can be the bane of a roof’s existence

Several pigeons perching
Although they don’t seem like it, pigeons are a danger to your roof.

Birds, especially pigeons and sparrows, are known to nest in residential areas. However, in doing so, they can create a whole array of problems. First, they won’t shy away from “rearranging” your roof a bit to suit their needs. And, yes, they can even move shingles, although it doesn’t seem so. Second, birds are messy. Their droppings carry more than 60 diseases, some of which can be life-threatening. Third, birds attract all sorts of other critters, such as mice, rats, and squirrels. And they, too, aren’t mindful of your roofing, whatsoever.

Lastly, it doesn’t take long for a single nest to blow into a full infestation. And then, all these problems start growing exponentially. Therefore, if you notice a nest, lots of droppings around your property, or frequent visitors, do not hesitate. Get in touch with Las Vegas pigeon control experts and let them sort the problem out ASAP.

Insects: an unseen calamity

It is hard to imagine something so small being able to do so much damage. Yet – it is more than possible. Insects, or termites, to be specific, can absolutely demolish a roof. And, they can do it in only a few short years. No, we’re not exaggerating. If a colony of termites moves in, your roof is in for a world of hurt. They will eat away at anything wooden on your roof, including the support beams. This not only compromises the structural integrity of your roof but, left unattended, can cause it to collapse.

The biggest problem here is that these little buggers are almost impossible to notice. Well, not until the damage is already done. At which point, you’re in for some heavy repairs. This is why regular inspections are a must. A trained eye will know what to look for and how to deal with the issue most effectively.

Common causes of roof damage are preventable

Exactly! Although no roof lasts forever, you may as well make it seem so. It is all a matter of regular maintenance. So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record: schedule that inspection. It is the best way to catch the problems before they become a problem. And, in doing that, prolong the lifetime of your roof not by a few years – but by a few decades. Definitely worth a few-minute hustle, once a year.

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