Part 1: What Causes Roofing Emergencies – A Quick Guide to Roofing Emergencies

By Stacy Mellete

Roofing emergencies are stressful. Your possessions and even your safety can be at risk. It is important that you learn to recognize the signs that can lead to roof issues so you can avoid having a roofing emergency.

The ability to spot a roofing emergency is a crucial first step because it allows you to take early action and prevent the situation from escalating. Let’s start with the most common causes of roofing emergencies.

• Inclement weather. The vast majority of roofing emergencies are caused by hurricanes, high winds, hailstorms and other inclement weather events. (We’ll cover this in more detail in Part 3.) Even fluctuations in extreme temperatures can result in significant roof damage and roof repairs.

• Animal damage. Squirrels, raccoons, rats, birds and other small animals can cause extensive damage to a roof. While the most common issues they cause are water damage and torn insulation, an infestation can also constitute a major fire hazard if the animals gnaw through electrical wiring.

• Blocked drainage. Ponding is an issue most commonly associated with flat roofs, and its primary cause is a blocked drainage system. Ponding weakens the roof material over time and may result in roof failure if not addressed early.

• Other causes: Impact (e.g. from falling tree branches), fire, earthquakes, roof age, etc.

While these causes may seem obvious, the resultant damage isn’t always easy to spot. Homeowners think of roofing emergencies as events where, say, a section of the roof develops a massive leak during a rainstorm and the water comes pouring in.

What they don’t realize is that the weather itself isn’t always the actual cause of the emergency. In fact, you may already have an impending roofing emergency and not even know it.

So if some roofing emergencies develop over time, what can you do to keep them from getting worse? Stick around for Part Two of this blog series to find out.

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