Causes of Structural Roof Failures

There is a reason that “having a roof over your head” is such a common expression. There is no part of any structure that is more important than the roof. It protects you, your family, and your possession from rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation. It also offers protection from intense sunlight. A building without a roof is not a building, it’s a courtyard. It’s important to have a sturdy roof built as well as maintain it. Monitoring a roof is a vital task. There are several things that can cause it to fail structurally.

Roof Drainage Changes

Like anything else, roofs change over time. This is why structural health monitoring is a good idea. The drainage of any roof is an essential part of its design. When water collects and sits on a roof, it can cause corrosion and damage that will eventually lead to leaks. The weight of excess water can also put a strain on the support structure and may collapse a section of the roof. Drains and gutters should be inspected periodically to make sure they are not clogged and water can flow freely off the roof.

Water Deterioration

If there has been any standing water on the roof for too long a period of time, it can cause a structural failure. Bacteria and mold grow on damp services. They can attack shingles and wood, damaging the structure and compromising its integrity. Excess water can rust and corrode metal roof structures, weakening them as well. Look for signs of water deterioration so they can be dealt with before they become a major problem.

New Construction Nearby

When additional buildings are constructed adjacent to or near an existing structure, there is the possibility of water drainage off the new roof onto the older one. If this happens, your roof may be exposed to a greater volume of water than it was designed to efficiently drain. When a new building goes up, check to see whether it drains onto your roof and upgrade your drainage system or roof structure accordingly.

Addition of Insulation Changing Runoff

Installing additional insulation under your roof is a good idea for saving energy used to heat the building. This can, however, have an impact on the roof. Some heat escaping helps to melt snow and ice and allows the water to run off. If you upgrade your insulation, check the effect it has on your roof.

The roof of any building is one of its most important structures. Structural roof failure is not uncommon. By monitoring your roof you can stay ahead of any potential problems and fix them before they become too big.

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