Living in Alabama, one experiences a wide variety of weather conditions, from beautiful sunny days to oversized hail storms. The extreme weather in Alabama can cause serious damage to the roofs of homes that must be addressed. Extensive roof maintenance and upkeep is part of home ownership in Alabama, and this article will break down the different types of damage to look for after each type of poor weather condition. No matter where you call home in Alabama, the weather will come, and if you live in Huntsville for example, you will need to know where to find your local contractor for Huntsville roof repair or even replacement, depending on how bad the weather is.
Alabama Weather Conditions
Alabama weather can be tumultuous. The privilege of having four seasons comes with its problems: intense heat waves, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms throughout summer, tornados in the spring, and hail, snow, and ice storms in the winter. This wide variety of conditions can create a wide variety of damages to homes and the roofs of homes.
Heat waves are certainly a common occurrence in Alabama during the summer months, which many people prepare for with pool parties, popsicles, and heavy air conditioning. In addition to the health concerns of dehydration that come with heat waves, homeowners should also be aware of the toll their roofs are taking from the hot sun.
In dry heat, shingles can become brittle and split or curl at the edges, and asphalt granular degradation can occur. This can result in a loss of flexibility, strength, and durability in your roofing materials. Seals and flashings can also dry out and become brittle, affecting the structural integrity and inviting the possibility of leaks into the home.
Sudden high heat can cause roofing to expand and contract, which can lead to the warping or sagging of its structural components. During or following a heat wave, homeowners should hire an expert to inspect their roofs and provide any necessary repairs to reduce the risk of further damage.
Strong winds, often caused by tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes can create problems for a variety of roof types. They can dislodge, loosen, or break pieces of tile or shingles, especially if they are not secured properly or have not been maintained. These winds can deteriorate asphalt shingles by blowing off the granules.
Strong winds and tornado roof damage also can cause metal roofing panels or fascia boards to be blown loose and pushed out of place by dislodging the hardware that holds them in place. For all of these types of roofs, strong winds create the added concern of debris and objects getting picked up by winds and hitting roofs. This can cause cracks, denting, or other types of breakage of varying degrees that could lead to leaks or collapses.
Severe Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain
Thunderstorms and heavy rains propose a variety of threats to the roofs of our homes. In addition to damages from strong winds caused by thunderstorms, roofs are at high risk of water damage and leaks. Heavy rains can quickly overwhelm the roofing system and seep through cracks.
The weight of built-up water on the roof can cause breakage or worsen existing damage. Water accumulation can also cause metal roofing panels or hardware to rust, and cause wood shingles or other wooden elements to rot and decay. During a rainstorm, be alert and take note of internal leaks that will need future repair. After a storm, check that there are no significant pools of water remaining on the roof without proper drainage and that gutters are cleared of debris to prevent leaks and water damage.
Ice and Hail
Although Alabama does not usually have heavy snow storms more than a light dusting, homeowners should still beware of ice and hail damage to their roofs. Hail in Alabama is most common in the summer, and it has been known to be up to three inches in diameter.
Hail can cause impact damage on roofs, cracking or loosening tiles and shingles. Asphalt shingles can experience granular loss from the impact of hail, causing them to thin, weaken, and lose their UV protection. Larger hail can dent metal roofing panels, or knock structural hardware out of place. After rain in the winter, pooled water can freeze on roofs and in gutters. Ice thawing can wear away at roofing materials and seep through cracks causing leaks.
Alabama homeowners should always monitor their roofs before, during, and after major weather events. Preparation and routine check-ins with roofing professionals are the best ways to prevent damage in extreme weather. Even with regular maintenance, sometimes damage is unavoidable during the most intense weather conditions. Part of being a responsible homeowner in Alabama is to frequently ensure that your roof is in good condition and quickly repair damages when they come.