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4 Causes of Premature Roof Failure

August 9, 2023 | 3 min. read

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You’ve invested a lot of money into your roof. So, it’s incredibly frustrating when a roof that’s supposed to last 20-25 years fails after 10.

Premature roof failure is common in the roofing industry. But there are ways to avoid it – so you can truly maximize your roof’s lifespan.

Rescue My Roof has served homeowners for over a decade, helping them keep their homes and families safe. That’s why we’re here to help you get ahead of premature roof failure.

Understanding the factors contributing to early roof failure can help you take preventative steps to extend your roof’s lifespan and ensure its longevity. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of premature roof failure and provide insights into how to prevent them.

The 4 Causes of Early Roof Failure

Premature roof failure is daunting – but it’s preventable. Here are some issues that lead to premature roof failure and how to prevent them. 

1. Poor Installation

Poorly installed asphalt shingles with asphalt shingles overlapping in the roof's valley.

Improper or poor roof installation is the most common cause of roof failure. Improper installation is caused by lazy contractors, using shortcuts to cut costs, or not caring about doing the job correctly. 

Paying for a roof replacement is not only frustrating, but it’s not feasible for some families to spend thousands of dollars on a new roof. Finding the cheapest contractor in your area may feel like a blessing – but it can lead to more pain in the long run. You’re more likely to run into the issue of improper installation and premature roof failure. 

But if the roof wasn’t installed correctly, it doesn’t mean the roofing contractor did anything with malicious intent. Roofing contractors are humans, too, and mistakes are inevitable. As long as you hire a reputable contractor, the issues should be covered by their workmanship warranty. 

2. Lack of Maintenance

The next cause of premature roof failure is neglecting your roof as it ages by not doing roof maintenance.

Without annual maintenance inspections, you could have minor issues that snowball into major ones. This leads to spending hundreds or possibly thousands on repairs, and it can also mean investing in a new roof before you should need one.  

Moss and leaves sitting in a roof valley.

A lack of maintenance can also lead to roof failure by allowing debris to sit on your roof. It leads to leaks, and debris can damage your shingles. Sitting debris retains moisture, saturating the shingles and shortening their lifespan. 

Just by following simple preventative measures, roof maintenance can save thousands of dollars. It also ensures you get the most out of your roof and avoid premature roof failure.

Here are some roof maintenance tips to follow. 

3. Inadequate Attic Ventilation

Ventilation on your roof is designed so that hot, humid air does not get trapped in your attic space. Intake and exhaust vents allow air to circulate through your attic, keeping everything dry and your roof at an even temperature.

When you need more intake or exhaust vents or have insulation blocking the vents you do have, it can be a recipe for disaster.

You can face mold and mildew growth, increased risk for ice dams, extreme home temperatures, water damage, and so much more. Inefficient ventilation will also drastically shorten your roof’s life. 

In the summer, poor attic ventilation burns your roof from the built-up heat. The extreme heat causes the adhesives in the decking to deteriorate, and your shingles will crack and curl. 

In the winter, condensation forms from the heat and moisture that travels from your home’s interior to the cold attic. The condensation leads to swelling in your roof decking, creating a wavy roof. 

The decking will also lose its ability to hold nails and load-bearing capacity and cause mold/mildew to form. Regardless of the season, improper attic ventilation will cause your roof to fail prematurely.

4. Storm Damage

Chalk marks around hail hits on an asphalt roof.

The last cause of premature roof failure is when a roof sustains storm damage. While other causes are from installation or neglect, storm damage is unavoidable. 

Storm damage can happen from high wind speeds or hail. Hail 1” or bigger damages the asphalt shingles by removing protective granules, shortening their lifespan.

Wind damage will completely rip off shingles or entire sections of the roof. This exposes the decking and leads to rot if left unrepaired. 

Storms may be an act of God that no one can control, but it’s the one cause of premature roof failure that you may not be responsible for fixing. 

Homeowner’s insurance typically covers “acts of God” or damage from an extreme weather event. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to determine your coverage, and file a claim with insurance. 

How Much Does An Asphalt Roof Replacement Cost? 

If your roof is experiencing granule loss, shingling cupping/curling, algae growth, or leaks, especially if it’s not at the end of its life, seek professional help. Your roof may need extensive repairs or even a premature replacement.

Asphalt roof replacement costs vary depending on how complex your roof is to the rising cost of materials. However, the average roof replacement cost will be upwards of $10,000. 

You can learn more about roof replacement pricing and the estimate process with “How Much Does A Roof Replacement Cost” and “What To Expect At My Roof Estimation Appointment.

Are you already seeing the signs of needing to replace your asphalt roof? You can rescue your roof today with the experts at Rescue My Roof. Serving Southeastern Wisconsin, we are here to make the roofing process quick and painless.
Contact us today for a free, fast, and honest roof estimate.