How Roofing Materials Age

College Station roofing contractor explains how roofing materials age.

Roofing materials like all things age with time.  Water and extra moisture tend to be one of the more damaging agents out there and time both accelerates and exacerbates corrosion of materials.  Time and water are also two of the major reasons why you want to perform routine maintenance on your roof.  Without proper maintenance, performance characteristics of your roofing material actually change, leading leaks and premature failure of roofing components.  College Station roofing contractors see this limited lifespan of roofing materials in 3 stages; performance loss, deterioration, and failure.

Performance Loss

One of the first things to slide is a roof’s R-value.  R-value is a measurement of the roofing system’s ability to resist heat flow or thermal resistance.  R-value will be hindered if building and roofing materials are too compressed, settle, and cure over time.  Most municipalities have specific code on the amount of thermal insulation a roof must have.

Roofing materials also undergo changes in permeability.  Generally speaking a waterproof underlayment is not permeable.  However, other types of building materials can undergo behavioral changes under certain conditions.  For example, some fiberglass insulation paper acts to reduce vapor in low humidity, but instead increases it in high humidity.

Material Deterioration

The most common culprit of roofing material deterioration is exposure to moisture.  Many times leaks form when materials are not properly installed by College Station roofing contractors.  The improper combination of roofing materials can cause them to expand and contract at different rates and times, leading to leak formation when a surprise shower hits.

Damage from moisture is a result from a net moisture gain; rate of hydration exceeds the rate of evaporation.  Every type of material has a water capacity or how much water can be accumulated in the material.  A high storage capacity will minimize damage done to the material.  Not all materials are affected in the same way.  And, not all College Station roofers install the same way.

In fact, wood begins decay when its moisture content reaches 28%.  Decay completely resides when wood’s moisture content is less than 20%.  As an helpful tip, mold can form on wood with only 16% moisture content.  Wood has a baseline moisture content of only 6%.

Concrete has 12 times the moisture capacity as wood and some steel is actually more susceptible than wood to water damage if not properly treated.

Mechanical Failure

Engineers spend many hours calculating specific stresses and loads on a roof.  So when you have a roof designed and built it is done according to an overall strategy to keep the structural integrity of the entire structure sound.

When water enters and damages materials, it compromises and weakens the structural integrity.  As corrosion and damage continues, the same stress is still loaded on the materials.  When the roofing materials reach their maximum water capacity, they fail at their weakest point.  Mechanical failure of a roof can lead to anything from a small leak to a collapse, depending on the material and location of the material that is compromised.

Schulte Roofing is a College Station roofing contractor with over 100 years of combined roofing experience.  That experience and the history of the last 18 years serving the Bryan-College Station and surrounding areas has given Schulte the knowledge of water damage to roofing systems.  If you are looking to design and build a roof the exceed manufacturer water specifications and backed by the roofing industry’s best warranty, “The BulletProof Roof® Guarantee”.