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Top 5 Reasons Roofs Fail

Leaky Roof? You’re Not Alone

It’s the beginning of the rainy season here. The local meteorologist at KGW, Rod Hill, recently predicted six weeks of rain throughout November and December! No one wants to sit in the house on a rainy day, settling a coffee cup on the windowsill to watch rain trickling down the window, just to notice a wet spot on the ceiling. Or, worse yet, an actual drip from up above. Leaks are only one symptom of a failing roof and an indication that a homeowner should call a professional roof contractor as soon as possible. Most roofs require routine maintenance and regular care to last for their advertised useful life. Here are a few reasons a roof fails:

Five Reasons Roofs Fail

Asphalt Shingle Blistering

Asphalt shingles can blister, and this problem can be a pain to deal with when it comes up. Blisters form on the rooftop when moisture settles under the roofing material. Most commonly, these blisters occur underneath asphalt shingles, but excess humidity is a problem for any roof, regardless of material. When moisture is trapped underneath the asphalt shingles, it’s only a matter of time until the weather dries out, and the trapped moisture expands, resulting in blisters. Most of these blisters are small and harmless, but multiple blisters or large ones result in rainwater leaking into the house, causing damage to the roof.

Poor Roof Ventilation

Another common reason for roof failure is poor ventilation. Sometimes the roof’s ventilation is overlooked when attempting to decipher a problematic roof, but poor ventilation results in a myriad of problems for the homeowner. Keep in mind the importance of proper ventilation when remodeling a home or building a new structure. Make sure to choose a professional roofing contractor with a proven track record of success, as well as a company that can explain their process thoroughly.

Poor ventilation causes a host of problems for the homeowner, including excessive moisture, ice dam formation from the recurrent freezing and unfreezing of water on the roof, rust (depending on the type of roofing material used), among others. If poor ventilation is ignored, these problems can result in a high cost to the homeowner.

Physical Damage to the Roof

There’s not much to do to prevent some “Acts of God.” Damage from falling tree limbs and other debris can result in physical damage to the roof, including punctures and the compromise of the structure itself. Other homeowners may find that their roof was damaged during a contracting job due to the contractor not using the correct tools or procedures for the project. Sometimes this damage doesn’t reveal itself until a big storm comes through. Make sure to hire a reputable roofing contractor to perform any maintenance or work on the roof. Check customer reviews and ask for references.

Roof Damage Due to Inclement Weather

Strong winds cause roof damage here in the Pacific Northwest. To help prevent damage from falling tree limbs, make sure to hire a professional tree trimmer to keep all branches away from the roof. Never attempt roof work alone, as it is incredibly dangerous. If anything falls on the roof and causes damage, call a roofing contractor to assess the situation.

Additionally, though it rarely snows, cold fronts from the Columbia Gorge carry freezing rain with them. Freezing rain and fluctuating temperatures can wreak havoc on a roof and affect its usable life.

Poor Roof Design

Another cause of faulty roofs is the design of the roof itself. The house’s roof is its first line of defense against the elements, and it is crucial to the integrity of the structure as a whole. If the roof has a poor design, there are repercussions.

Roof Slope

The slope of the roof is an essential factor in its design. Depending on the overall structure of the house, the slope of the roof should be appropriate to keep water away from the house’s siding. Additionally, a proper roof slope keeps the roof clear of moisture when it rains. A roof with an improper slope often collects water, which results in the roof sagging at the point of collection. This sag can result in leaks and structural damage if left unaddressed for very long.


As mentioned before, the contractor in charge of a roofing project should take care to ensure the roof is adequately ventilated. If the design of the roof does not allow for proper ventilation, the design needs revising.

Roof Neglect

The most common cause of roof failure is the neglect of routine maintenance and regular care for the home’s roof. While some homeowners may not spend as much time outside of their home as they do inside of their home, the exterior needs regular maintenance to preserve its integrity. For example, a roof cannot work correctly without clean gutters. Neglecting chores such as clearing the gutters can have disastrous effects on the roof. Make sure to hire a professional roofing contractor to perform bi-annual maintenance on the roof and inspect the structure for damage or any other issues before the rainy season each year. This way, homeowners can relax, knowing that they and their families are safe from the winter rain.

Roofs don’t last forever. Most homeowners have to replace their roofs at least once during the time they live in the home. However, ensuring that any roof work is done correctly and thoroughly will go a long way toward preserving the longevity of the roof.

How Can Pioneer Roofers Help?

Pioneer Roofers has over twenty years of experience providing home and business owners with high-quality roofing contractor services. Pioneer Roofers has experience with roof repair, roof maintenance, and roof installation. So, no matter the issue, if it’s roof-related, Pioneer Roofers can help! Pioneer Roofers is licensed, bonded, and insured with hundreds of satisfied customer reviews. Call today for an estimate!


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Top 5 Reasons Roofs Fail

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