4 Causes Of Structural Roof Problems

Posted on: 4 May 2023


The roof structure is the foundation that gives the roof strength to hold other roofing materials, such as insulation and covering (like shingles). The roof support structure includes rafters, ridge boards, and joists. Damage to the support structure affects other roofing parts and might be costly to fix. Below are four causes of roof structural problems.

1. Wrong Material Choice

Common roof structure materials include wood and metal. Wood is common with residential houses, while metal is common with commercial properties. The metal can be steel, aluminum, or some alloys. Apart from material type, the material's size or thickness also determines its strength.

Using the wrong material for your roof can lead to problems after some time. For example, wood defects weaken the wood and increase the risk of warping or cracking. The expected load, which depends on roofing materials, rooftop installations, and local climate (think accumulated snow) determines the best materials for the roof structure.

2. Aging

All roofing materials, including structural materials, age and weaken over time. For example, metal corrode, and wood warps, rots, and cracks. Age-related wear or deterioration depends on the material, roof load, and weather exposure.

For example, steel framing lasts longer than wood framing, probably because things like pests or mold don't affect the metal. In addition, your roof's structure will deteriorate fast if you allow water to penetrate the roof and reach it.

3. Accidental Damage

Accidental damage can affect all parts of the roof, including the structure. Natural disasters and human activities all cause accidental roof damage. For example, a freak storm can drop a huge tree on your roof and crash the roof structure. Accumulating heavy objects on the roof can also overload and damage the structure over time.

4. Poor Design and Installation

Roof structure design also determines the roof's overall strength and load-bearing capacity. Roofing contractors consider things like:

  • The spacing between rafters
  • The roof spans
  • The roof pitch
  • The number of rafters

The roof design is a science that involves different calculations to ensure a strong roof. During installation, the roofing contractor must follow the design to achieve the desired strength. Otherwise, you might end up with a roof that even a moderate wind can lift off the house. Luckily, you rarely have to worry about poor design and installation from professional roofers.

Contact local professional roofing contractors for your roofing needs. Professional installation, maintenance, and repair will minimize catastrophic damage risk. Lastly, listen to your roofer's advice on critical issues, such as material choice.