The idea of having a roof collapse will bring chills to most homeowners. It’s one of the most catastrophic things that can possibly happen to a house and will often result in major expenses and headaches. It’s possible for only a section of a roof to collapse, leaving the rest intact. But even in this scenario it’s going to take a significant amount of work to fix the damage and could be very expensive. In some cases, it will make better financial sense to re-build the entire structure.
Residential roof repair is best done before the point of failure in order to prevent a roof collapse. By addressing problems as they come up, you’ll stand a much better chance of avoiding any significant issues down the road. Commercial roof repair is even more important in cases where there are a large number of patrons underneath that roof. Any business owner would much prefer to fix a few small problems than deal with one massive problem.
Snow and Ice
In almost all cases, a roof collapse is going to be caused, in one way or another, by snow and ice. There are other factors that will contribute to a roof collapse, but the additional weight of snow and ice are going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The span of rafters or trusses, dimensions of the lumber, fastening schedule, etc. are all considerations that go into the construction of a roof. Depending on your area of the country, you will have to build your roof strong enough to carry a designated snow load. Now, assuming that your roof was built correctly in the first place, in order for your roof to collapse the roof system needs to have been compromised in some way. So, the best way to prevent a roof collapse is to preserve the integrity of the roof system.
Look Out Below
It’s possible for a bad foundation to cause a failure in the roof. It’s not very common except in old uninhabited buildings. This is because the symptoms of a poor foundation will often be spotted long before it reaches the point that it can move the roof system. If the foundation is settling unevenly, then the structure is out of level as one side of the building is lower than the other. This difference continues up through the entire structure and if the difference is big enough it will put the roof in a position where it is unable to support the snow load that it’s intended to. It’s good practice to routinely inspect the foundation for changes and understand the relationship between the top and bottom of a building.
Another common reason that a roof will collapse is that the system has been damaged by water. The rafters will rot if water gets in from the outside, which weakens them. Then, under the weight of a heavy snow, they will fail. There are several ways that water can get underneath the roof and damage the rafters. All of them are relatively simple to fix and are certainly much cheaper than having to deal with a collapsed roof. The most obvious way is that the roof is simply old. Some roofs last as little as 20 years. If you suspect that your roof’s life is near it’s end, don’t wait until problems begin to have a new one installed. A new roof by itself is cheaper than a new roof plus a slew of interior repairs. Another reason that water can get under a roof is because of poor flashing. Flashing is used in conjunction with roofing in order to make sure that water goes where you want it to and stays away from where you don’t. It’s a very important step in the construction process and if it’s done incorrectly, you’ll have problems. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to fix.
A very common way for water damage to occur, especially in cold climates, is through ice damming. Ice damming happens when water melts on the upper portion of your roof, runs down, and the melts on the eave. Then the ice builds up and is moving against the direction that water was intended to flow. There are several ways to correct this problem; some of them inside and some of them outside. Regardless of what’s wrong with your roof, it’s clear that it’s better to fix roof issues as they pop up, rather than deal with the incalculable expense of a roof collapse.
Contact Dirt Connections Today
For tips on collapsing roofs and the services we can provide, check out our informational pages on residential roofing and commercial roofing to learn how we can keep your roof in tip top shape. If you have any additional questions, please call or contact Dirt Connections online today. We are happy to assist you!