How Wind Affects Your Roof

Posted on: July 19th, 2017

You’ve probably seen news footage of a tornado ripping the roof clean off of a house. Tornadoes in Baltimore are quite rare, but we do get strong winds capable of peeling or damaging a roof.

Roofs are built to withstand normal wind speed and pressure. When wind strikes at the wrong angle or exerts uneven forces across a roof, that’s when trouble begins.

Types of Wind Damage to Roofs

Lots of danger blows in the wind. The design, materials, and installation of a roof must all work together to protect against several forces:

  • Upward lifting pressure that can remove shingles or peel up the membrane
  • Downward pressure that can cause cracks and weak points
  • Fallen trees, limbs, debris, and downed power lines

These wind forces typically strike the perimeter, valleys, and other edges first. That’s why you might see the shingles on one edge curling up while the rest of the roof looks healthy.

Because wind hurts a roof by lifting up the shingles or membrane, the damage might not be very visible at first. Many cases of roof mold, storm damage, and discolored roofs actually start with wind damage. The dislodged roofing becomes more susceptible to other kinds of damage.

Protecting a Roof from Wind Damage

When building a new house, the roof can be designed and oriented to handle strong winds. When you live in a coastal area like the Mid-Atlantic, it’s especially important. Flashing, eaves, ridge caps, and other roof components can all be chosen and installed to protect against both the suction effect of wind and aggressive downward pressure.

For existing homes, here’s what you can do to detect and prevent wind damage to the roof:

  • Visually inspect the roof perimeter from the ground after major storms or strong winds
  • Get a roof inspection annually
  • Look for water leaks in the attic or discolorations on the roof
  • Get roofing repairs to replace missing or curled shingles
  • Strengthen a roof with new flashing, fascia, roof trusses
  • Anticipate replacing a roof that is more than 20 years old or beyond its life expectancy

Wind Damaged Roof Repair in Baltimore

If your roof has already been damaged by wind, there may be a number of options for roof repair or roof replacement. The choice depends on the condition, age, and materials of your roof. Park Heights Roofing repairs asphalt shingles, slate roofs, and more types of roofs that are popular in Baltimore.

Call or contact us today to schedule a roof inspection or get an estimate for repair or replacement.

Common Causes of Roof Discoloration

Posted on: July 19th, 2017

So, you’ve spotted some stains on the roof. Not all discolorations are symptoms of serious roof damage, so you can take a deep breath and relax before investigating. You do probably want to get rid of a roof discoloration even if the problem is purely cosmetic. Nothing wrecks curb appeal quite like a stained or slimy roof.

We can usually find the cause of a discolored roof just by knowing the location and color. Usually, what we find is a relatively harmless algae colony that needs to be cleaned and treated.

The Usual Suspect: Green or Black Algae Stains

Across the entire eastern half of the country, roof shingles tend to grow a species of algae called Gloeocapsa Magma. It appears in streaks or patches of slime that can be anywhere from blue-green to dark black.

Roof algae rarely poses a threat to the health of the roof. Algae does not endanger your home or health the way mold can.

Cleaning involves oxygen bleach or a solution of trisodium phosphate applied by a low-pressure wash. For your safety, it’s definitely a good idea to have a roof cleaning service take care of this for you.

As for prevention, there’s some interesting chemistry involved. Copper and zinc are anathema to algae. We can add some small sheets of copper or zinc to high points on the roof above the discolored areas. When it rains, the water washes the metallic atoms over the roof below, killing and preventing algae without anyone having to lift another finger.

Other Causes of Roof Discoloration

Quite a few other issues can cause stains on a roof. The solution might involve anything from waterproofing the roof to pruning the trees in your yard. Here are some clues to follow:

  • Rust or chimney soot stains — Red or brown rust stains around chimneys is a common roof stain. The area can be cleaned and treated with oxalic acid to prevent rust.
  • White stains on slate roofs — Efflorescence, or salt stains from rain water, sometimes appear on slate shingles.
  • Trees & plant debris stains— Stain patches under trees or nearby may be due to seeds, berries, leaves, and other debris falling and decaying. Moss often grows in the shade of trees, too.
  • Water stains — If the discoloration seems to be damp, check the attic or ceiling below the roof stain and investigate for a leak.
  • Light spots on roof shingles – Dark colored asphalt shingles may appear lighter and patchy as they age. Look in the gutters for signs of asphalt granules that have washed off, and expect to need a replacement roof soon.

Roof Stain Removal & Repair in Baltimore

We specialize in residential roofing services in the Baltimore area, including roof inspections, repairs, and replacement.

Contact us to get a pair of expert eyes on your roof stain, and we’ll come up with a simple and effective solution.