Roofs are one of the most reliable and durable parts of any structure. As it protects everything underneath from the elements, it stands to reason that your roof should last for a long time. Still, roofs aren’t meant to last forever.

No roof is immune to failure. Sometimes, they even fail sooner than they should. Several factors can shorten your roof’s lifespan. As a homeowner, knowing these causes of roof failure provides an advantage. You’ll be able to act quickly at the first sign of trouble. This can even help you prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

Here are several factors that can affect the lifespan of your roof.

Top Reasons for Roof Failure Infographic

Poor Ventilation

A healthy roofing system is essential for keeping a roof in good working order. Good home ventilation helps to regulate temperature. It pushes heat and moisture out in the summer and reduces snow melting in the winter. In turn, it will prevent premature aging caused by moisture in the winter and excess heat in the summer.

Proper ventilation also keeps your attic cooler all year round. An attic cannot properly exhaust itself with only roof vents. Therefore, the ideal condition is to have ventilation that draws from the soffits and then exits at the upper part of the roof. The perfect ventilation will minimize expansion due to temperature changes.

Certain problems can appear when moisture or heat can’t escape from your attic without proper roof ventilation. This includes rotting roof materials, sagging roof decks, rusting structural metal, and formation of mold and mildew. The roof will not be the only one affected by the problems, it will also cause problems with your home’s interior. Sustaining damage can lead to costly repairs or roof failure.

Poorly Chosen Flashing

Flashing is an integral part of your roof. It is used to seal the protrusions prone to leaks such as chimneys, dormers, and exhaust pipes that connect to the roof. Flashing will prevent the underlayment from soaking up water and going into your home.

Your roof depends on flashing to shed water around these vulnerable areas around your home. Water can easily seep in if they are not working right. Unfortunately, homeowners often make the mistake of using poor quality or old flashing. Sometimes, the flashing is just not installed properly. As a result, it gets damaged easily by wind or temperature changes, allowing water to enter the roof system.

The worst part is that the problems with the flashing will not appear until the roof starts leaking.

No Preventative Maintenance

Homeowners are often reluctant to follow up on simple preventative maintenance measures. Most of their reasons would likely revolve around finances. However, neglecting proper maintenance and regular roof inspections is an even bigger mistake. This can lead to even more costly repairs in the future or even premature roof failure.

Hiring a professional to inspect and help maintain your roof is necessary to keep your roof functioning in the long run. Preventative maintenance can keep your roof in optimal condition prevent your roof from being severely damaged. In turn, it can extend your roof’s service life and decrease long-term expenses.

Ignoring Problems

Finding the problem areas is just the beginning. It’s also essential to make sure that these problems are fixed immediately. At first glance, a small leak may seem simple. However, leaving them alone for too long gives them a chance to develop into a much more serious and expensive issue if you make the mistake of ignoring them.

Homeowners should have a professional to come out and do a full inspection at the first sign of trouble to resolve the issue early and keep your roof in optimal condition.

Cheap and Inefficient Materials

A roof replacement will affect your home’s appearance and performance for many years. For this reason, it’s also essential to take more than cost into consideration when it comes to choosing materials. In many cases, homeowners opt for the “cheaper” roof option to save more money. However, in a lot of cases, lower costs can also mean more inferior quality materials.

Poor quality materials will only lead to trouble down the road. Many cheap roofers attempt to use inexpensive materials to beat a quality roofer’s price. Sometimes, it’s isn’t the contractors who are at fault.

However, these subpar shingles don’t perform as well. They can be easily blow off the roof deck during a storm or suffer punctures due to hail. Nothing can beat a high-quality roofing system made up of high- quality materials and components, so you shouldn’t skimp on the materials. A properly functioning roof will be worth the few extra bucks for quality materials

Faulty Installation or Bad Workmanship

Among the previously mentioned, poor workmanship is often the culprit behind a failing roof. Good materials won’t matter if it’s not installed properly. A faulty installation can dramatically increase the chances of roof problems arising and reducing the life expectancy of your roof.

The wrong roofing contractor can often make mistakes such as not properly nailing shingles, flashing shortcuts, poor detail work on penetrations, and improper roof-to-wall intersections. This puts your roof at risk of developing problems that can eventually lead to roof failure, which can be both a costly and a massive safety hazard.

When it comes to roof installment or replacement, working with reputable and experienced professionals is crucial to ensure flawless work. Professional roofers undergo rigorous training and education to perform proper installation techniques specific to the roof they are installing. They never cut corners so you can ensure that your new roof will be safe and perform as expected.

Fahey Roofing Contractors has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. Visit our website today at or contact us at (304) 826-1323 for West Virginia or (740) 523-0380 for Ohio to learn more.