by TeamFFE

September 14, 2023

Roof Shrinkage: An Unseen Threat to Your Home

Roofs. They shield us from the harshness of the elements, giving us the comfort of shelter. Yet, while we’re underneath, snug and safe, there’s an unseen menace slowly inching its way on our protective shield: roof shrinkage.

What is Roof Shrinkage?

Roof shrinkage isn’t a phrase you hear every day. It isn’t as commonly talked about as, say, roof leaks or missing shingles, but the damage it causes can be just as severe, if not worse.

At its simplest, roof shrinkage is when your roofing membrane – commonly made from synthetic rubber, thermoplastic, or modified bitumen – contracts and pulls away from the edges, flashings, or roof penetrations like vents and chimneys. Over time, this contraction can lead to seams splitting, flashings pulling, and eventually, water entering your home.

The Unseen Enemy

One of the primary reasons roof shrinkage is a major concern is its stealthy nature. Unlike a storm that tears off a chunk of your roof, shrinkage is slow and subtle. You won’t wake up one morning and see a quarter of your roof missing. Instead, it’s the slow creep of damage, often revealing itself only after it’s caused significant harm.

Why Does This Happen?

Roofs can shrink for a variety of reasons:

  1. Age: Just like our skin, roofing materials can lose elasticity over time.
  2. UV Exposure: The sun’s ultraviolet rays can degrade roofing materials, making them more susceptible to shrinkage.
  3. Poor Installation: Incorrectly installed roofing membranes might not have been given the room to expand and contract, leading to premature shrinkage.
  4. Subpar Material Quality: Not all roofing materials are created equal. Some might be more susceptible to shrinking than others.

Is My Roof at Risk?

Every roof, given enough time, can show signs of shrinkage. However, flat or low-slope roofs with EPDM (rubber) or other membrane materials are more susceptible. If your home features a flat roof, it’s essential to have regular checks.

The Solution

Forewarned is forearmed. Here’s how you can tackle this invisible enemy:

  1. Regular Inspection: At Family First Exteriors, we believe that the key to a long-lasting roof is regular maintenance. By inspecting your roof regularly, you can catch signs of shrinkage early on.
  2. Quality Installation: If you’re getting a new roof, ensure it’s installed by professionals who understand the intricacies of preventing roof shrinkage.
  3. Use High-Quality Materials: Investing in better-quality roofing materials can save you from future headaches and costly repairs.

The Bottom Line

Roof shrinkage might be an unseen threat, but it’s not unbeatable. By staying informed and proactive, you can protect your home and your peace of mind. At Family First Exteriors, we prioritize the safety and longevity of your home. Contact us for a roof inspection today and sleep soundly knowing that your home is in safe hands.

At Family First Exteriors, our family looks after yours. Reach out to us for all your roofing needs.