Most Common Causes of Roof Degradation in Australia

Roof replacement is a touchy topic for property owners in Australia, and it is not hard to understand why. The roof replacement cost in Australia ranges from $10,000 to $25,000, which is a lot of money. 

On top of this, roof replacements can be incredibly disruptive and inconvenient to the day-to-day activities of a household or business.

Therefore, it is crucial to know the most common causes of roof degradation in Australia so that you can nip roofing problems in the bud before they turn into major – and expensive – problems. 

In this post, we reveal the top causes of roof degradation in Australia and what you need to do to prevent them.

Let’s get to it!

1. Inproper Installation

One of the most common causes of roof degradation in Australia is poor installation. How well or poorly your roof was installed will determine your experience with the roof throughout its entire lifespan.

A poorly installed roof means high energy bills, leaking roofs and compromised water resistance. However, a properly installed roof means comfortable living, optimal energy savings, and retention.  

Therefore, you must hire only qualified and experienced roofing professionals to install your new roof or roof repairs in Australia. Hiring a qualified roofing company to install or fix your roof will ensure that your roof is professionally installed and that your roofing warranty is valid.

Resist the urge to have your friendly untrained neighbour install your new roof. And don’t even consider saving a few bucks by DIY-ing your roof installation or repairs. All the savings are down the drain if the installation is done incorrectly. 

2. Poor Maintenance

If you’ve done the right thing by hiring a professional roofing company in Australia to help install your roof, don’t let all that good work down the drain by not maintaining it. 

Most people regard roof maintenance as a hassle and not a priority. Therefore, they don’t perform regular roof maintenance until a problem requires their attention.

A carefree attitude towards caring for your roof will lead to faster degradation.

3. Adverse Weather Condition

When it comes to weather, Australia is a country of extremes. Australia’s extreme weather includes heatwaves, torrential rains, hailstorms and strong winds that can damage roofs. These weather conditions can damage the roof by weakening the roofing materials and inflicting excessive stress on them.

For example, during the hot season, roofing materials expand with a temperature rise, resulting in cracks and brittleness. As ultraviolet radiations constantly bombard the roof, it eventually becomes porous and weak due to constant bombardment. 

In addition, dark roofs can raise indoor temperatures higher than outside. 90°F outside may feel like 150°F. As a result of these high temperatures, roofing materials are subject to accelerated chemical reactions, leading to faster wear.

Mould and algae on roofs are common in Australia, especially in coastal areas. These fungi cause blockages in the roofing materials by covering them. The moisture or dampness brought on by humidity and rainfall encourages mould and algae growth on roofs.  

When this happens, the roof loses its integrity, causing leaks and moisture damage. In addition, the spores released by the fungi can contaminate the air and pose serious health risks to occupants. 

The rainy season brings intense winds that can cause material damage and severely threaten the home’s safety and inhabitants. Flying debris can cause significant damage to the roofing materials and even puncture the roof membrane.  

4. Age of the Roof 

Another common cause of roof degradation in Australia is the age of your roof. Regardless of how correctly installed and well-maintained a roof is, time eventually takes its toll on it, or more precisely, the exposure to severe weather conditions and solar radiation.

Typically, roofs can last from 20-50 years, depending on the materials used in their construction.

Wood shake roofs can last 30 years, fibre cement shingles around 25 years, asphalt shingles and composition roofs around 20 years. In the high-end price range, slate, copper, and tile roofs can last more than 50 years.

5. Inadequate Ceiling Cavity Ventilation

 A functioning and well-designed ceiling cavity ventilation system reduces moisture build-up- by exhausting moist air from the roof space to the exterior of the building. This is an important reason why roof ventilation must be designed carefully and adequately. 

Poorly designed and installed roof ventilation systems increase moisture levels on roofs because they increase the surface moisture evaporation rate through the ceiling cavity.  

Roof ventilation cools the roof and prevents it from overheating during the hot season in Australia. A properly ventilated roof also prevents condensation and heat transfer from the living space through the roof to the attic space. 

Consequently, the space below cools down, and the living space is less humid and comfortable. As a result of adequate roof ventilation, the build-up- of algae and moss on roofs is slowed down, which prevents roof degradation. 

The relationship between roof ventilation and ceiling cavity ventilation is mutual because proper ceiling cavity ventilation determines the quality of roof ventilation and vice versa. 

Therefore, before installing or repairing a roof in Australia, you must ensure that you design a ceiling cavity ventilation system that perfectly fits your roofline and meets Australian standard requirements.

How to Prevent Roof From Deterioration

Now that you are familiar with the most common causes of roof degradation in Australia, you can prevent your roof from degrading faster by:

Scheduling Routine Inspection

One of the most effective approaches to prevent degradation is to schedule routine inspections with a professional roofing company. A roof inspection will detect early signs of roof degradation before they become significant problems and will cost you a lot to repair.  

Performing Regular Maintenance 

Experienced professionals should perform regular maintenance so that you don’t risk damaging your roof or voiding the warranty on your roofing materials. 

For the best results, schedule maintenance at least once a year. Proper care will help your roof last longer and perform better.

Keep an Eye Out for Build-up of Debris

Bird poop on the roof, moss and algae on walls or tree branches growing through the roof are some things that can compromise the integrity of your roofing structure. However, it is possible to avoid these hazards with routine inspection and maintenance.  

If your roof suffers any impact from debris build-up, you should hire a professional roofing contractor to perform roof repairs. The roofing contractor will inspect the roof and determine whether it requires repair or replacement.  

Address Gutter Problems  Immediately 

Gutters are essential to your home’s roofing system because they channel rain and stormwater into gutters and divert them away from the building’s foundation. 

Therefore, gutters prevent abnormal moisture levels from penetrating your building’s foundation. Gutter problems include blocked gutters that are leaking or sagging and gutters with broken parts or holes. 

Failure to repair gutters can cause water damage and damage to the foundation and other parts of your building. 

Hence, you should immediately eliminate these problems before they become more serious by raising a repair request with your roofing contractor.

Have Adequate Attic Insulation and Ventilation

Proper attic insulation and ventilation also play an essential role in preventing roof degradation by controlling excessive heat build-up in the attic and preventing moisture build-up in the attic space. 

Proper attic insulation and ventilation also ensure good heat transfer between your house and the attic space and prevent heat transfer through your ceiling and attic ceiling to the roof.  

In addition, with proper attic ventilation, you help control moisture and condensation build-up on your home’s roof surfaces and interior surfaces by exhausting moist air from the roof space to the exterior of the building.

Attend to Leaks Urgently

Want to prevent your roof from deterioration? Fix leaks immediately to avoid costly repairs. 

Leaking roofs can cause significant structural problems in your home and even lead to mould growth and health problems. 

In addition, leaking roofs can reduce your home’s energy efficiency and increase heating and cooling costs.  

Final Thoughts on Roof Degradation and Care

Roof degradation is an inevitable outcome in Australia and around the world. After a roof has reached its lifespan, degradation follows. But common problems like extreme weather conditions, improper installation, and poor maintenance can cause the deterioration process to speed up. 

Hence, you should perform regular maintenance, inspect your roof regularly and pay attention to its condition to address problems before they escalate into bigger ones. 

It is also vital to keep in mind that hiring a professional roofing company can help extend your roof’s lifespan and save you money in the long run.

If you have questions about roof degradation or any other roof maintenance-related issue, contact us for a free no-obligation quote.