Roof Sagging and Its Common Causes

The roofing system is meant for more than to boost curb appeal. It’s built to protect you and your family against different weather elements. But to ensure it stays in good condition throughout its expected lifespan, routine care and maintenance are necessary, and it must be done by a certified and experienced contractor. 

But despite professional care and maintenance, it can get damaged unexpectedly through extreme weather and other natural causes, which means emergency repairs will be needed depending on the amount of damage it sustained. However, not all types of damage happen overnight. Roof sagging, for instance, usually stems from other roof problems that could’ve been addressed sooner to prevent costly damage.

How Do You Know If You Have a Sagging Roof?

Usually, roof sagging is visible right from the ground level. You’ll know that your roof is sagging if the ridge seems to resemble a saddle. As for the cause, it can vary depending on your roof’s circumstances, which is why it will need a professional inspection for a detailed assessment. Any type of roof sagging is a serious issue, after all, so it must be addressed immediately to prevent more damage to the rest of your home.

The Biggest Causes

If you already see a noticeable sag on your roof’s ridge, don’t hesitate to get a professional roofer to resolve the issue. To understand what you’re up against, your trusted roofing specialists share some of the biggest roof sagging causes below:

  • Poor Ventilation

A well-built roof should have enough intake and exhaust vents installed to circulate the warm air trapped in the attic. This also prevents moisture from accumulating from within the inner structure and prevents rot from affecting the wooden components. Whether you have damaged vents or don’t have enough installed, the air circulation becomes affected, and heat will stay trapped for longer in your attic. This also leads to more moisture buildup right under the roof, which means more water will permeate the outer surface. You’ll end up with a roof sagging because of the moisture rotting the inner components as well as premature shingle deterioration due to moisture damage.

  • Roof Load Issues

Your roofing system is designed to support only a specific amount of weight. This can become problematic when snow and ice start to accumulate on the surface during the winter months. Once they reach their maximum weight capacity, it can become too much for your roof to handle and eventually lead to sagging. 

Roof sag can also be caused by structural flaws that prevent the system from properly supporting the weight of the whole structure. This may be caused by undersized rafters or not having enough collar ties installed. They’ll often lead to sagging if you have a stick frame sloped roof, but they can be easily fixed as long as new rafters were installed to support the weak and damaged ones.

Even if you have a well-built roofing system, it can still be prone to sagging if the shingles, flashing, chimneys and other materials are heavier than the weight limit. If the roof is already sagging between the rafters and trusses in your attic, the cause may likely be weak sheathing. This happens when the sheathing is too thin for the area it’s covering. This is usually addressed by placing thicker sheathing to reinforce the affected surface. 

  • Subpar Workmanship

The materials you chose for your roof may be of top quality, but they can eventually cause your roof to sag if they weren’t installed properly. If the contractor you hired did a subpar job during the roof replacement process, it’s likely to start failing before the end of its expected lifespan. Subpar workmanship won’t be visible on the surface at first, but given a few months, you’ll start to see sagging or other signs of damage on your roof a few months after installation. Roof sagging must be addressed immediately to avoid paying for more extensive repairs, or else it can collapse and cause more damage to your home or even injury to those under it!

  • Low-Quality Materials

Even if your roof was installed correctly by a licensed roofer, if you tried to cut corners by choosing cheap materials, don’t be surprised if it becomes more susceptible to water and weather damage after a few years. This is why most roofing contractors don’t recommend using low-quality materials as they often deteriorate and become unreliable after a short while. Sagging won’t be the only problem you’ll face, so if you want your roofing system to last, don’t hesitate to invest in better materials!

  • Leaking Damage

If rainwater or melted snow has infiltrated the roof’s inner structure, it may cause rotting damage to the wooden components holding the system together. Once it seeps through, it can lead to leaks and water stains on your walls and ceilings. It can also compromise a major part of your roof’s framework, leading to dipping and sagging in the entire structure. This won’t happen immediately, but the damage can be more severe if the roof isn’t properly cared for and maintained.

A poorly maintained gutter system can also indirectly lead to a sagging roofing system. Gutters are meant to catch the water runoff from your roofing system and redirect it towards the downspouts, but they must be kept clean and free of debris to stay effective. Otherwise, it can cause gutter-clogging problems wherein the pooling water slowly seeps into the lower edges of your roof. Once the leaks make their way into the inner structure, they can lead to rotting damage and eventual sagging. Make sure to keep them clean and free of debris so that they’re draining properly! 

But even if you’re sure that you already clean and maintain your gutters regularly, roof sagging can still happen if they’re poorly designed and installed. For instance, if they weren’t installed at the right slope, it can lead to water pooling in several sections. If this isn’t properly corrected, you can expect water to seep through your roof slowly and deteriorate the inner wooden components.

You can always count on our team at Paddy’s with their years of industry experience. Whether it’s to check your roof or simply repair chimneys, we’ve got you covered! To get started, just give us a call at (302) 388-3625 to request an estimate. You can also fill out our convenient contact form!

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