A common misconception among many homeowners is that the term roof shrinkage refers to the roofing material decreasing in size over time. However, this isn't the case. Instead, this term applies to the shrinking of the roof membrane that protects your roof from the elements. Over the years, this roofing membrane deteriorates, causing cracks that eventually result in water leaks in your home. In this guide, you will learn more about some contributors to roof shrinkage.
Changes to the Roof Membrane
Special oils are incorporated during the manufacture of the roof membrane to ensure that the material remains in good shape. Over time, however, the loss of oil from the membrane can cause it to lose flexibility, resulting in shrinkage. This loss happens due to the membrane's molecular structure changes caused by constantly shifting weather conditions.
Low-Quality Material or Inexpert Installation
During the roof membrane installation, your roofer will advise you on the right quality of material to use. You will likely experience roof shrinkage if you settle for a low-quality roof membrane. In addition to selecting a quality membrane, you must ensure that the installation is done expertly. Professional roofers will mix a special oil, also referred to as the substrate, into the roof membrane so that it can function effectively.
Issues With Your Roof Design
Suppose you're constructing a house and plan to use roof membranes such as modified bitumen or EPDM. In such a case, it is crucial to consider your roof design. Professional roofers can design your roof in a way that compensates for membrane shrinkage. Drainage vents are an example of a roof feature that can help prevent shrinkage. This is because they combat the wearing effect of moisture on the membrane.
Failing To Undertake Regular Maintenance
When installed correctly, the EPDM roof membrane can last for years. While this is the case, you should also ensure that it is professionally maintained. Without this regular care, seemingly minor problems can go unnoticed, resulting in significant damage down the road. Keep in mind that you'll have to replace the membrane in case of significant damage. As such, you need to be careful to refrain from committing to installing this membrane if, for one reason or another, you're unable to keep up with maintenance.
Roof shrinkage is a problem prevalent with EPDM membranes and arises when this material wears out due to age. The membrane may also shrink when exposed to ultraviolet light over time or isn't professionally installed. Regardless of the cause of this shrinkage, ensure that a professional roofer addresses the problem in time to avoid an untimely replacement.