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Now that summer is in full swing, families around New England are spending more time outdoors to soak up the sun and enjoy the picturesque weather. And while the seasonal climate may be perfect for cookouts and beach parties, it can also cause problems for your home’s exterior. That’s why most roofing contractors recommend scheduling a roof inspection before the leaves start to turn, as a quick health check can help you identify vulnerabilities that may lead to costly repairs or replacements down the line. That said, the late summer is usually one of the busiest seasons for roofing contractors, so it’s important to plan ahead and call in the experts if you think there may be an issue.

Generally speaking, summer is the season of preparation and defense for homeowners. Although we may be several months out from the intense winter conditions Massachusetts is known for, there’s a lot that can go wrong before the snow storms ever roll in. Any flaws in your roof’s infrastructure or surface can quickly evolve into large-scale repair projects if left unchecked – even a single out-of-place shingle can lead to significant water damage under the right circumstances. To help you anticipate and overcome the challenges ahead, we’ve put together this detailed list of seasonal risks that every property owner should keep in mind:

High Humidity and Poor Ventilation

Unlike other regions of the U.S., Massachusetts has exceptionally high humidity during the summer months. The excess moisture in the air creates a perfect breeding ground for mold, algae, and moss, all of which can damage your roof’s exterior and weaken its support structure if left unabated. The key to combating these types of growth is to ensure your attic is properly ventilated and free from persistent moisture. To that end, most roofing contractors install soffit vents that allow fresh air to be drawn into your attic and roof vents that will naturally expel humid air. 

Another potential risk of poor ventilation is the formation of dry rot, which can significantly weaken your home’s wooden structure. In fact, a study by Ohio State University found that 10% of U.S. annual wood production is used to repair damage caused by this sort of decay. Dry rot often attacks wooden porches, decks, and roof penetrations with improper or corroded flashing, such as those found around commercial HVAC fixtures.

extreme rain

Sudden Microbursts

While summer thunderstorms are quite common in most regions of New England, they can be extremely unpredictable. For example, a sudden microburst that passed through Western Massachusetts in early July toppled more than 60 trees and lead to severe flooding in some areas, New England Cable News reported. Planning for these intense downpours may be close to impossible, but staying alert and proactive can help you mitigate the damage and take corrective measures as soon as the storm has passed.

According to the National Weather Service, a “microburst” is a localized column of sinking air that often forms within thunderstorms, amplifying their wind speeds and water output. In fact, microbursts can reach up to 100 mph (or higher), which can cause major damage to homes and other structures in their path. These types of weather patterns are known for prying up loose shingles, overwhelming downspouts, and introducing a ton of excess moisture into confined spaces, i.e. your attic. After your home is hit by a microburst, it’s important to check your roof for any signs of structural damage and your basement for pools of water. Minor flooding is often an indicator that your gutters are either choked or misaligned, which can cause serious drainage problems in the fall and winter. 

Prolonged Exposure to UV Rays

Homeowners have plenty of options for safeguarding their skin against harsh ultraviolet rays, but your roof isn’t so lucky. The protective layers that give asphalt shingles their longevity can dry up when exposed to UV rays for long periods of time, even those that have been specifically manufactured for harsh conditions. This often leads to premature warping, cracking, and curling, which may allow water to seep into your roof’s decking unless the shingles are replaced. Excessive heat also plays a key role in this process, as the constant expansion and contraction can accelerate your shingles’ overall wear and tear. 

While there are a variety of UV-resistant roofing materials on the market, most are designed for dry, arid regions where thermal shock is an everyday occurrence. Since Massachusetts is known for its fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions, these specialized shingles are usually not the best option for safeguarding your home. Instead, it’s crucial to keep up with your roof’s basic maintenance and resolve any issues as soon as they’re identified. 

If you’re worried about the condition of your roof, don’t wait to seek out an expert opinion. At Flynn Roofing, our licensed professionals work alongside homeowners to locate vulnerabilities and develop comprehensive action plans that can fit into your busy schedule and tight budget. We’ve helped families and commercial property owners throughout Eastern Massachusetts shore up their defenses and secure the integrity of their homes, from Newton, Wellesley and Charlestown to Norwood, Braintree and beyond. To learn how we can support your roof’s long-term health, reach out to Flynn Roofing today!

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