If you noticed brown streaks on your home's siding and called a siding contractor for repairs, you may have been surprised to hear the contractor tell you that you need a roofing contractor like Bob Behrends Roofing & Gutters LLC instead. Brown streaks on siding are signs of extensive water damage in the structure of your home, which typically results from damage to the roofing and/or the roofing structure. Here are a few problems to look for.
Hailstones can be large enough to cause severe damage to your roof. In fact, the largest hailstone ever recorded weighed in at almost 2 pounds and measured 8 inches in diameter. Of course, a hailstone of this size can obviously cause significant damage. However, small hailstones can also cause a significant amount of damage, especially if the damage goes unnoticed until much later. Hailstone impacts can cause tiny spider-web-like cracks in the roofing materials.
Over time, water can seep in through these small cracks, which can cause the cracks to get bigger. More importantly, the water that gets in will slowly accumulate in the wood structure of the roof and in the insulation material. At some point, these materials could become so saturated with water that the water will leak out, similar to a sponge. While in the wood, the water will pick up tannin, which is the substance that causes brown stains that will be seen on your siding.
Ice formation can be a formidable foe for roofing materials. Most people are aware of the possibility of ice dams forming towards the lower edges of a roof. This typically occurs when there is too much debris in the gutters, which causes water to remain in the gutter. When temperatures drop, this water freezes and creates a dam, which traps more water, snow, and debris. Water pushes into the roofing materials and causes damage to the roof as the water expands when it freezes.
Although ice dam formation typically occurs along the bottom of the roof line where the roof meets the gutters, ice can form anywhere there are cracks in the roofing. Any cracks in your roofing where water can seep into can also cause problems that can result in brown streaks in your siding. Whether the cracks are from hailstones, wind damage, or improper installation, water will cause cracks to expand when the water freezes as temperatures drop. As water transforms into ice it expands. This expansion can cause the roofing materials to crack further and separate, which will cause the water to go deeper into the structure of the roof when the water melts as temperatures rise.
In addition to moisture from water seeping into the roofing materials, brown streaks can also be caused by excessive moisture inside of the attic, which is typically due to inadequate ventilation. No or poor ventilation in an attic will cause an excessive amount of humidity to accumulate. This problem can be compounded when the home's kitchen and bathrooms are also poorly ventilated as the moisture and humidity remains inside the home instead of being vented outdoors.
Excessive humidity inside an attic can damage the roofing materials by corroding the nails and/or causing mold growth or wood rot. Typically, attic ventilation is out-of-sight, out-of-mind. However, due to the importance of ventilation in the attic, homeowners should inspect the systems regularly, particularly after severe storms such as hailstorms and windstorms, to ensure the vents are not damaged from hail and/or debris. It's a good idea to hire a roofing contractor to inspect your roof any time you feel a storm has damaged the structure of your roof and/or the roofing materials.