Why Roofs Go Bad in Denver


Common Causes of Roof Deterioration


Roofs can go bad for several reasons, primarily due to natural wear and tear over time and exposure to various environmental factors. As a licensed contractor from a third-generation family of contractors, Ernie’s Roofing understands the importance of addressing these issues to ensure the longevity and functionality of roofs. With over 45 years of experience, Ernie’s Roofing has witnessed firsthand the common causes of roof deterioration in Denver. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore why roofs go bad in Denver, focusing on the specific challenges posed by the local climate and environmental conditions. From age-related deterioration to weather exposure, poor installation, lack of maintenance, and more, we will discuss the key factors that contribute to roof problems in Denver. Along the way, we will provide tips, examples, and frequently asked questions to help homeowners and property owners understand how to address and prevent these issues effectively.


Roofs can go bad for several reasons, primarily due to natural wear and tear over time and exposure to various environmental factors. Here are some common reasons why roofs deteriorate:



1. Age: The Impact of Time on Roofs

Roofs, like any other component of a building, are subject to the effects of aging. Over time, the materials used in roofing, such as shingles or tiles, can break down due to prolonged exposure to the elements. In Denver’s climate, where extreme temperature variations occur throughout the year, roofs are particularly susceptible to damage caused by this wear and tear.

2. Weather Exposure: Battling the Elements

Denver experiences a wide range of weather conditions, including rain, snow, hail, wind, and extreme temperatures. These weather elements constantly bombard roofs, leading to gradual damage. Over time, roofs may develop leaks, cracks, or weakened structural integrity as a result of prolonged exposure to these weather conditions.

3. UV Radiation: The Sun’s Silent Damage

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be a silent culprit when it comes to roof deterioration. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can cause roofing materials to degrade, resulting in fading, brittleness, and the breakdown of protective layers. In Denver, where the sun shines brightly for most of the year, roofs are particularly vulnerable to this type of damage.

4. Poor Installation or Craftsmanship: Cutting Corners Can Lead to Roof Failure

Proper installation and quality workmanship are crucial for the long-term performance of any roof. If a roof is not installed correctly or if the craftsmanship is of low quality, it can lead to premature roof failure. Issues such as inadequate sealing, misaligned shingles, or improper flashing can arise from subpar installation, causing leaks and other problems.

5. Lack of Maintenance: Ignoring Minor Issues Can Lead to Major Problems

Regular maintenance is essential to keeping a roof in good condition. When a roof is not properly maintained, minor issues like loose shingles or small leaks can escalate over time, resulting in more significant problems. Neglecting routine inspections and repairs can lead to costly repairs or even premature roof replacement.

6. Moss and Algae Growth: Moisture-Induced Deterioration

In Denver’s high humidity or shaded environments, roofs are susceptible to the growth of moss, algae, or lichen. These organisms retain moisture, which can accelerate the deterioration of the roof. The trapped moisture can penetrate the roofing materials, leading to rotting, weakening of the structure, and potential leaks.

7. Impact Damage: Unforeseen Accidents

Roofs can sustain damage from unexpected events such as falling tree branches or hailstorms. These impacts can cause surface cracks, punctures, or displacement of roofing materials. In Denver, where severe weather events like hailstorms are common, roofs are particularly susceptible to this type of damage. It is important to inspect the roof after such incidents and address any issues promptly to prevent further deterioration and potential leaks.

8.Improper Ventilation: Trapped Heat and Moisture

Inadequate ventilation in the attic or roof space can contribute to roof deterioration. Without proper airflow, heat and moisture can become trapped, leading to the degradation of roofing materials. Moisture buildup can result in rotting, mold growth, and the weakening of the roof structure. Additionally, excessive heat can cause shingles to curl, blister, or warp. Ensuring proper ventilation can help maintain a healthy roof environment and extend its lifespan.

9.Heavy Snow Loads: The Weight of Winter

Denver experiences heavy snowfall during the winter months. Accumulated snow on the roof can exert significant weight, which, if not properly supported, can lead to structural damage or even collapse. Additionally, the freeze-thaw cycles common in Denver can cause snow to melt and refreeze, leading to ice dams. Ice dams can trap water on the roof, causing leaks and damage to the underlying materials.

10.Wildlife Damage: Unwanted Guests

Wildlife can also contribute to roof deterioration. Small animals such as squirrels, raccoons, or birds may create nests or burrows on the roof, leading to damage. They can dislodge or chew through roofing materials, creating openings for water infiltration. Additionally, bird droppings can be acidic and cause deterioration over time. Taking steps to deter wildlife from accessing the roof can help prevent these issues.


Understanding the common causes of roof deterioration in Denver is essential for homeowners and property owners to effectively address and prevent these issues. Factors such as age, weather exposure, UV radiation, poor installation, lack of maintenance, moss and algae growth, impact damage, improper ventilation, heavy snow loads, and wildlife damage can all contribute to the deterioration of roofs. Regular maintenance, prompt repairs, and addressing any underlying issues are key to extending the lifespan of a roof in Denver’s challenging climate. Consulting with professional roofing contractors can provide expert advice and assistance in maintaining a durable and reliable roof for years to come.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How often should I inspect my roof for potential issues?

A: It is recommended to inspect your roof at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall. Additionally, after severe weather events, such as hailstorms or high winds, it is important to conduct a visual inspection to check for any damage.

Q: Can I perform roof maintenance and repairs myself, or should I hire a professional?

A: While some minor maintenance tasks, such as cleaning gutters or removing debris, can be done by homeowners, it is generally recommended to hire a professional for roof inspections and repairs. They have the expertise and knowledge to identify hidden issues and perform repairs correctly.

Q: How long can a roof last in Denver’s climate?

A: The lifespan of a roof depends on various factors, including the materials used, installation quality, maintenance, and exposure to weather conditions. In Denver, where the climate can be harsh, roofs typically last between 20 to 30 years. Regular maintenance can help maximize the lifespan of your roof.


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