Time and again, homeowners and building administrators are reminded that they need to give attention to a leaking roof, or a smell of mold in the attic. But if they have allotted one or several checkups of the roof in their calendar, they wouldn’t have the above problems.
In this article, you’ll know how to take care of the roof over your head throughout the four seasons.
What Is Roof Maintenance?
Roof maintenance is an often overlooked aspect of taking care of your home. Which is quite shocking considering the roof is one of the most important parts of a home. Roof maintenance is all about taking care of your roof in order to make it last longer.
Roofing is something that you should be concerned with because it protects the interior structure of your house or building from rain, snow, sunlight and other elements. Roofs are an essential structure for your home, but they’re also fragile so you have to take extra steps in order to protect them.
Why Is Roof Maintenance Important?
Roof maintenance isn’t only about cleaning your roof, it is about using the right materials for building it in order to have an increase in its lifespan. Roofs are very sensitive so you need to be extra careful with them in order to avoid accidents.
A roof in proper shape will provide your home with good ventilation and insulation. It’ll add to the comfort of your home and save you money in the form of energy costs.
Roofs add value to your building. A good-looking roof is a good selling point in the event you want to put your home up for sale. A roof that shows wear and tear detracts from the overall look and appearance of your home. This could indirectly affect the value of your property.
More Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Roof Investment
Maintenance is necessary in order for your roof to do its job well and last longer. Roof maintenance can include inspection, minor repairs, cleaning and washing, touch up paint, application of sealants, and others.
The beginning of roofing maintenance starts with inspecting the roof itself. Roofing inspections are required for every type of roof. A newly installed roof needs to be inspected in case of any mistakes or oversights that could have been made in construction.
Older roofs need to be inspected on a periodic basis to assess the need for refurbishment or replacement. It is important to do roof inspection on a regular basis in order to catch small issues before they become big problems. Failure to identify water damage could result in your whole ceiling collapsing unexpectedly, causing devastating damage to your home.
Roof inspections involve checking the exterior part of your roof. Here are things to look out for:
- One needs to examine the gutters for leakages and for wear and tear. The shingles or tiles might be cracked and in need of replacement.
- For those with metal roofing they will be looking out for dents and scratches, and assessing the need for touch ups.
- The chimney needs to be inspected as well. The mortar on the chimney stack might be crumbling. This could lead to the chimney collapsing and causing damage to the roof.
- Roof flashing is a thin material made of metal that roofers install to redirect water away from certain areas of your roof (chimneys, roof valleys). It needs to be checked periodically to ensure it’s still secured and working well.
- Roof valleys should be inspected. Roof valleys are formed when two roof slopes meet. They’re usually protected by the roof flashing. So usually, if the roof flashing is secure, the chances of there being problems with the roof valleys are minimal. But it is still prudent to inspect them.
Roofs usually last for anywhere up to 20 years depending on the materials that were used for building them. They sometimes look okay from the outside but they might have some damages on the inside so you need to be careful.
Interior inspections involve you closely examining the highest ceilings in the home. Signs to look out for to identify leakages and structural damage include but are not limited to:
- A sagging roof deck
- Light visible through the roof
- Discoloration on the walls
- Moisture on the walls or ceiling
Roof inspections will help you determine how long you have before needing to consult roofing specialists for repair services, or if you need a complete roof replacement. Depending on roofing contractor, periodic inspections may be a part of your warranty agreement
In warm humid climates, a dirty roof will make it more vulnerable to algae growth and moss. Roofs in wet climates run the risk of accumulated water damage over time if not cleaned regularly. Roof cleaning should include steps like removing mildew and algae with simple soap and water solution, or by using a non-pressure hose.
Plenty of homeowners use a pressure hose, but this is not advisable on all roofing surfaces. Asphalt shingles for example are porous. Using a high-pressure washer on them will lead to water seeping through the surface, and will cause further damage to your roof in the form of water damage and leaks.
If you are conducting the cleaning yourself, it’s advisable to seek the advice of a roofing contractor beforehand. Cleaning of the roof itself is usually done once a year but there are parts of the roof that should be cleaned on a more periodic basis.
The gutters for example, need to be cleared at least once a week to ensure the drainage and flow of water is unobstructed. Clogged drainage can result in rust and deterioration of the pipes. It may also result in leakages that may damage the rest of the infrastructure.
The gutters are simple to clean. Using a ladder, a bucket, and garden gloves, one can clean them out. If you have trees in your garden, it would be a good idea to keep them in good condition (pruned and trimmed) to avoid dead branches and debris from falling into the gutters.
Drying is usually done only after water damage has been discovered. The purpose of this is to remove excess moisture so that mildew growth or mold formation may be prevented. Bacteria thrive in such environments, and this will eventually lead to more complications on the exterior finish of your home as well as cause structural damage in the interior of your home.
Roof drying can be done fairly quickly. Within a day or two the process can be completed. Roofing dehumidifiers should be installed year-round in humid climates to mitigate the chances of water damage, and to lessen the situation of a homeowner having to conduct drying.
In roof maintenance there are three common types of damages to be found which are broken shingles, holes, and cracked tiles. Roof sealants do exactly as their name implies. They are used to repair or plug leaks after water damage has been discovered.
Roof leakages are a very annoying problem to have. Leakages lead to mold and mildew growth. Sometimes the leaks can cause damage to your foundation.
Roof sealants have shown to be helpful for roofs that have staining or discoloration issues because they provide a protective barrier against water and oil-based products from damaging your exterior’s finish.
However, roof sealants may not last as long compared to other solutions because they are primarily made of oils, which will eventually wear off, or be stripped away by harsh weather elements like rain and snow. Most homeowners don’t consider this feature of roof sealants unless they are in a climate hospitable to their application.
Roof sealants can also be used in the insulation of your home as it helps prevent heat from escaping.
Roof Touch Up
A roof touch up is basically painting your roof with a fresh new coat to restore its appearance from the effects of weather, and stains from trees and plants. This can be one of the least expensive ways to freshen up your roof as long as you don’t have very old shingles that need replacement.
This method is usually used by homeowners with metal roofing. In order for touch ups to last longer, your first coat should be done with a primer so it sticks well onto the surface before applying a top layer of paint.
If you’ve had damage on your old roof for years, it’s probably time to replace them entirely especially if you think there might be more damages underneath the shingles that you can’t see with an inspection. Roof replacement is expensive but most companies offer discounts when buying bulk materials like shingles or gutters that need replacement, too, along with your new roof.
You should always ask for at least three different quotes from different roofers before making a decision because prices usually vary depending on the company you choose.
The roof is one of the most important structures in your home. Taking care of it is taking care of yourself and the people under it. It’s important to know the difference between a simple DIY(do-it-yourself) job and calling in professionals to do the work.
An incorrect roof leak repair may cause even more extensive damage that will catch you unawares when the whole roof collapses when its structural integrity has been compromised. This could cause you to spend way more money than you had budgeted for.