An alarming number of homeowners are not maintaining their roof. They wait until something is wrong before they do something about it. This is quite the shame considering that repairs are expensive and that maintenance can prevent costly repairs and replacement. In addition, the roof plays a huge part in protecting your family and your home.
Follow these Roof Maintenance Tips
You can prolong the life of your roof, prevent costly repairs, and protect your home and family by simply following these roof maintenance tips:
• Inspect it regularly. Roof inspection should be done at least twice a year and right after a storm. You don’t have to go up the roof which is not recommended anyway since you may just damage it. Just use a pair of binoculars to do an ocular inspection.
In the unavoidable circumstance wherein you should go up, make sure to use a rubber-soled pair of shoes. Remember to be careful!
• Clean the roof. While leaves and other debris may be light when they’re just a few, they can add up if you don’t clean your roof regularly. The weight can damage your roofing. In addition, the debris can attract moisture which can lead to damages.
Make sure to clean the gutter and down spout as well. It can lead to a domino effect if they’re clogged, damaging the rest of the roofing as well.
However, don’t clean too vigorously by using a power wash. A power wash can cause damage and may force water under the roofing tiles and shingles. That can lead to problems in the future.
• Inspect for leaks. You don’t have to go up the roof to do so. Just do a thorough visual inspection inside your home. Look up the ceiling and check every inch to see if there’s discoloration caused by water leaking from the roof. The stain will most likely be brown or yellow in color.
Do this as part of your twice a year inspection. Of course, check as well after a heavy rain.
• Check for rust. Do you see any rusted metal? If yes, you need to take care of it by wire brushing the rust itself before priming and painting the surface.
• Replace missing or broken materials. When you see missing or broken materials like shakes, tiles and shingles, you have to replace them ASAP. Your roof is just as strong as its weakest part and having missing or broken materials can damage the integrity of the whole roof.
Get in touch with a roofing contractor to have these materials replaced.
• Check for any deterioration of the caulking or mortar around joints. If you spot any deterioration, make sure to have it sealed as soon as possible. Do the same thing for your chimney if you have one.
• Prevent damages caused by trees and their branches. Countless roofs are damaged by trees and their branches. Swaying branches will cause bumps, scrapes and scratches on the roofing materials. A falling branch, as you can probably tell by its loud thud, can cause serious damages like punctured roofing materials. The falling leaves will also cause clogging.
This is not to say that you should uproot the trees. Just make sure that you trim them so that they won’t cause damage to your roof.
• Rake off any accumulated snow. While snow may look light and fluffy, it can actually be very heavy once it starts to accumulate. This can lead to your roofing collapsing. Saying that it’s not ideal is an understatement. That will lead to costly damages and even loss of life.
The good thing is you can easily rake it off using a snow rake. Make sure to have one handy if it snows in your area.
• Check for algae or fungus. If you see them, install control strips made of lead or zinc. Algae can be a really bad sign.
• Check the soffit. If the soffit is damaged, it won’t do its job of keeping the roof cool, which is an important part in the whole roofing process. Without them, your shingles will heat the roof up, shortening its life.
Soffits can easily get damaged especially if there are raccoons and squirrels in the area. Check for any chewed through materials and other signs of physical damage. You should also check for brown or yellow stains that signify water damage.
• Do an inspection of the fascia. The fascia plays an important role of blocking the moisture from entering the roofing system. It also ensures great roofing aesthetics. This means that if damaged, the whole roofing will look ugly and will also lead to damages.
Inspect the fascia for any damages that can come in the form of stains, splinters and cracks. Have them repaired.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure to have a drip edge installed so you can protect this part of your roof.
• Have pests removed. Pests like termites, rats, small animals and the likes can be annoying to see and hear. Worse, they can also cause damages to your roof. So if you see or hear any signs of them, call a pest expert. They’re such a problem the EPA will even warn you against them!
• Ensure proper ventilation and insulation in your attic. This can help avoid a warping roof. It can also help your roofing during snow as it avoids snow from melting and then freezing again. Read here why you absolutely need good ventilation.
There are a lot of roof maintenance tips that you can do on your own like a visual inspection. If you feel that you’re confident in doing DIY tasks and that you have the right skills and tools for it, you can take care of the issues yourself.