The roof is crucial to the integrity of your house, protecting the home’s interior from water intrusion, and other damage. Between 2000 and 2019, hail-related property damages totaled between $8 and $14 billion dollars a year! Much of the damage was to residential roofs.
Often, homeowners don’t realize the roof sustained damage during a storm. Proper roof care on a regular basis increases the life of your roof and alerts you to any problems that need attention.
Get more for your money by extending the life of your roof through regular roof maintenance. How? Read on for a guide to roof maintenance.
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Climbing on the roof isn’t what most people want to do on their day off. You’re right to be wary. Getting up on the roof is not without its dangers, but it’s a necessary part of basic roof maintenance for keeping your roof in good condition.
If you’re not comfortable getting up on a ladder, hire a professional. If you don’t mind getting up on the ladder, you can inspect the roof yourself. Do this once a year and after any major storm.
What to Look For
Inspect the roof from several angles so you don’t miss anything. You’re looking for some specific issues. These include:
- Missing, cracked, or dislodged roofing tiles or shingles
- Rust on flashing
- Cracked caulking
- Blocked gutters and downspouts
- Damage to mortar around the chimney
- Lots of moss or algae
- Granules in the gutters
Damaged or missing roof tiles is the most serious problem that needs immediate attention. A large amount of moss or algae is more a cosmetic issue than a problem but it can eat away at the shingles over time.
If you do have algae and moss, consider a chemical agent to clean them. Check with your local hardware or home improvement store.
Flashing is the metal parts of the roof designed to direct the flow of water away from critical areas of the roof. You’ll see it around areas such as chimneys and skylights. If the flashing rusts, it’s not as effective.
Is there an excessive amount of black granules in the gutters? This indicates the protective coating on the shingles is failing. This is the right time to call a professional and tell them to “replace my roof, please!”
Proper Roof Space Ventilation
Depending on your type of home, the attic isn’t always the easiest place to access. It’s important to get into the attic or loft space for inspection, so it’s time to figure it out. Most homes have a pull-down ladder system from the ceiling somewhere in the home.
Chances are, you’ve been in the attic or loft space to change the HVAC filter. Now it’s time to get up there and inspect the roof.
The most important thing you’re looking for in the attic space is proper roof ventilation. Without the right ventilation, the roof is at risk for mold and mildew growth. The right ventilation balances the outside and inside temperatures preventing moisture build-up.
Improper ventilation leads to faster deterioration of the roof due to moisture. It also means higher energy bills as the system works harder to reduce the moisture. Down below in the living space, the home is less comfortable as well.
When inspecting the attic space, look for moisture build-up, mold, and mildew. Shine a bright light all around the inside of the attic ceiling.
Do you see any moist spots or outright wet spots? This is a sign you’ve got a leak that hasn’t yet traveled down to your interior ceiling. If you see wet areas, call a professional.
The gutters are a big part of your roof system. Clean the gutters at least twice a year. You may need to clean them more if your home is under a lot of trees.
Did you know clogged or broken gutters can lead to major roof problems? The gutters carry rainwater away from the roof and critical areas of the roof such as the chimney. They also divert water away from the home’s foundation.
If the gutters aren’t working well, the ground around your home’s foundation can be waterlogged. This can cause major damage to the structural integrity of your home.
Clean the gutters of all leaves and debris. Make sure the downspouts aren’t clogged.
You can do this by pointing a hose into the spout. If the water backfills and doesn’t go down the spout, you’ll need to clear the clog. Water backing up onto your roof can cause major roof issues.
Cleaning the Roof
Small amounts of mold and mildew on the roof aren’t a big issue, but large amounts are. Clean the roof before you have a problem.
It’s okay to pressure wash clay or brick tiles but do not pressure wash shingles or felt tiles. Pressure washing felt tiles or shingles ruins them and voids any warranty you have on the roof.
Chemical cleaners are your best bet for cleaning off mold and mildew. A chemical cleaner keeps the roof free of mold for a couple of years.
If you have any questions about the best way to clean the roof, ask a professional.
Roof Replacement Costs
There are many different options when it comes to replacing a roof. Costs depend on the type of roof you choose. Metal, clay tiles, and slate are more expensive but longer-lasting.
You can choose anything from metal to clay tiles to asphalt shingles. Speak with a professional about what type of roof is best for your home and budget.
Routine Roof Care for a Long-Lasting Roof
Implement routine roof care for a long-lasting roof. The roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Take good care of it so it’ll live up to its full potential.
Do regular inspections and look for broken shingles, bad flashing, and a build-up of moss or algae. Clean your gutters at least twice a year, and inspect the attic area for proper ventilation. If you have any questions, concerns, or issues, call in a professional.
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