After years of hard work and savings, you manage to buy or build your dream house. Now, years have passed and you realize that your roof is in a state of disrepair.
In all the hustle and bustle of life we unlikely to pay attention to the roof which protects us from the summer heat, rain, snow and storms throughout the year.
Often times we fail to realize the roof needs a repair until it is too late. Making a new roof is quite expensive so you should try to ensure that your roof stays in shape for as long as possible.
1. Look and Listen
Aim for at least two inspections every year from the ground up. Also, inspect after a heavy snowstorm or big winds. You can use binoculars to check in them instead of climbing up. Early detection and immediate management can help keep damage and repair costs low. Look for-
- Missing cracked or curling shingles
- Damaged or missing flashings
- Missing or exposed fasteners
- Piled up Granules
- Broken Gutters
- Damaged Drip ends
2. Get Professional Help
You might be reluctant to hire a roof inspector thinking you can just check your roof by yourself. But an experienced inspector will be more likely to detect if anything is amiss and it is much cheaper to hire an inspector than pay for costly repairs.
They will also advise you on how to maintain your roof and how long it will last.
3. Trim for a Prim Roof
Trees can make the landscape more admirable but look for trees leaning too close to your roof. They can gouge or scratch the shingles on the roof. Severe weather can send them crashing into your roof.
They also provide rodents access and they might gnaw on your roof. Keep branches at least 10 feet away and put sheet metal on the trunk to prevent rodents from climbing up.
4. Clean Your Roof Regularly
Remove leaves, debris, and branches from your roof before they clog up the gutter. Accumulation of debris in your roof will promote moss growth and hasten the damage to the roof.
Try to clean your roof at least twice a year or before a huge storm. This will lengthen the lifespan of your roof and a clean roof enhances the beauty of the house.
5. Declutter the Gutter
This is a job no one wants to do but it needs to be done. Gutters carry debris and water away from the roof and house foundation. Clogged up gutters are responsible for ruined paints in siding and wet basements.
Backflushing of water on the roof can rot roof sheathing and roof rafters if leaves accumulate there.
While cleaning check for any gaps in the seams and confirm the brackets are secure. To help you with clean up the gutter clogged by natural causes, you may use gutter guards.
6. Ensure a Well Insulated Attic
Inadequate insulation will cause the lower layers of snow and ice on the roof to melt and refreeze around the shingles, damaging them. An ideal attic should have a gap-free layer of insulation on the floor and a vapor retarder on the ceiling to prevent moisture.
Also check your attic regularly for musty odors, bulging patches, spots or stains on the wall to indicate any leaks.
7. Make Your Building Breathe
A well-ventilated attic will protect the roof from the excess heat and also keep the inside of the house cool. Bad ventilation will cause the rotting of roof parts and render the insulation useless.
Keep large, open vented spaces so that air can flow freely, especially in summer.
8. Prevent Ice Dams
Removing some of the ice after snowstorms delays leaks into the house. You should also clear up the snow if there is danger of the roof collapsing.
Use a roof rake to pry of the snow within three to four feet of the gutter. Try to clear from the ground using telescoping pole instead of a ladder as there is a risk of falling from the onslaught of snow.
Do not try to rake the ice frozen on the roof as you might scratch the roof. Call in professional help if this is beyond your expertise.
9. Replace the Caulk If Needed
Flashing and vent pipes around the roof prevent water from leaking into your home. Replace the caulk annually so that the flashing can work properly.
Inspect the caulk to see if it’s lifted anywhere – if so, scrape it away and replace the gap with a new bead.
10. Do Not Power Wash
You might think a good hosing the roof should clear any debris with minimum effort. However, power washing the roof can strip away undamaged parts of the roof or force water up under the shingles.
11. Prevent Pest Infestation
Rodents and termites can cause severe damage to the roof if unchecked. They may chew on them or use parts of your roof to make their own home so pest control as soon as you any signs of infestation.
12. Avoid Moss, Algae & Lichen
Not only do they make your house look unsightly they can lead to extensive damage to the roof by trapping moisture. They tend to grow on the shaded areas with more humidity.
Tackle them early on to prevent such issues. It is recommended to use potassium salts of fatty acids rather than toxic zinc sulfates or pesticides.
You can also wash with soap for cheaper alternatives.
To avoid future inconveniences, install zinc or copper strips along the ridge of the roof. This is also a more environmentally-friendly option compared to pesticides.
13. Check Your Chimney
Any damage to the chimney can cause bricks to fall out and damage your roof. So include the chimney during your roof inspections. Patch up any cracks or missing mortars or seek a contractor to do it for you.
14. When to Call the Cavalry
Some repairs can be DIY projects but remember to employ the safety-first policy. Inexperience can lead to life-threatening accidents so seek professional help when something is beyond your scope.
Search and compare professional opinions before reaching any decision. Think quality over prices as you want long term effects and avoid costly repairs down the road.
Proper maintenance and early detection of any damage is the secret to roof longevity. If your roof needs to be replaced hire a good contractor and look over all clauses before making a decision.
Take advice from your lawyers if required and make sure your home warranty to help with the costs. Your roof protects all your assets and family so keep good care of it so that you can live under the same roof for many years to come.