Maintaining the roof of your home is one of the most important jobs that a homeowner has to do. If small leaks or broken tiles are ignored, your house will be seriously damaged by poor weather. By keeping up with regular maintenance on your roof, you will prevent the need to replace the roof altogether, which is a very costly job.
In order to keep your roof in prime condition, take a look at these top 5 tips for residential roofing maintenance:
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is the number one priority for all homeowners, as blocked gutters can cause a lot of damage. The purpose of downspouts is to allow water to run off the roof when it rains, so if it becomes blocked with leaves and other debris during winter then rainwater has nowhere to run through. You may be tempted to leave this job until summer but in most states, there will be a risk of spring showers. So the sooner gutters are cleaned the better.
It is wise to inspect your gutters on a regular basis as they may not always look like they are blocked or leaking, but on closer look, they may be. Allowing downspouts to clog up could lead to a large leak down the line.
Check for Flashing Damage
Windows, skylights, walls of dormers are all sealed together with flashing, as are any areas where two slopes of the roof come together. Regular inspections of you’re flashing will enable you to spot any rusted areas before they begin to cause flashing to crack and will prevent long-term damage. If caulking around the flashing is cracked, then you will need to re-caulk as a matter of urgency. This is a job that you can do yourself but may be one for the experts to do for you.
Replace Broken Shingles
Any shingles that are curling or are loose or damaged should be replaced immediately. One or two shingles are easy to replace and will not cost a lot of money. Leaving them to break altogether will mean that you may need extensive work done in the future which is very expensive.
While inspecting your roof you should hammer down any nails that are exposed or popping out and any shingles that are beginning to look worn will be worth replacing.
Check for Water and Ice Damage
Heavy winter rain and snow can cause havoc with your roof as the water runs all over the roof and will penetrate through any gaps. Damage may be seen on the roof itself or you may see water damage on your walls and ceilings indoors.
If you are tempted to leave a leaking roof because you do not use your attic space, you will risk long-term damage and it will destroy your insulation.
Signs of water damage include:
- Large damp patches on walls
- Yellow or brown patches on ceilings of upstairs rooms
- Exterior walls looking more sodden than normal
- Excess water draining from downspouts and into gutters
- Damp around the house
Check Your Soffit and Fascia
A soffit is a panel made of wood or metal that run along the underside of the roof between the roofline and the main wall of the house. The fascias of the roof are a wooden or metal piece of material that run behind the eavestrough. These parts of the roof are often overlooked but will need to be inspected just as much as the other roof components.
You should look out for any cracks, holes, or soft spots and if there is a sign of damage then they will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
As mentioned in these tips, it is essential to inspect your roof on a regular basis. You should check for loose or missing shingles, moss, mold, cracks, peeling, curling, and signs of leaks. Detecting problems early on will allow you to address them before they get worse.
While most roof maintenance will be carried out during spring and summer in preparation for winter, you should still look after your roof all year round.
It is important not to be complacent when it comes to your roof, if your roof has been fine for a couple of years, don’t assume that all is okay when it comes to your next inspection as you may miss something. Having some money set aside for any roof repairs will help you out when it comes to making expensive roof alterations.
If you keep your roof in good order then it will last many years. On average, a roof will last 15-20 years but you will expect to replace some of the component parts during this period. When buying a house you should always check when the roof was last replaced and, if selling, it will be fruitful to fix any major damage or invest in a new roof if you want to improve your asking price.
Hiring a Professional Roofer
If the 5 tips above are followed your roof should stay in good condition for many years. Some of the jobs you will be able to do on a monthly basis but others will need to be carried out professional roofers who have experience in the industry. You will pay more money to hire a professional roofing company, but you would need to buy tools and equipment to carry out the job as well as materials for repairs.
A professional roofer will be able to carry out the following jobs for you:
- Replace broken tiles and shingles
- Carry out all guttering cleaning and maintenance
- Waterproofing vents and flashings
- Add mortar cement to S-tile roofs
- Inspect for wind damage
- Remove debris from downspouts and gutters
- Re-t where necessary
By hiring a professional roofing company you can trust that the job will be compete quickly and effectively. Preventative roof maintenance is one of the prime priorities when it comes to protecting your home and managing your investment.