Most roofs are made to last 15 years and some will last even longer with good care. If you don’t want to end up paying more money than you ever should to protect your roof tune in to these simple solutions to roof maintenance.
Regular Roof Inspections
Maintenance and inspection checks are a crucial part of maintaining the value and safety of your home and should be done every 3-5 years depending on the material you have. The roof is essential to the house structure and you do not want to find yourself fixing a disaster that could have been avoided with proper maintenance. During an inspection, your roofers will look for loose or missing nails to replace, and make sure that no shingles, tiling or slates need to be replaced. This includes making sure your chimney is in good shape and making all necessary repairs. These inspections aren't cheap but could save you thousands of dollars by avoiding structural damage to your roof or foundation, so be sure to budget them in.
Look for sagging gutters
You want to make sure that excess water on your roof isn't causing you any long term damage. At least twice a year you should have your roof and gutters cleaned. Small branches, leaves, and other debris in your gutters, downspouts or their extensions can keep water from properly moving from your roof. You should keep an eye out for sagging gutters and damaged drain components and immediately repair them if necessary. Doing so will reduce the chance of leaks and mold and other water damage.
Can you trust your trees
That big oak that's been growing in your backyard since you moved in 10 years ago has likely shifted, grown out and lost branches here and there. It is essential to not overlook the ways in which your trees might be affecting your roof. A few long branches that rest on the roof or that have broken off and landed there, could lead to serious damage over time. If your trees grow too close to the roof the touching branches can scratch and damage your tiles or shingles weakening the structure. Branches that bang at the roof during a storm or a particularly windy day can puncture the roof materials calling for a replacement. You want to make sure to keep your tree trimmed in a way that will protect your home starting from the top down.
Is your roof sick with mold
Areas that are heavily shaded most of the day are highly susceptible to mold. In particular the northernmost part of the roof sees this type of damage. This mold will look like dark streaks so you could easily mistake it for something less threatening like wet tiles, or shadows. Do not be fooled, dark streaks should always be inspected. This mold generally grows during periods of high humidity and if left unchecked they can eat away at the materials causing deterioration and leaks. This is one more reason trimming back your trees is good for your roof; to reduce over-shading.
Look for rust, fungus and algae
Regularly check your roof for rust, fungus and algae in addition to the mold. If the roof is starting to collect algae or moss you should have zinc or lead control strips installed. If you have a metal roof and are noticing rust you can take care of it by using a wire brush to get rid of the rust, then use prime to paint the metal.
Keep an eye out for leaks
If you get a roof leak you could be in a world of trouble. The damage done to the roof and the damage to the interior of the house will have to be fixed. This can be a pricey task. Save yourself time and money by checking your house for leaks regularly. During a big storm or heavy rain, take a flashlight to the attic and look and listen for leaks. Also visually check the ceilings looking for yellowing or dark spots. Leaks can cause damage inside your walls creating mold, or result in a rotten roof deck. Mold can be toxic for your family so leaks should never be ignored.
Make sure you have proper ventilation
If you are someone who is very conscience of your home maintenance then you are going to want to hear this. The best way to extend the life of your roof and prevent damage Is to have proper roof ventilation. Poor ventilation will lead to damaged shingles, molded plywood, cold winters and very hot summers. Proper ventilation will not only help regulate the temperature inside the house but it will also save you a lot of money on your electricity bill.
Fareed Tulbah is the owner of Caden Roofing in Austin, Texas. He and his team have over 30 years of roofing experience and providing new roofs across the state of Texas. They keep customer service at heart and consult clients when choosing materials and follow up after the roof is complete.