Roofs aren’t built to last forever. To make matters worse, many people neglect routine roof repair and maintenance, only to discover they have a roof problem when they are faced with a significant financial outlay. Although you can’t make your roof last forever, appropriate care and repairs can help it endure longer.
Because there are so many options to do a poor job or save money on materials, workmanship is also a factor. If you’re buying a home, get the roof inspected and inquire about the year the roof was installed from the seller.
Here are a few things you can do to help it last longer and prevent damage.
Keep The Roof Clean
Keep your roof as clean as possible. In most cases, you won’t need to climb up on the roof, because most dirt and debris collect in gutters, which are easily accessible by ladder. Most roofs have sloping edges that prevent debris from collecting. They can also damage trim and fascia below them, and cause premature rot in window frames. Snow and ice can easily clog gutters for days or weeks at a time.
Regular roof inspection as part of a routine home or building maintenance will help extend roof life. Your roofing contractor’s job is to identify issues and suggest solutions. You should also check for damage after heavy rains and storms. Observe for crooked or split shingles, but be safe and take precautions. If you suspect a problem, call a roofing contractor instead of doing it yourself (a poor DIY job can affect your warranties and insurance). Like dental check-ups, catching small problems early saves time, money and pain.
Improve Attic Ventilation
Improper ventilation can lead to long-term issues. High temperatures may cause asphalt shingles to break down and degrade, needing a roof replacement sooner. Put your hand to the warm ceiling to diagnose ventilation issues. If your ceiling is heated, your attic may be under-ventilated. Install a soffit vent on the edge of your roof if you detect any of these difficulties. A roofing expert can advise on the optimal location for a vent based on your home’s architecture.
Keep Snow And Ice Away
Ice and snow are two of the main culprits in premature roof aging. This occurs for two reasons. In addition to the weight of ice and snow, prolonged contact with these substances cools the roofing materials. Remove the majority of the material with a long-handled scraper, without worrying about every little piece. You can also use a road salt and water solution sprayed on the roof with a bucket. If you use this method, make sure the water is hot.
Inspect Flashing and Caulk
The caulk surrounding the flashing — the metal pieces that guide water away from where roof elements cross – is the first item to break on newer roofs. Caulk deteriorates considerably faster than shingles, dry rotting and cracking. As a result, you should conduct a roof inspection, particularly on your flashing to ensure that your home is protected from the elements.
Kill That Moss And Mold
Moss and mold are likely to grow in shady sections of your roof. While the green hue is attractive, it isn’t worth the effort. The only way to get rid of the moss and mold is to use a chemical to kill them. Unfortunately, doing so without causing harm to the surrounding environment is quite difficult. There are some specific products available for this purpose. If you go that way, a 60/40 bleach/water solution should suffice.
Look for Missing Shingles
Small issues can quickly escalate into huge issues. A missing shingle isn’t a big concern if you notice it and fix it as soon as possible. If you discover a shingle in your yard, have it replaced as soon as possible to prevent water damage.
Check for Exposed Nails
Water can enter through a gap created by loose nails. Water can seep through a minor breach in your roof and end up in various portions of your house, including the drywall in your living room, due to gravity and roof slope. A quick roof repair to prevent water damage is to hammer in loose nails.
If you have a simple peaked roof with little planting, it probably stays leaf-free. If the roof is complex or there are tall trees nearby, leaves may accumulate in roof valleys or near chimneys. If you don’t remove them, they’ll trap moisture and decay over time, allowing moisture to build in your roof and weeds to thrive.
Trim Low Hanging Branches Near The Roof
Trimming low-hanging branches near the roof is an often-overlooked DIY roof repair activity. Branches that are too close to the roof can damage it in a variety of ways, from scraping the shingles to enormous branches falling on top of your roof during a storm.
Clean the Gutters
Clogged gutters caused by storm damage cause ruined siding and a soggy basement, but the overflow can also move upward. Too many leaves in gutters cause water to soak into roof sheathing and damage it, or even rafters. Cleaning your gutters in the fall and spring can save you thousands of dollars in repairs. You can do it yourself in a few hours or hire a contractor for $50-$250, depending on your home’s size.
Address Underlying Issues
Adding or upgrading attic insulation and properly ventilating your home helps keep it warm and safe in any season. Have an energy audit done in your attic and make sure it has appropriate venting. Choosing energy-efficient roofing materials with reflective coatings helps save energy expenses, which is wonderful preparation for the next warm season.
Watch for Dry Rot
Dry rot can harm your roof, so keep a watch out for it. When your roof’s timbers deteriorate, the shingles become brittle and fall. Water dripping into your home causes fractures and stains. Take action if you see these indicators. There are many DIY dry rot treatment tutorials online, but without the correct tools or knowledge, it can be quite risky. Instead, use a professional roof repair service.
StormROOF Systems, LLC is the company to call for storm damage roof repair and replacement. To book a post-storm roof inspection and evaluation, call (470) 300-1768 or fill out our contact form. We’ll also assist you with filing an insurance claim.