Did you know that most roof leaks can be prevented by catching issues early on with regular roof inspections? A roof is designed to protect homes from the elements and inclement weather and should be able to withstand many obstacles. Over time, roofs experience wear and tear. It’s essential to continually monitor the condition of your roof and perform any maintenance to protect your roof from further damage from the elements. Regular inspection, either by you or a roofing specialist, will extend the life of your roof and keep your home protected.
Regular Shingle Inspection
Homeowners are encouraged to complete yearly checks of roof shingles, but if inclement weather is a common occurrence in your area, you may have to inspect more frequently. Along with wind and rain, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can also cause damage to your shingles over time. Regular inspection will help you identify any weak points, broken shingles, and much more. To guarantee your home has proper protection and remains safe for household members, inspecting your shingles will help you determine if all materials are still installed correctly and functioning as they should.
Be aware of any trees on your property that have overhanging branches. Branches that hang over your roof pose a threat in the winter months and must be trimmed before it sets in. Heavy snow and ice can build up on branches causing them to break and damage your roof and shingles. Additionally, high winds during blizzards and other inclement weather can whip the branches around, causing them to break away from the tree. Trimming these branches early on each year will help prevent any damage from occurring during the colder months.
Unclog and Clean Gutters
Clogged gutters can lead to more significant and costly issues if they’re not properly maintained and cared for. Common problems associated with clogged gutters include bubbling wall paint, rotting wood, and water damage to various parts of your roofing structure. Throughout the year, gutters can become filled with excess amounts of leaves, bugs, and other debris. If the debris isn’t cleared regularly, rainwater can’t travel accurately and can lead to pooling and extreme damage to the roofing structure as well as inside of your home. It’s encouraged to clean your gutters every Spring and Fall to allow for proper drainage.
While moss can seem appealing and add a whimsical aesthetic to your property, it’s realistically very detrimental to your roofing structure. Moss can cause damage to any roofing material, whether it be asphalt, wood, concrete, or metal. When moss appears, it grows between shingles, causing them to lift away from the roof over time. If shingles are lifted away from your roof, this allows water to get inside, thus encouraging the continued growth of moss and causing damage to your roofing structure and home such as leaks and wood rot. If you identify moss growth on your roof, you must scrub the moss away yourself or hire a professional to prevent further damage. Zinc sulfate granules can be sprinkled on your roof seasonally to prevent and stunt moss growth.
Proper Insulation and Ventilation
Roofing structures require advanced insulation and ventilation systems to prevent excess moisture and wood rot. It’s encouraged to have your attic inspected by a professional to confirm that you have the correct amount of insulation and ventilation for your home. If these two factors aren’t accounted for, warm air will continue to rise into your attic where it meets the cold and condensation will be created. If the issue isn’t addressed, mold growth and wood rot will occur over time. Proper ventilation allows for necessary air circulation to prevent condensation from occurring. Establishing correct insulation and ventilation will also save you money on your electric bill as your heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard during the warm and cold months.
Ice Dam Prevention
Proper insulation and ventilation also play into ice dam prevention as excess heat won’t get trapped in your attic. Most roofs are susceptible to ice dams after a heavy snowfall, and being proactive can help prevent them from occurring. If extreme amounts of warm air reach your attic, the roof is heated up, which causes snow to melt. The melted snow refreezes when the water travels to colder portions of the roof, thus creating ice dams. Melted snow and water continue to get stuck over time, which leads to water seeping through your roof, causing ceiling stains and peeling paint. Regular and thorough checks of your attic will allow you to monitor the temperature and adjust accordingly to prevent ice dams from forming at all. It’s recommended to check your attic year-round, but especially in the cooler fall and winter months. If you end up with ice dams and are unsure of how to manage, it’s vital to contact a professional to perform proper ice dam removal because if done incorrectly, it can lead to extensive damage.
Caulk the Flashings
Flashings are strips of various metals such as lead, aluminum, or galvanized, that are placed along roof edges or joints. This material is required to divert water and keep water out of areas that shingles can’t protect from piping and venting to skylights and chimneys. Over time, flashing can rust, crack, lift, or separate if the installation wasn’t done correctly or time has taken its toll. It’s vital to regularly check the flashings on your roof because if the flashing isn’t working correctly, a portion that protects your roof is no longer doing its job, which can lead to more significant issues. Caulking can be used to seal areas of flashing where it has become unstuck to encourage proper functioning.
Protect and Care for Your Roof
Many homeowners don’t realize the importance of caring for a roof because it’s commonly out of sight. Homes require a substantial investment, and a roof is there as a defense to protect your home from inclement weather and other elements. Regular checks of your roof either by yourself or a roofing professional will help ensure your roof is performing correctly and any underlying issues are being addressed. Your roof is the first line of defense, and proper maintenance and care will extend its life and give your home the protection it needs.