Why Maintaining Your Roof Is So Important
Your roof is one of the most vital features of your home. It forms a barrier between the elements and what’s inside. The roof holds cool air inside during the summer and warm air in during the winter. It even contributes to the overall appearance of your home.
Keeping your roof in good condition will protect the rest of your home from water damage. But failing to get a roof repaired when it is small could lead to big problems and the expense of a total roof replacement.
Preventing, Detecting, and Repairing Roof Damage
The first step towards maintaining your roof is to prevent as much age and wear as possible. If you are building a new structure, the choice of a roof style and materials is up to you. If you are buying an older home, make sure you request a home inspection before you make an offer. There are some types of damage that you can’t detect just by looking. If the home needs a new roof, make sure the seller either replaces the roof or reduces the cost of the home to cover your expenses.
If you plan to keep living in your existing home or are preparing to put it on the market, you should take an active role in maintaining your roof. Sometimes catching damage only requires a small roof repair. In other cases, there might already be significant damage that isn’t visible on the surface. Getting a professional home inspection will tell you the condition of the roof and what, if anything, you need to do to restore its quality.
Causes of Roof Damage
No roof lasts forever, and sometimes, they don’t last nearly as long as you expect them to. There are multiple causes of premature roof damage, several of which are caused by Mother Nature. Moss growth, birds, raccoons, and broken tree limbs are just some of the examples of unexpected vandals that can ruin the roof. But sometimes the problem starts with the materials used or the people who installed the original roofing.
A variety of materials are used to make roofs, each with its own pros, cons, and lifespan. Every homeowner should know the age of their roof, what it’s made of, and how long it should last. There are some factors that can cause roof damage early on, including:
- Poor Quality Roofing Materials – Replacing a roof is expensive, and no one wants to pay any more than they have to. That’s why homeowners often cut corners by using cheaper roofing materials. What they don’t realize is that the cost of labor for installation of the cheaper materials might actually be higher. On top of that, the roof will become damaged sooner and need to be repaired or replaced.
- Harsh Environmental Conditions – Homes in extremely hot or cold climates or that are exposed to high winds or falling debris can reduce the lifespan of the roof.
- Quality of the Installation – An unprofessional installation or repair can lead to early damage and extended problems that could cost more than the new roof.
Sometimes the damage to your roof is obvious. You might see shingles that aren’t lying flat or that have blown off and are lying on the ground. But the damage isn’t always this easy to find. It might be a matter of a broken seal that prevents your roof from working like it’s supposed to. At some point, rain might penetrate your roof and cause damage inside. By the time you see signs of water damage on the inside, there might be a need for extensive repairs.
Regular Roof Maintenance Tips
Regular roof maintenance is an important step toward keeping your home safe from water damage. Make it a habit to do the following:
1. Check Your Shingles Regularly
This is especially true after a storm or high winds. You don’t have to climb a ladder to get a close look. Instead, invest in a pair of good-quality binoculars. Examine the surface for missing, curled, or cracked shingles. Also, check the flashing to make sure it isn’t damaged or missing.
2. Check Your Ceilings and Attic for Signs of Water Damage
Water that comes into your house starts at the top and may come through the ceiling or walls. Look for bulging patches on the interior walls or water spots on the ceilings or walls. You might also smell a musty odor before you see signs of water leaks.
3. Keep Your Gutters Clean
Homeowners often overlook the connection between an effective gutter system and a healthy roof. If your gutters get clogged, it lets water seep under the roof or down the walls of your home.
4. Make Any Needed Repairs to Your Chimney
Even if you haven’t used your fireplace in years, a damaged chimney can lead to structural damage to your roof. A leaning roof can also be a sign of foundation problems with your home. Replace any cracked or missing mortar or replace the entire chimney if the damage is severe.
5. Trim Any Overhanging Branches
Severe weather can break tree limbs or cause entire trees to fall. Even during calm weather, branches can break and fall on your roof. Keep any branches trimmed that would otherwise hang over your roof to prevent storm damage. It also helps reduce the accumulation of leaves on top of your home and/or in the gutters.
6. Keep Your Roof Clean
Algae feeds off asphalt shingles and weakens the roof’s structural integrity. You can buy spray cleaners to get rid of algae growth, but a 50:50 ratio of bleach to water is the most effective.
7. Get a Professional Home Inspection
A home inspector can see the potential problems that you don’t. It’s the best way to find out if a simple roof repair is enough, or if it’s time for a new roof.
Advantages of a Home Inspection for Realtors
Getting a home inspection of the roof is a good idea for realtors too. It lets you offer a listing with the confidence that the roof is in good shape and will last a long time. Taking this initiative will also put potential buyers at ease about making a purchase.
Contact Pro Inspect Solutions
Roof damage isn’t always easy to see, but it is an important issue. Whether you are buying, selling, or trying to extend the life of the roof in your current home, a professional home inspection can help. If you need to book an inspection, contact us with our online form today. We are happy to help.