How to Make Sure Your Roof is Maintained Well
The old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This applies to your roof just as much as it does to anything else in life! A new roof can easily cost $20,000 to $30,000 or even more to replace. Even small sections of repairs can cost thousands of dollars.
While most roofing materials do have a lifespan, you can extend the usable number of years of your roof by consistently performing some preventative maintenance. This allows you to put money away for that new roof over a longer time, and not be forced into a quick decision over whether to perform major repairs or a full replacement.
Some of these maintenance tasks can be done by a homeowner, especially if the house is a single story and the roof is low pitched. The best idea is to call a professional roofer like Horizon who is experienced climbing up on roofs and knows exactly what to look for and what maintenance to perform.
Here are some of the most common maintenance tasks that need to be done regularly. Even if you don’t do them yourself, it’s best to be informed so you know what your roofer will be looking for when they climb up and take a look.
Look For Easy to Spot Problems
Wind, rain, hail, snow and the sun give your roof quite the workout as the seasons pass. This can result in several different problems, all of which are fairly easy to fix.
When these problems are spotted early, performing proper repairs is quick and inexpensive compared to having to replace whole sections.
Missing or Damaged Shingles
If you have a shingle or shake roof, it’s not uncommon for wind or debris to knock a shingle loose. If this happens, the structure underneath can be at a high risk for damage. It’s important for any missing or damaged shingles to be replaced as soon as possible.
Call an experienced roofer like Horizon for an estimate. Your roofer might even be able to handle this repair when they are performing an annual inspection.
Green stuff growing on your roof might be quaint to look at, but it’s a sure sign that moisture is accumulating and providing the perfect growing medium for moss. Algae spores travel through the air, and can be deposited on just about any roof. The accumulation of moss in turns harbors more water, which leads to shingle damage and even water penetrating the roof. You may be able to see discoloration from a distance, without even climbing up a ladder.
Application of various types of chemical solutions can effectively reduce or eliminate patches of moss or algae before they become a problem. While you can head to the hardware store and find a bleach or chlorine solution, it’s usually best to leave this to the professionals, unless you feel comfortable working on your roof.
Cutting back tree growth that blocks sunlight to your roof can also be helpful. This prevents moisture accumulation on your roof that promotes moss or algae growth.
Damage to Boots or Flashing
Boots and flashing are what helps to prevent any water from penetrating the roof from openings for pipes and vents. Shingling is laid around these areas to protect them.
If the metal begins to rust, it loses its ability to prevent water penetration. Another issue to look out for is portions of flashing or boots peeling upwards. This allows water to collect or flow under shingles which will cause problems.
Clean Your Gutters
It’s not the most pleasant task, but cleaning your gutters regularly is a big part of making sure your roof is maintained well. If you are comfortable climbing a ladder, and don’t mind putting your hands in all that gunk, you can perform this task yourself.
Often, it’s easier to hire a dedicated gutter cleaning company to handle it for you. If you live in an area with a lot of trees, you can be sure your gutters will fill up every year.
When gutters don’t drain properly, water builds up next to the house, which can damage fascia boards, shingles, and even the gutters themselves.
One option to consider is gutter guards. There are many styles available to fit just about any house. These can cut down on the amount of debris that enters your gutters. It’s still a good idea to inspect the gutters from time to time.
Clean Your Roof
All of the above problems can be prevented or eliminated by proper and regular roof cleaning. Allowing leaves, sticks, seeds or other debris to remain on your roof, it becomes a breeding ground for mold, moss, stains and leakage.
It’s important to be careful when cleaning your roof. A leaf blower is an excellent way to remove debris. If it’s a corded, electric model, be especially conscious of the cord, which could cause a tripping hazard.
As you walk around the roof, move slowly and deliberately. Carefully watch where you step, and make sure your toe doesn’t catch on any shingles. Pipes or vents are often colored the same shade as the roof, and present camouflage hazards.
Using a broom can work well in some situations, but be very careful that you don’t pull up or damage any shingles.
If you are feeling uncomfortable about getting up on your roof, don’t hesitate to call in a professional for help. Qualified roofers like Horizon are experienced in working on roofs of all types, and know-how to complete maintenance safely.
Inspect After a Storm
After a serious storm, it’s a good idea to take a peek at how your roof is doing. You may be able to do this from a distance, if your house isn’t too tall. If the storm damaged or blew shingles off, you don’t want to leave those problems for later, as they are sure to lead to serious damage the next time it rains.
Call The Professionals
The number one thing you can do to extend the life of your roof is to have it professionally inspected regularly. Experienced roofers like Horizon can spot more than just the obvious problems, they’ll know about the ones that aren’t so easy to see as well.
By handling the small issues early, you can get the full life out of your roof, maximizing the return on your investment.
Horizon Roofing – serving the Orange County, CA area – is your reliable local roofing contractors. We specialize in residential roofing and commercial roofing and have been in the industry for over a decade. We have excellent reviews and look forward to serving your need.