There is no argument; a decent roof over your head is a vital part of your house. It protects you and your home from the elements and from damage, it keeps you warm in the winter, helps keep you cool in the summer and makes sure you and your family is healthy and happy. A decent roof also adds value to the property even when it is not new, as long as it has been well maintained. Most warranties will cover a roof for up to 15 years, but keeping your roof in top condition can help it last past that point.
Here are some pointers on roof maintenance
Watch for overhanging tree branches
If you have trees growing close to the house keep an eye on the branches that hang over the roof. They should be trimmed back or removed to avoid the branches possible snapping in strong winds and falling onto the roof and doing damage. Leaves falling and pine needles falling can also create opportunities for rot which would allow further water damage.
Twice a year you should inspect your roof to check for any damage or repairs that might need doing and to clear debris. This inspection should be done outside and outside. You should also do an inspection after especially extreme weather conditions like bad storms when flying debris could have caused damage or gouges to the roof. You could use binoculars and do it from the ground, but it is also a good idea to use a ladder and take a closer look in person if possible. If you see anything wrong with your roof, it’s always advisable to get professional roofers to fix your roof for you. Find qualified roofers at eHomeDirectory.
Keep mildew and mold away
If you are seeing black spots on your roof this is an indication of mildew and mold problems. Mold can lead to damage not just to the roofing tile itself but also to the roofing material beneath it. A way to prevent this problem when you are putting in a new roof is to place zinc strips at the peak. Each time it rains zinc will wash off the strips and this will help to stop mildew and mold growing. Older roofs that show signs of mold can be cleaned with a mold remover made specifically for roofs, then you could attach the zinc strips after.
Remove the debris from your roof
At a minimum twice a year, perhaps at the same time as your 6 monthly inspections, you need to clean debris from your roof. Debris might include things like leaves, dirt, pine needles, small twigs and so on. Leaving debris on your roof for too long can lead to conditions that encourage mold and mildew to grow, and they can also cause damage. A cleared roof also looks a lot better!
Remove the snow from your roof
If you live where there is heavy snow it can start to pile up on your roof. Hopefully you have great insulation so it is not getting in at all but snow can still cause damage from all that weight. Also during winter conditions there can be a lot of thawing and freezing going on which leads to lots of ice which can get under roof tiles and cause damage, and lead to water damage when Spring finally arrives. If your roof seems to be sagging under the weight of snow you need to get it cleared off.
Unclog gutters and maintain them
Every year people pay out thousands of dollars in repairs for damage caused by clogged gutters. When the gutters got blocked the water that is meant to drain down them can back up under the roof and cause damage. If you maintain your gutters, clearing them regularly they will do the job they were meant to do, which is keeping rain water from damaging your roof.
Check the mortar around the chimney
Every so often it is also important to check the mortar around your chimney. If there is mortar missing or there are cracks replace it so that the bricks of the chimney remain held in place and do not fall and cause damage to the roof. It also means you avoid the potential serious issue of losing your chimney and therefore your fireplace and source of heat in the middle of winter when you need it.
Check your roof sealant
Where roof sealant has been used needs to be monitored for cracks, missing pieces and wear and tear. If you see any clear away the old sealant and replace it to avoid moisture getting in.
Replace damaged tiles and shingles
Often home owners mistakenly think that one tile missing or damaged shingle is not a big problem and can be ignored for a while. However this is not the case at all. As soon as you notice damage or any missing tiles, even just one, you should have this repaired. Even small damage like corners torn can lead to larger problems. A good idea is to have extra shingles and tiles around, learn how to do the quick repair and do it as soon as it is seen.
Have your roof inspected by a professional
Even if you take all the previous advice about caring for your roof, you should still have a professional inspection about once a year or once every two years particularly if your roof is older than a decade. Someone who knows what they are doing can spot smaller signs of damage, and see potential problems before they happen and fix them. In the long run it will cost less to hire a professional to inspect and carry out small repairs than it will to do major repairs because you have not been carrying out good roof maintenance.
These pointers on roof maintenance can ensure your roof stays in the best possible condition for many years. Sometimes you can even get between two to 5 years extra life from it before it needs replacing again. If you are not in a position to carry out what are quite physical tasks hire someone who can do it for you. Taking care of your roof is worth investing in and if you want to understand more about the different types of roof, check out this page.