Roof Maintenance: Tips for the First Home Buyer
The one part of your home you probably pay the least attention to is arguably the most important part of your home. Your roof.
Other than wanting our roof to be aesthetically pleasing, we don’t ask a lot of it. We expect it to keep us dry and safe – and our possessions protected. With proper roof maintenance, a roof can last 20 – even 30 years – just quietly doing its job of protecting you and your family from the outside elements.
Just like anything else, a roof’s integrity will degrade over time. So slowly, in fact, it’s hard to notice. Violent storms and water leaks can lead to rot, mold, mildew, and shingle damage. These issues are often hidden away from the casual observer, but can result in untimely, costly maintenance nightmares when you least expect it.
Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later
Maintaining your roof on a routine basis has its costs, as well. But maintenance costs are nothing compared to the cost of major repairs or roof replacement.So, what sorts of things should you pay attention to?
- Check your shingles – According to BudgetDumpster.com, you should check your shingles on a fairly regular basis. For your safety, the site suggests to avoid climbing on to your roof for these inspections. Instead, if your roof has a steep enough pitch, you should be able to use a good pair of binoculars to discover any problems.What to look for:
- Missing shingles
- Curling shingles
- Cracked shingles
- Peeling flashing
- Missing granulesWhile you’re at it, you can look for any issues regarding soffits, fascia, flashing around your chimney – as well as the storm-worthiness of your vents and skylights. If during your inspection you note wear and tear that should be more closely examined, contact a reputable roofing contractor to solve the issues.
- Professional roof inspection – Even if your periodic inspections turn up little or no causes for concern, you may want to consider hiring a professional roof inspector once or twice a year to get a professional opinion about your roof’s condition for your peace of mind.
- Leaks in attic and ceilings – If you have a leak in your attic or ceiling, you’ll have the best luck finding the source of the leak examining your attic top to bottom during an active rain storm. Water coming from such leaks will often be brownish, as it’ll bring some dirt along with it. Some leaks can easily be patched by yourself or in many cases, may best be handled by a licensed roofing professional.
- Clean your roof and gutters – The outside elements can do a number on your roof. Not only leaving it unsightly, but also leaving it susceptible to rot from moss, mold, and algae. Those kinds of growths can make a roof slippery, which makes it a better candidate for professional cleaning. A good time for gutter maintenanceis as winter turns to spring and summer turns to fall. Dirty, clogged gutters can cause water to seep under your roof. If possible, consider using screens or covers on your gutters to reduce the amount of time needed to maintain them.
- Trim overhanging branches – Tree branches are a major source of dead leaves and twigs that can clutter your roof and fill your gutters with debris. In a significant storm, your roof can sustain significant damage – as low-hanging, wind-blown branches bang into your roof.
- Snow removal – Is your roof loaded down with packed snow? Visit disastersafety.org and find out how much snow is too much for your roof to handle, requiring you to get a snow rake to lighten the load from your roof.
How Do You Know When Your Roof Needs to be Replaced?
Improvenet.com – Roof Maintenance Tips
Improvenet.com– Roofing Tips for First-Time Homeowners
angieslist – What Can I do to Maintain My Roof?
Budget Dumpster – 7 Roof Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Needs to Know