A new roof sets homeowners back somewhere between $4.00 and $8.00 per square foot, depending on where in America they live. And this is just for a standard shingle roof. If you’re looking at other materials, the prices can vary wildly.
So, in other words, it literally pays to look after the roof you already have to extend its lifespan as far as possible. And that’s why regular roof maintenance is essential for any homeowner to understand.
Are you confused about what you need to check on your roof? Read on for this handy checklist of roof maintenance to-dos.
Look Inside the Home for Damage
No matter the roofing materials you have on the exterior of your home, they’re all prone to failure if not well looked after. And one of the first indicators of a faulty roof is a damaged interior.
Before you get that ladder out and even step a single foot on your roof, it’s time to inspect the inside of your house. Head up into your attic or crawlspace and look for signs of water infiltration. This might be present as leaks or pools of water, staining, crumbling paint or bulging walls, or mold and mildew growth.
Check all your ceilings directly under the roof, too. And if you smell mildew anywhere in your home, check whether you can trace the source back to the roof.
Check for Debris
In commercial roofing, it’s common to check and clear roofs of debris regularly. So why don’t homeowners also do this? It’s time to head up onto the roof and find out what it looks like up there!
Once up top, look around for fallen leaves and branches, mounds of dirt or sand, moss, and bird or mammal nests. This kind of detritus can clog your drains and damage your roof lining, flashings, and seals, or your exterior roofing materials like shingles or tiles.
If you notice a lot of leaves and branches, check to see if the trees in your yard (or your neighbor’s yards) are getting unwieldy. Schedule a tree trimming if they need to be cut back. This will also help to protect your home from storm damage.
Run Your Eyes Over the Surface
When checking for debris, it’s a great chance to see if your residential roofing has sustained any lasting damage.
Look out for issues like:
- Cracking or holes in the exterior surface
- Blistering or tears in the lining
- Rust or corrosion (for metal roofs)
- Loose or missing pieces (such as fasteners)
- Gaps or tears in expansion joints
While you’re up there, it’s also the perfect time to wash your roof.
Algae grow on almost all roofs over time. It causes dark streaks that not only look unsightly but can also be harmful to your roof. While this won’t cause much damage to your house in the short term, it can cause deterioration if left to build up too much.
To fix this issue, wash your roof with a 50-50 mix of bleach and water or install copper strips on the peak of your roof.
Review Exterior Elements
Part of learning how to maintain a roof is understanding and caring for all the elements it accommodates. Depending on where you live and what systems you have in your home, these might include skylights, chimneys, venting, guttering, pipes, cables, or even solar panels.
Itemize each of these features separately in your roof maintenance checklist. Inspect them for structural damage, and call in a contractor if you notice anything amiss. If you see the roof sagging around any of these features, check for foundation damage.
While you’re looking at these independent elements, it’s also an excellent time to revisit old repairs. These are typically the first to fail, especially if they were a DIY job or your roof has reached the end of its life. If you’re unsure how to take care of a roof that’s had significant repairs, it’s probably time to call in the professionals for an inspection.
Get in the Professionals
You’ve gone through your checklist, and you’ve realized you’re not sure whether those shingles need replacing or not. Or perhaps you realized you just don’t have time in your busy schedule to go through the list you so diligently made. Or maybe you simply don’t have a long enough ladder.
You never want to put off roof maintenance. So, what’s the solution? It’s time to hire a professional roofing company to inspect your roof for you.
Roofing companies provide roof inspections, interior water infiltration inspections, minor and major roof repairs, and roof replacement, among other services. If you’re curious, you can check out more common roof maintenance services at websites like this: https://saltlakeroofing.com/park-city-roofing-company/.
While roofing services definitely cost you more than you’d pay DIY, they’ll give you peace of mind that the job is done thoroughly and keep repair costs to a minimum. Also, remember that older roofs need inspections more often: every two years for a ten-year-old roof and every year for a roof over 15 years old.
Keep Your Records Up-To-Date
While a checklist is handy, continually updating your repair records is essential for keeping your roof in good condition.
Keep information like purchase and repair invoices, building plans and permits, inspection records, and warranty or guarantee information either digitally on your computer or, if in paper format, stowed away in a fireproof box.
If you sell your home, need to prove a repair has failed, or claim on a warranty, you can pull out the necessary documents quickly.
Tips for Long-Term Roof Maintenance
A crucial tip for roof maintenance is to formulate a checklist and schedule the reviews into your yearly home care calendar. Always stay on top of activities like reviewing old repairs, checking for and clearing debris, washing your roof, and inspecting exterior elements. This way, you’ll ensure your roof lasts as long (or longer) than the average lifespan.
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