KEEP YOUR ROOF IN TOP SHAPE
Your roof has a big job to do! Far more than just a detail of your home’s architectural style, your roof helps keep you warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and dry during rain and snow. It also helps preserve the integrity of your home’s internal framework by keeping out unwanted water and moisture. But – as we all know – life happens.
Let us be your confidence provider by sharing some important tips about
protecting and maintaining your roof.
- Does anything appear abnormal on your roof? Look for irregularities, especially after extreme weather, such as high winds, heavy rain or snow.
- Are your shingles (or shakes, or tiles), skylights, chimney, and vent pipes (also known as “boot pipes”)
in good condition? Shingles should not be cracked, broken, missing or curled. Skylights should not be cracked, have condensation or damaged flashing. Your chimney should not have cracks or gaps in the mortar or the aluminum flashing that surrounds your chimney at the roof line. Boot pipes, which help prevent water from entering your home, should not be missing or damaged.
- Is there debris on your roof? Leaves should be removed, especially from roof “valleys” and areas
around chimneys. Failure to do so can trap moisture and can lead to deterioration and, possibly, moss growth.
- Are there any overhanging tree branches? They should be trimmed since they can rub on a roof or fall and damage the roof system, especially during high winds or winter snow storms. If you live in an area at risk of wildfires, this is a critical component of protecting your home.
- If you live in a colder climate, is there any ice or snow buildup? “Ice dams” usually form at the roof edges and can make it hard for melting snow to drain from the roof. The water then backs up and finds its way into your home, causing damage to the interior structure. Clear snow from your roof, gutters, and eaves after winter storms to help prevent ice dams and/or a potential roof collapse.
- Can you see tar streaking, or is moss present on your roof? Moss should be eliminated immediately since it’s notorious for trapping moisture. If the buildup has reached high levels, it can cause
shingles to lift, allowing water to seep into your home.
- Are your energy bills higher than usual? That could be a sign that cooled air or heat is escaping from your attic through gaps in the roof.
- Check your roof from the inside, as well! Are there any stains on the ceiling of your attic? If yes, we recommend you call someone immediately to prevent further water damage and mold. Roof rafters are also capable of rotting and growing weaker to exposure of water. Can you see daylight through your roof boards? If so, it’s definitely time for a new roof!
- How old is your roof? Common roof coverings like wood or asphalt shingles generally last about 20-25 years.
- Are your neighbors replacing their roofs? Homes in suburban neighborhoods are often built
around the same time and tend to require infrastructure repairs at about the same time.
SCHEDULE ANNUAL CHECK-UPS
• When was your last roof inspection? Thorough inspections should be done annually by a roofing professional.
• When was the last time your gutters were cleaned? They should be cleaned regularly, as overflowing gutters can cause water to back up into your home and/or cause damage to the lining underneath the shingles, which can lead to rot.
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS
When it’s time to replace your roof, consider your geographic location and exposure to weather conditions like high winds, hail, ultraviolet (UV) rays, and consistent moisture, then ask yourself these questions:
- How long is this roof likely to last?
- Is the material too heavy for my existing roof framing?
- Will it withstand a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or wildfire?
- Is the weather here always sunny? UV rays can cause certain types of roof coverings to deteriorate more quickly.
- Will my new roof complement the style of my home?
- Are the materials eco-friendly or recyclable?
- Will my new roofing meet my homeowner’s association (HOA) and/or local building codes?
- How much will it cost?