Your roof is a hero. It beats back the heat, endures hail and snow, stops rainwater from leaking into your home. Every day, your roof is faced with a new combination of weather, fluctuating temperatures, and the power of mother nature. Still as roofs are weathered and age, they become damaged–losing a shingle here, leaking there, which may result in a potential roof repair.
Roof repairs can be tedious and expensive, especially when the problem or damage has been allowed to fester. Untreated leaks can allow mold to grow in your home and lose shingles can be symptomatic of a bigger structural problem. Sometimes, our roofs seem to be so subtly damaged that it comes as a shock when a costly roof replacement is deemed necessary.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your roof could just tell you when it’s damaged? Well, here’s some good news: your roof does tell you. You simply have to look for the signs.
As a homeowner, familiarizing yourself with your roof can decrease costly repairs and increase the durability of your roof. Doing simple roof maintenance tasks not only helps you catch a problem in the early stages of damage, it also helps prevent more problematic damage from ever occurring. At Reynolds Roofing Exteriors & Coating, we have five ways you can easily maintain your roof, reduce your total roof costs, and help your roof live a long and healthy roof life.
1) Perform a Total Evaluation of Your Roof
What material is your roof made of? How old is it? Who repaired it last, and why was it repaired? Has it ever been replaced? When? It can help to accumulate a little folder on your roof that includes all of this important information. It is important to track work done to your roof as past issues can be symptomatic of possible problems in the future. Furthermore, it is important to track how certain repairs impacted your roof in the long-run so you can make more informed maintenance decisions in the future and avoid a costly roof repair.
Knowing the age and standing of your roof can help you make an educated decision should damage occur. A brand-new roof that is leaking may simply have a gutter issue, whereas an old roof that is leaking may be harboring a deeper issue. Though you should check both young and old roofs for the same problems, older roofs are more prone to certain complications, such as rusting, cracking, and mold. When an old roof is displaying these symptoms, a roof repair or a total roof replacement may be considered.
Part of knowing your roof is checking it frequently, especially during change of seasons. You want to intimately know the status of your gutters, your flashing, your shingles, your vent pipes, etc. Understanding the current condition of your roof will help you spot issues early on. You want to know what healthy looks like for your roof so when signs of damage start appearing you can easily identify them.
2) Consistently Clear Away Debris
Your roof already withstands the worst of fallen snow, hail storms, and harsh winds–it shouldn’t have to fight the elements while being buried by debris. Help your roof protect you by actively cleaning away debris.
Debris often gathers in the gutters and the valleys of your roof. Blocked gutters can cause a draining issue that leads to rusting and leaks. Clogged up gutters can also jeopardize the integrity of the gutters themselves: the constant strain and overflowing water can cause your gutters to become detached, exposing weak parts of your roof and further inhibiting drainage. Cleaning your gutters ensures your roof properly drains.
Not only does the debris itself add unnecessary weight to your roof, but it can cause pooling of rainwater or snow, fostering strain on your roof and in a worst-case scenario risk buckling. When water pools, it also encourages growths of mold, moss, and rot.
You can clean debris by hand, with a leaf blower, or even with a soft broom or brush. The key is to remove the debris gently, without applying unnecessary force.
Note: Do not scrape any part of your roof or utilize a pressure-washer: these methods will only increase damage your roof.
3) Remove any Moss
Moss grows easily in wet and humid climates, as well as in the shade and on hard surface. Essentially, your roof is the ideal place for moss growth.
Even though it might not seem menacing at first, moss growth can cause unbelievable damage to the structure of your roof. Moss will penetrate beneath your shingles for extra shade and then grow, expanding and pushing-up your shingles. As the shingles are pushed up, rain water gets, causing leaks and rotting your decking. With the shingles flared upward, they’re more susceptible to being torn off by the wind. Furthermore, if you happen to have asphalt shingles (the most common roofing material of homes across America) moss will wear down the shingles themselves, accelerating the breakdown of your roof.
Moss also creates better traction for debris, causing your roof to hold onto debris that would otherwise slide off with rain. With the combined collection of moss, debris, and rainwater or snow, the buildup on your roof is sure to cause rotting or leaking.
There are a wide variety of roof cleaning products that are available to you. Some are sprayed onto the roof where it breaks down the moss chemically, and then the residue is left to be washed away in the rain. Others require the roof to be washed, where the chemical is spread across the roof and then the moss is brushed away with ease.
Note: Do not scrape moss off of your roof or use a pressure washer: both of these methods cause unnecessary wear on your roof, causing your shingles to break, crack, tear, and lose their vital granular surfaces.
4) Don’t Neglect Your Attic
Paying attention to your attic can dramatically increase the health and life of your roof.
In your attic, it may be easier to spot certain issues with your roof, such as leaking. Keeping an eye out for dark spots on your attic walls and ceilings can help you catch a leak in the early stages, preventing the water from festering and mold from growing. You can also easily look for missing shingles or any other kind of exposure by scanning the attic ceiling for daylight, a sign your roof has thinned or has a hole.
On top of checking the physical integrity of your roof, you want to also check your attic insulation. Making sure your attic is properly insulated can better maintain the health of your roof. For instance, in the winter, an under-insulated attic will cause heat to escape. The escaped heat then melts any standing ice or snow that is then refrozen as temperatures drop. This constant cycle of freezing and thawing can impede drainage and cause water to saturate your roof.
By checking your attic, your checking the vulnerable underbelly of your roof. Knowing the health of your attic will help you more accurately diagnose the needs of your roof.
5) Schedule Regular Maintenance with a Professional
Hiring Reynolds Roofing Exteriors & Coating to check on your roof ensure you have a roofing expert overseeing the status of your roof.
As a local roof repair contractor, we know the finer details of roofing damage and roofing structure and we know what to look for. When Reynolds Roofing Exteriors & Coating sees a problem with your roof, (one a layman may not have taken notice of) we will be able to determine the cause and provide you an immediate solution. Your roof protects your home, let Reynolds Roofing Exteriors & Coating protect your roof! Call us today for your free estimate!