Home Improvement

Tips to Maintain Your Roof and Avoid Issues

Roof Window

Home ownership comes with a lot of responsibility and requires frequent maintenance check-ups on all areas of your house. Your roof is one of the most critical elements that need to be maintained regularly to prevent other issues and damage to your home.

The roof of your house is vulnerable to damage caused by constant exposure to the elements. That is why it is so important to keep your roof healthy for the safety of your home and your family. Plus, replacing a roof is sometimes one of the more expensive repairs to make.

Now that the seasons are changing, it’s the perfect time to make sure your roof is stable and well maintained. As we march into snow and ice season, in many parts of the country, this becomes a critical part of the winterizing process. By taking a few preventative measures now, you can avoid a myriad of roof disasters from ever happening.

Roofing Issues

Over time, your roof may start to show signs of erosion like broken or missing tiles, a build-up of moss, cracks or expansion. When you see any of these things, it is time to check your roof for damage. Not only are these issues related to safety, they also add to the aesthetics of your home. Before your roof starts leaking is when you need to call the professionals.

Inside the house, you may notice the seams in your ceiling start to separate. In many cases, like with older homes, this is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. In rare cases, however, it could be an indication that your roof is failing and in need of serious repair.

Additional signs that a roof is failing is water rings on the ceiling, bubbles in your drywall and splitting. If you see any of these things, call a professional immediately to check it out so you can rest assured that your roof is safe and sound.

Don’t Neglect Your Gutters

Fall brings down a lot of leaves, and many of them end up in your gutters. You may hate spending money to have them cleaned out, but if you don’t take care of them, you could end up saving thousands in the long run. The gutters on your house help protect the health and safety of your roof.

Roofs need proper drainage, and your gutters help to pull volumes of damaging water away from your roof and channel it safety to a drain pipe. If too much water pools on the edges of your roof, it can seep into underlying materials and cause rot, fungus and even insect infestations. Over time, this can damage the structural integrity of your roof and, in a worst-case scenario, even cause it to collapse.

When gutters aren’t working or they become clogged, and water is not pulled away from the house, another serious side effect can be damage to your foundation. Foundation damage is extremely costly to fix. You want to avoid this at all costs.

Watch Out for Harmful Materials

Even though the contracting and roofing industries are heavily regulated, sometimes materials slip by that are not up to code. Especially in older houses, you may find roofing materials like roofing felt that is laced with asbestos fibers which can be extremely damaging to your health and could even cause mesothelioma.

Asbestos is not illegal in the U.S., and unfortunately, although studies show it may be linked to a variety of serious health issues, it is still widely used in some building materials. Roof shingles, roofing felt, and even roof coatings may contain traces of asbestos. This makes construction workers one of the most at-risk for contracting asbestos-related diseases. It also means that homeowners are at increased risk from second-hand exposure.

Have a roofing professional come out and assess the materials that were used to install your roof and if anything is less than optimal, be sure to replace it immediately for your family’s and your house’s wellbeing.

Roof Problem Prevention 101

Experts recommend that you get a roof inspection twice a year; right before winter and again right before summer. The inspector will look for any damaged tiles or holes where critters could be getting into your attic space and doing damage.

During the inspection, your roofing professional will remove debris and unsightly moss, quickly improving the appearance of your roof. These small preventative measures will save you thousands of not having to have your roof replaced. Keep all your roof maintenance records so you can prove you had your roof inspected every year, in case you need to place a claim on your warranty.

Other benefits of regular roof inspections are determining and fixing weather damage, improving the energy efficiency of your roof, and increasing the overall value of your home. Finding and fixing the small issues now will help prevent the major ones from ever occurring.

Before selecting a roofing company to regularly maintain your roof for safety and security, check out reviews on Yelp and other feedback sites to make sure you are hiring a top-notch company with a solid reputation.

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Danuta Smoluk is a teacher with over three decades of experience teaching both children and adults. She specializes in teaching the Polish language to English-speakers. She has a master's degree in primary and early childhood education from WSP Słupsk (currently Pomeranian University in Słupsk) and had her degree validated by University of Toronto. Aside from education, she also has an interest in real estate and home improvement. She has planned and supervised many house renovations. She loves interior design, cooking, and gardening.

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