Tips for Caring for your Roof

Caring for your roof extends its lifespan. Most roofs last 20 to 30 years but with proper roof care, its lifespan can be extended to few more years.

Repairing or replacing the roof can be expensive and most homeowners realize this. However, the roof remains among the most neglected part of the house. The roof protects the house from the harshness of the elements but it is not exactly impervious to damages caused by heat or moisture.

In fact, the first part of the house to incur damage is the roof and if that damage is ignored, it could spread to the rest of the structure and creep towards the rest of the house.

Ensure that your roof lasts as long as it could with these proper roof care tips:

  • Regularly inspect for moss and algae growth in the shingle materials. These growths can corrode the shingles if ignored. They can be controlled with zinc or iron solutions found in your local hardware.
  • Always clean your roof and gutter of debris such as leaves and garbage.
  • Don't forget to inspect the flashings for any sign of damage. Cracks in flashings are easy enough to repair and if there are algae growths, then prevent further outbreak with zinc or iron solution.
  • Check for cracked or loose shingles and repair or replace them immediately.
  • If there are trees growing near your house, always check for overgrown tree branches. Branches falling on the roof can misplace and damage shingles.
  • Clean metal roof regularly. Accumulated debris can cause mold and algae to form resulting to rusts and other forms of deterioration to the metal.
  • Metal roofing have lots of components i.e. panels, seals and screws. Check these regularly to make sure all are secure.
  • Never postpone repairs or replacements. Simple repairs i.e. leaks, caulking, may be tackled by the homeowner but spot repairs and replacements should be done by a professional roofer. Roofing is a dangerous job and there are some precautions only trained roofing contractors know of. Also, you can get more proper roof care tips from Kaiser Roof and Exteriors.
  • Your roof may often be out of sight, but it doesn't mean it should be out of mind. Always remember that the integrity of your entire home depends largely on the functionality of your roof.

Common Problems Encountered by Roofs

If you are wondering which part of your roof is likely to encounter problems, here is a list of the common parts of a roof and the problems associated with each.

The Gutter

This part of the roof is often neglected and tends to be filled with all sorts of dirt and debris. The common problems associated with gutters are water buildup and ice damming due to clogging. DIY gutter cleaning can be done with proper safety precaution and help extend the life of the roof as well as keep the house in tip top condition.

The Shingles

There are different types of shingle materials but asphalt shingles seem to encounter the most problems. Common issues to look out for include premature cracking, blistering, loss of gravel on the decorative layer, discoloration and curling.

Flashing

It is estimated that 80% of all roofing problems that lead to costly repairs are caused by faulty flashing installation. The purpose of flashing is to provide a watertight seal between roofing materials. Flashing is placed on roof areas like the valleys, skylights, along the base of the chimney, wherever there are protrusions and around vents and pipes. If installation is faulty, water seepage is likely to occur. When inspecting your roof, the flashing should always be the first one to check before other parts.

Soffit

This area under the eaves may just be the most vulnerable part of the roof. The soffit is prone to damages caused by water from a faulty gutter, ice dams, torn shingles or damaged flashing. If they can find an opening, birds and squirrels also like to build nests in the space behind the soffit. Homeowners also face a problem when wasps, hornets and bees build a nest in that space.

Fascia

This board that covers the end of rafters also functions as an attachment point for gutters. They are very susceptible to moist damage and rot easily. The rot might spread to the roofing materials and rafters. If the gutter becomes laden with dirt and becomes too heavy, the board trim might simply give up and become detached.

Knowing the common roofing parts and heir problems will give you an idea of what to keep an eye on. If you know the possible things that could go wrong in your roof, you can take preventive measures and avoid costly repairs or roof replacements.