Residents of Madison County need to know how to keep their roofs in great condition. The roof is one of the most expensive and important parts of a home. Extending the life span of your roof is worth it, especially when following a roof preventative maintenance checklist.
Roof inspections are recommended twice-yearly, typically in the spring and fall after extremely cold winters and intense summers. Regular inspections and roof maintenance services can significantly increase the life span of your roof. Besides, if you do not have your roof inspected it could void the warranty in some cases.
Use a Professional Roof Contractor
There are many advantages to having your roof inspected by professional roofers. You should also inspect your roof too. However, before you pull out a ladder, use a pair of binoculars to safely inspect your roof from the ground. Note areas of concern that could be indicative of serious problems.
You must let roofing experts do the majority of the inspecting. Their inspections are 100% more thorough. Speak with your roof installer, who can also handle inspections. They have an intimate understanding and knowledge of roofs and can assist you in making wise maintenance choices.
Create a Roof Preventative Maintenance Checklist
Above all else, a roof preventative maintenance checklist will serve you well. Not only will you have a list of things to watch regularly, but a list is also useful for the roof company you use, as well. Save yourself time and money by creating a roof preventative maintenance checklist so you remember every important point of roof maintenance that will increase the longevity of your roof. Below are important points to include in your checklist.
The Older Your Roof Is the More Likely It Needs to Be Checked
Roofing deteriorates with age, especially if you haven’t been keeping up with a roof preventative maintenance checklist. Such a list is, literally, a roof-saver. No matter what type of roof you have, it needs to be checked as it ages.
Check Trees Near Your Roof
Mature trees are a beautiful backdrop. However, they are also a significant threat to roofs. Start your roof preventative maintenance checklist with a tree check. Look for overhanging limbs that could easily break and land on your roof, causing unnecessary damage. They need to be trimmed before they cost you more money in roof repairs and damage.
Don’t discount falling leaves, either. Piles of leaves encourage moisture build-up which could lead to bacteria and mold growth. A local roofing service can inspect your roof for damage and offer services that keep your roof in great shape.
Check for Green Growth
A green roof may seem attractive, but not if it is moss. Moss growth tells you that your roof is in trouble. Moss also tends to shorten the life of shingles, which can lead to rot on the sheathing beneath the shingles. It can be swept off your roof using a long-handled broom, but a local roof repair service needs to inspect the area for damage.
Check Drip Edges for Rust
Rust on drip edges, otherwise known as the aluminum capping around a roof’s edge, means they are starting to fail. Drip edges guide water running off of a roof. Spotting rust means the water is not effectively running off the roof, but rather causing harm.
Add Granulation to Your Roof Preventative Maintenance Checklist
Have you noticed excessive granulation on the ground? Granulation, or tiny roofing pebbles, belong on shingles. If you see them on the ground, that is a clear sign that your shingles are aging. This is especially true if you see large piles of them. Your shingles need to be checked for replacement so your roof 100% protects your home as it should.
After Storms Blow Through Check for Hail or Wind Damage
A roof can become compromised after high winds and hail storms. Notable ways to spot hail damage include visible points of impact that have caused granules to come loose on shingles and dented gutters. Wind damage causes shingles to curl, lift, or be completely torn off. Either way, your roof is exposed to water damage.
Check for Roof Cleanliness
How clean is your rooftop? It should be inspected for debris and accumulated dirt since both can cause the surface of your roof to rot and decay prematurely and clog drains. Every roof preventative maintenance checklist should include checking your roof for cleanliness.
Ask If It Is Necessary to Wash Your Roof
Handy checklists should also include questions beneath some of the checkpoints. When checking the cleanliness of your roof, ask if your roof should be washed. Washing a roof helps extend the life of the shingles and can prevent excessive wear from harmful moss and algae buildup as well as bacteria growth.
The National Roofing Contractors Association has stated that it is better to hire a professional roofer to clean your roof. The experts know the safest, biodegradable, and non-abrasive cleaning solutions to use. It is important to note that using a pressure washer and making the task a DIY project is not recommended. You could do more harm than good. Power washer settings are too powerful and could end up blowing necessary granules off of your shingles.
Check Your Gutters
Gutters play an integral role in keeping a roof dry. They are meant to collect excess water when the snow melts and when it rains excessively to safely drain your roof. If gutters become clogged with leaves, limbs, or debris, water will pool on the roof and make the fascia rot. Gutters that contain excessive loose gravel are showing signs of severe roof wear, which means it may be time for a roof replacement.
Have a professional roofer check your gutters and clean them at least two times a year. If your gutters clog easily, it may be time to add gutter guards. Your friendly roofer will be able to lead you in the right direction to potentially save your roof from otherwise costly repairs.
Flashings are installed around skylights and other areas on rooftops. It is important to check any flashings on your roof since there could be gaps or areas around them that are pulling away. Both problems could cause your roof to leak and cause serious damage to the membrane. Roofers know to look for signs of mold that indicate even the slightest bit of damage around flashings.
Check for Any Roof Penetration
Checking for roof penetration is extremely important for every type of roof, including metal roofs. Penetrations, cracks, or seams in a metal roof can cause leakage that spreads. While leaks on metal roofs are rare, a metal roofer understands they can happen around skylights and vents.
Severe weather and aging can also cause silicone seals to warp and crack. In this case, metal roofs need silicone roof coatings to further protect them. Add penetration and seal checks to your roof preventative maintenance checklist if you have a metal roof.
Shingles Should Always Be Checked
Maintaining your roof includes checking the shingles. This is something you can do any time from the ground with binoculars. The following are potential problems to look for while inspecting the roof yourself:
- Curling Shingles
- Missing Shingles
- Peeling Flashing
- Cracked Shingles
- Missing Granules
If you spot any of the above, call a local roofer to further inspect your roof. Professional roof contractors have the tools, equipment, and expertise to safely provide repairs. Save money by inspecting your shingles often, especially after bad weather and storms.
Gather Roof Records
This may seem like it does not belong on your checklist, but nothing is more important than the history of your roofing maintenance and repairs. Keeping track of them helps to better determine the health of your roof, how well it is performing, and when it may need to be replaced. Keep records from the point of installation that note restoration, re-shingling, roof cleaning, and any gutter replacements.
This is especially true for roof repairs. One of the first things that can fail is a previous repair, especially if it was not performed by an expert professional roof contractor. List every roof repair separately on your roof preventative maintenance checklist so future roof inspectors know to check those areas. This will ensure previous issues have been accurately fixed and that they are still performing correctly.
Check for Signs of Damage Inside Your Home
The inside of your attic is one of the first places where signs of water damage are obvious. You may find wet insulation, water stains, mold, structural damage, or areas where light is coming through. Be sure to inspect ceilings of lower floor levels too. Look for sagging along beams, cracks, and water stains that could be signs your home has structural damage.
Other warning signs include a musty odor located in certain rooms. You may find spots on exterior walls. Bulging patches on interior walls are also an unwelcome sign. Leaks are a serious and noticeable sign your roof is no longer protecting your home.
Call a professional roofer to find the source of leaks and repair them. This is another job you do not want to turn into a DIY project nightmare. When it comes to your roof, let the professionals handle the work.
Proper Maintenance Includes Proper Attic Insulation
Save on utility bills by adding an attic insulation inspection to your checklist. You need the right amount of insulation to help your roof perform better and extend its lifespan. Insulation reflects heat away from your roof, reduces heat transfer, and protects rafters from severe contraction and expansion. Roofing experts know approximately how much insulation is needed to properly maintain your roof and reduce your energy bills.
Check All Seals
Any area of your roof that has been sealed, whether vents, protrusions, or walls, needs to be checked. Seals can wear out over time and require reapplication so your roof is not weakened and your home is not damaged by water. It should be noted that those spots should be sealed every two or three years. Checking them between sealing services just ensures you don’t end up dealing with the expense of a leaky roof.
Vulnerable Areas Need to Be Checked Frequently
A roof tends to be vulnerable around openings for vents, chimneys, pipes, and skylights. Those components should have seals of roofing tar or caulking around them to reduce moisture infiltration and close any gaps. Seals tend to weaken over time and should be inspected for wear, so a new application continues to protect your roof.
Include Checking for Nail Pops in Your Maintenance Checklist
Roofs contract and expand due to temperature changes. This can cause nails to pop out of place or loosen. Nail popping can be found beneath raised shingles and around vents. The shingles lift when a nail is no longer keeping it securely in place. Look for raised shingles and note them on your checklist so your roofer can help prevent future loose nails and nail pops by sealing your roof and around vents approximately every two or three years.
How to Utilize a Finished Preventative Maintenance Checklist
Your checklist has been completely compiled, now what? It is time to prioritize issues you’ve located. A great rating system to use is a good-fair-poor system. Good meaning the roofing element is in good shape and may not require attention except for a routine inspection.
Fair shows some elements have wear, but they are not an emergency. It is a good idea to schedule an inspection and maintenance of those items now. Your roofer may recommend future repairs you should include in a future replacement list. Items in poor condition require immediate attention.
Catch Harmful Roofing Problems
A proactive approach using a preventative maintenance checklist will extend the life of your roof and save money in the long run. Contact professional roofers in your area to schedule regular inspections. This will catch even the most minor roofing problems before they become a major disaster.