The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to your roof. The money you invest in preventative maintenance can save you a lot of headaches, stress, and expense down the road.
Regular roofing maintenance includes cleaning gutters and directing water away from the foundation, addressing leaks promptly, and removing moss growth. Also, proper attic insulation and ventilation help regulate temperature and prevent ice dam formation during winter. Visit https://www.portcharlotteroofers.com/ to learn more.
Gutter cleaning is one of the most important things you can do to keep your roof in good condition. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool on your roof and leak into your home. Regular cleaning will help to prevent this from happening by removing leaves, twigs, pollen, and other debris.
You can clean your gutters yourself or have a professional do it for you. If you choose to do it yourself, make sure you use proper safety precautions. This includes wearing thick work gloves, a long-sleeve shirt, pants, and safety glasses. Also, be sure to use a ladder that is stable and rated for the weight you will be carrying. Also, it is a good idea to have a friend standing by to help you when you need to move the ladder around or climb up or down.
Gutter screens can be helpful for keeping larger debris out of the gutters, but it’s still a good idea to clean them periodically. If your gutters are clogged, a garden hose with a powerful spray nozzle may be needed to break through the blockage. For very large clogs, you can try using a plumber’s snake. For the best results, schedule regular gutter cleanings throughout the year to keep your roof and gutters in top condition.
You can also take steps to reduce the amount of debris that accumulates in your gutters by trimming overhanging branches. This will prevent leaves and twigs from falling into the gutters, and it can also help to minimize the amount of mud and silt that gets into your downspouts. In addition, you can install downspout screens to help prevent clogs. If your gutters are rusty or showing signs of wear and tear, it’s a good idea to replace them. These are fairly inexpensive, and they will add a fresh new look to your home’s exterior. You should also inspect your gutters after a storm for any visible damage. Look for dents, loose or hanging sections, and missing granules from the shingles. If you see any of these signs, contact a roofing contractor for repairs.
Check the Shingles
Homeownership is a great accomplishment in life but it also comes with some responsibility. Your new home requires regular care and maintenance in order to keep it safe from water damage. A good way to start is with a roof inspection. This should be done at least twice per year, especially after severe weather events. A home inspector will look at the integrity of your shingles, identifying any potential problems that you might be able to address right away.
Loose or lifting shingles are obvious signs that your roof needs attention. This is because a loose or lifted shingle will allow moisture to seep under it, potentially damaging the interior of your home. If you notice any shingles that are lifting, contact your local roofing company to come and inspect the shingle system of your roof.
Bruising or blistering on your shingles is another sign that it’s time for a roof replacement. This occurs when a roof is exposed to too much heat or poor ventilation, leading the shingle to deteriorate and absorb more moisture than it should.
When a shingle absorbs too much moisture, it becomes soft and loses its ability to repel water. This will cause it to break down over time, allowing water to penetrate the roof deck and cause leaks in your home.
A common problem that home inspectors encounter is shingles that are starting to lose their granules. This is because granules are what make your shingles waterproof. When granules begin to disappear from your shingles, it is a sure sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced.
If you’re a homeowner that is comfortable climbing a ladder, you can also do a shingle inspection yourself. Be sure to use a sturdy ladder and wear appropriate roof safety gear. Look for areas where the shingles are curling or buckling, dark spots that do not dry out after days of rain or snow and masses of moss or algae.
Remember that a professional home inspector has years of experience looking at roofs, so they can spot things that might not be obvious to you. There is a lot that you can’t see from the ground, such as weakened flashing or missing shingle pieces, so be sure to get your roof inspected by a professional.
Inspect the Flashing
Flashing is the most critical part of any roof, preventing water leaks and damage where walls meet the roof and roof meets other penetrations. Some experts claim that up to 90% of all roof leaks are related to poorly installed flashing. During a home inspection, your inspector will look closely at the flashing to be sure it is adequately protected.
Flashing typically involves a series of metal strips that are bent and nailed down, then caulked over with silicone or roofing cement. These caulks can deteriorate and degrade over time, leaving the flashing exposed to moisture. This can cause the flashing to break, or even pull away from the roof. It is important to inspect the caulk around the flashing on a regular basis, especially in areas that are prone to leaks such as chimneys, vent pipes, and skylights.
You should also look for signs of corroded flashing. A small amount of corrosion is normal, but if the flashing becomes heavily corroded it may need to be replaced soon. Your inspector will also check to be sure that the flashing is properly integrated with housewrap and cladding, and that it has a kick-out diverter for the wall covering where it meets the roof.
There are many different kinds of fabricated flashing, and an experienced inspector will know the details of each type and how to identify defects. Your inspector will also be able to spot instances where flashing is hidden behind the roof-covering materials, and cannot be confirmed (a mention of this limitation should appear in the inspection report). A very simple test for identifying flashing leaks can be performed by having someone in the attic hold up a garden hose and spray the roof at various points where it intersects with other structures such as chimneys, dormers, and plumbing vents. If you hear a sound of water infiltration at a particular point, the roof flashing needs to be repaired.
Trees provide many benefits to a home’s landscaping and overall curb appeal. But, they can also damage the roof if not regularly maintained. Unstable or diseased trees that are close to a house can fall and cause costly roof repair or even total roof replacement. In addition, overhanging branches can drop debris such as leaves, twigs and larger branches. They can also promote moss and algae growth, block water flow and prolong the time it takes for a roof to dry after rain. Finally, they can create an ideal environment for pests to hide.
The solution to this problem is regular trimming by a trained arborist. A qualified arborist can prune the trees properly to support their health and safety, while prioritizing roof and house safety.
Trimming a tree near a roof involves the removal of lower branches that touch or abrade the shingles during windy weather. Branches that are too close to the roof can scrape or scratch away at the shingles, which can cause them to break down and leak. Overtime, this will expose the inner shingle layer to moisture and create an ideal environment for mold to grow.
To protect your roof, Industry Elite Services recommends that you create a 10-foot clearance between the outermost branches and the roofing surface. Ideally, this would be done on a yearly basis.
If a tree is unhealthy, it should be removed before it falls on the roof. This is especially true of hickory, walnut, elm, pecan, sycamore and ash trees, as they are known to drop large nuts that can damage a roof. Look for acorns, mushroom growth on the bark, holes in the trunk and fungus growing around the base of the trunk.
If the tree is on your neighbor’s property, you should politely ask permission before cutting it back. Some species of trees are protected and cannot be cut down without their owners’ permission. In addition, some areas have city bylaws that prohibit removing trees of certain sizes. If the neighbor refuses to give permission, you may need to contact an arborist or tree specialist to remove it.