Owning a home can seem like a never-ending list of maintenance tasks since they need maintenance just like your vehicle, only a whole lot more of it. Some things are relatively easy to keep in good repair, while others seem more daunting. There are appliances to keep in good order, flooring, electrical, plumbing, basement or crawlspace upkeep, and of course the roof.
Your roof has the job of protecting your whole home from the elements and helping to direct water and snow away from the walls. However, the roof being able to perform this duty is dependent on several other factors. To ensure that the roof can continue to provide this protection, all of the components need to be in good condition. This is where the need for roof maintenance is introduced.
What Does Roof Maintenance Look Like?
There are several tasks that need to be completed during periodic roof maintenance. Depending on the type and size of the roof in question, maintenance may be required either quarterly or on a biannual or annual basis. When this maintenance is performed, there are many things that need to be checked or inspected, some are relatively easy to determine, while some others may need a more trained eye.
Whether you are doing your own maintenance, or trusting a licensed and insured professional to take care of it for you, here are some of the things that you should make sure are included in your roof maintenance routine:
- Clearing items and debris from the roof, eaves, valleys, and gutters. Anything that is left on the roof can present a potential moisture trap or dam for flowing water. From the frisbee that the neighbor kid tossed up there in the early spring, to some of the bigger sticks and twigs that came down in that late summer storm. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and clear as well, to minimize the risk of water in the basement or crawl space.
- Check for any signs of animal activity. Your attic or crawl space can be the ideal environment for many different small animals. Infiltration of your home by animals through the roof area is the first step to other potentially damaging outcomes such as leaks caused by burrowing, digging, or chewing, electrical issues, and even possible fires caused by animal interference with wiring, and the hazardous pathogens or infectious agents in their waste products that build up in your home.
- Inspect all pipe boots and gaskets for signs of wear. One of the most common reasons behind leaking roofs is the boots that are installed to seal around plumbing vent pipes. Even when they are installed properly, they are subjected to the elements and UV damage daily, so they are prone to eventual drying and cracking. Since they are intended as a barrier against water, cracking allows water to back up underneath the shingles, eventually intruding.
- Inspect all ventilation components to ensure obstruction-free operation. Condensation from your home is vented through the roof, via your attic or crawl space, and if this ventilation fails, it can cause extremely high humidity levels. This moisture can lead to the failure of many building materials, including the plywood that makes up the roof decking. This can lead to the loss of shingles and the need to replace both the shingles and the decking.
- Check all flashing, and ensure that all caulk is secure and sealed. Flashing helps keep your brickwork watertight, while caulk is used to seal it and hold it in place. Caulk is also used to seal the nail holes in the roof penetration flanges.
- Have your chimney inspected yearly by a professional. If you have a fireplace that burns wood, it is crucial that you have your chimney inspected by a CSIA Certified chimney sweep. Burning wood can result in the build-up of residue called creosote, and if that residue catches fire, it can present a danger to your roof, as well as your entire home.
There are many more maintenance items that can be included in your maintenance program, this list is just made from the most common items, the ones that should be on every basic roof maintenance list. Once you take a look at your particular situation, you will begin to determine what maintenance components are required in your case.
Why Roof Maintenance Is Essential For Roof Upkeep
Your roof might seem like it has a pretty straightforward job, to keep the elements from falling out of the sky and into your home. While this is important, there are also countless other reasons why roof maintenance is so vital to a structurally sound home.
Primarily, the reason roof maintenance is so important is because the preventative measures incorporated into the maintenance help prevent future problems from developing. Problems that may be far more expensive.
A small roof leak or gutter blockage now, and grow into a full-blown foundation repair. That initial repair of a few bucks and a modicum of time have now swelled to a $25k major repair job that you need a construction crew for.
This applies to just about any way that the roof helps protect the home. Animals making their home in your home can lead to not only property damage, but potential infection and unwanted animal encounters as well. Even if you never see it, a single unwanted pest can cause damage.
How To Find a Professional For Your Roof Maintenance Needs
Finding a quality roofer can be a bit more challenging than asking around for recommendations, since many homeowners may not even have to contact one until there’s an issue. When choosing a roofing professional, you should make sure that they are licensed, insured, and have a reputation that can speak for itself. One way to make sure you find a roofing company that will best serve your needs is to check online reviews and make sure other customers that have been serviced by that particular company are happy with the company’s level of service and commitment to their roofing needs.
If you need a professional roofer to perform your roof maintenance, reach out today for a free estimate of your maintenance needs.