As busy homeowners, we all balk at anything that takes extra time. Most of us know it will require time to mow the lawn, keep up with landscaping & clean the windows. But when it comes to the roof of our home, many of us fall short simply because we’re unsure about what needs to be done. The roof is arguably one of the most essential parts of any home, yet it is often neglected because routine roof maintenance lacks the urgency or clarity of other tasks.
Why is Routine Roof Maintenance Important?
Routine maintenance sounds like a good thing to do, but why is it so essential? Its main importance comes because it has the potential to save you enormous amounts of time, energy, and money down the road. Small things matter a great deal when it comes to your roofing system. A small piece of flashing displaced by wind or a tree limb can open a hole in the roof, allowing rainwater to enter your roof decking and creating mold. This can lead to the wood framing of your roof rotting.
A couple of missing shingles can allow water to infiltrate your roof, leading to leaks in the attic. Even a tree branch that rubs against your roof could significantly shorten an asphalt roof’s lifespan by removing granules from the shingles, allowing UV rays to penetrate the shingles and break them down faster.
If you think about your roofing system as an intricate piece of armor for your home, you’ll begin to understand why any small chink in the armor could create an area of vulnerability for the house as a whole. In most cases, those chinks can be avoided or addressed before they cause vital damage with routine roof maintenance.
The first thing any homeowner should do when they are about to perform maintenance is observe. Binoculars can be a helpful tool to use when you are checking your roof externally for damage. While standing outside on a well-lit day, look at your roof. This may require standing away from your home for better visibility, and it may even require asking a neighbor whether you can stand in their yard while you look.
Inspect the shingles and make sure that none of them are missing or torn. If there is any damage, it will need to be repaired. Look for any signs of moisture damage or other types of damage. Something may not suit your structure if you notice holes or tears in the shingles. If there are no visible signs of damage, it does not mean there is no damage on the inside of your home’s walls or attic space. While you’re at it, check the soffit and fascia for any indication of rot or damage from pests. Squirrels, in particular, enjoy nothing more than making a nest in an area of missing soffit.
Once you’ve made note of any areas that might need to be addressed from your cursory view, take a ladder to get a little closer. If you’re comfortable climbing a ladder, you can often inspect areas like fascia, gutters, and soffit and trim more closely with a ladder than from the ground. While you’re up there, check inside your gutters. Are there shingle granules in your gutters? If so, it indicates that your roof’s lifespan is nearing its end, and you may want to call for a roof inspection to see how much time it has left.
After making your rounds outside your home, it is time to look inside. Depending on your circumstances, This may require getting some insulation on you, so be prepared. Sometimes, this step is best left to professionals, especially if your attic is unfinished and doesn’t have an area where you can walk or crawl safely. Be advised that you should not be crawling on rafters, as the risk of falling through the ceiling below you is high. Be sure to bring a flashlight. Then, use your senses:
Look: Look above you at the ceiling. Do you see daylight coming through anywhere? Where light can penetrate, so can water.
If you see any areas with new water stains, this could indicate that water is seeping in through the roof above. One of the best times to check your attic is during heavy rain. Contact a professional roofing contractor immediately if you notice dripping from the ceiling or wet insulation.
Smell: Also, use your nose. Does it smell mildewy or moldy? It might indicate that you need more ventilation in the attic to prolong the life of your roof. Lack of ventilation can cause many problems with your roofing materials, & even with the framing itself.
Listen: Stay quiet for a few minutes. Do you hear any small animal noises? If so, it may indicate that a pest has infiltrated, and you’ll need to deal with it to see if there has been any significant damage.
Feel: Take some time to feel around the edges of any things that protrude through the roof, like chimneys or vent pipes. The edges should feel dry and solid. If you feel any moisture or if the wood is soft, it is time to call in a professional.
Once you’ve done your routine maintenance check and determined that you need a professional’s opinion on your roof. In that case, Alan’s Roofing is a reputable, professional roofing company with years of experience in Central and Southwest Florida. They will gladly inspect your roof and offer you an estimate on any necessary repairs. They also provide emergency services if you make unfortunate discoveries during or after a storm. Contact Alan’s Roofing today to schedule a free quote or discuss any areas of concern that you may have.