Roofing maintenance is something that most of us rarely think of and take for granted perhaps until it starts raining inside the house. Waiting to take care of your roof until noticeable damage occurs can cost you lots of money though! Generally speaking, good preventative maintenance will ensure your roof will last about 20 years before needing replacement. This advice will help you determine when to repair or replace your roofing system as well as offer some general maintenance tips.
Inspect your roof regularly
Inspect your roof 1-2 times per year for damage that can cause leaks. Common areas to check for leaks include:
Flashing (metal framing that prevents water from building around areas of roof that protrude such as chimneys, vents, boots, or valleys)
Ridge or valleys (where areas of roof adjoin)
Roof vents or roof boots (affixed to plumbing or other vents to prevent water from entering)
Attics and dormers (where protruding windows are installed in the attic)
Broken or cracked shingles
Inspect with binoculars from a distance, directly on the roof if safe, or in the attic as well as in areas where a leak is already suspected because of water staining or welling on the ceiling.
Moisture is the enemy
Make sure your roof is properly ventilated. Under-ventilated roofs can cause dry rot on the roof foundation, mold, and/or damage to insulation and the ceiling. Ridge vents and soffit vents should be installed to allow moisture to exit the roof.
The attic should be properly insulated as this helps prevent excess moisture in the home as well as heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer through the roof.
Keep rain gutters clean to prevent water buildup and possible leaks on the roof.
Replace, recover, or repair the roof?
Repair broken or torn shingles or shakes. Not only do they detract from the look of your home, they also are sources of possible leaks. Repair minor leaks right away as they can cause major issues later!
Recovering a roof instead of fully replacing it can be an option to save money. This involves removing and replacing only the shingles (tile, etc.) and underlayment (protective covering between deck and shingles) while leaving the existing roof deck (wood framing) in place. Only one roof recover is permitted by law as more than two layers of roofing on a home poses fire and structural weight risks.
Replace a roof that has not been replaced or recovered in 20 years or more or that has sustained major damage from weather or other issues. A full roof replacement involves removing the entire roofing system including shingles, underlayment, and decking to install a new roofing system. Check into your warranty options and make sure to use a licensed, reputable contractor for the installation.
Contact ELA Home Repairs at 800-368-PROS for all your home repair needs.