Don’t Be Aloof with Water Damage and Your Roof
One of the most expensive investments a homeowner can make is to purchase a new roof. With an average cost of $100.00 per square foot, a 1500 sf home will run you about $15,000. Worse yet, if your roof partially collapses or has multiple leaks, you may be paying for water damage restoration services on top of the mammoth cost of a new roof. However, by donating a few minutes once every six months to closely examine the condition of your roof, you can identify some inexpensive roof maintenance opportunities that can help prevent more costly and inevitable repairs down the road.
How can I Tell What Condition my Shingles are in?
You can tell what condition your shingles are in by examining them for signs of wear and tear. Your roof shingles are the final line of defense between your home and harsh weather, and as such the shingles should be in perfect condition. If your shingles fall short of passing with an A-grade, you may find water leaking into your living room or mold growing under your padding. Look for any shingles that curl—a clear sign that warping is taking place. You should also be cognizant of any cracked or missing shingles. Missing shingles allow places for water to pool in your roof where rot can take place. In worse case scenarios pooling water can cause a black mold problem to surface and spread—a deadly result that would require immediate mold removal services by a certified professional. If you see fungus or algae growing on your roof you may already have a mold problem and should call for a free mold inspection. If the results come back negative install some zinc or lead control strips to keep algae and fungus growth at bay.
What are Some Roof Maintenance Tasks I can Perform?
You can perform a number of roof maintenance tasks that include inspecting the chimney, flashing, mortar, and any metal parts. When investigating your chimney check for any cracked mortar or caulking that looks as if it is deteriorating. Also, pay attention to the flashing to make sure it is sound and solid. If it shows signs of weakness remove all the old caulk and thoroughly scrub the area down before resealing. Finally, search all metal parts of the roof for rust. If rust is present scrub it off with a wire brush and prime and paint the metal.
What are Some Common Overlooked Roof Issues?
Some of the most common overlooked roof issues include allowing debris and elements from nature to pile up. If you spy excess amounts of leaves, twigs and anything else Mother Nature has the power to blow around, sweep or blow it off. One way you can help keep the rooftop debris field down to a minimum is to prune back any overhanging tree branches. Also, try to discourage squirrels and raccoons from congregating on your roof. There really isn’t a fool-proof way to keep them away. One thing you can do is move any bird feeders or areas that might provide shelter such as a tool shed away from the home’s immediate area.
How can I Maintain my Downspouts and Gutters?
You can maintain your downspouts and gutters by making sure they are clean, in good shape, and pointed in the right direction. Although the chances of receiving household water damage from a Godzilla attack is pretty slim, you could suffer from a flooded crawl space due to ignored gutters and downspouts. Your gutters should be cleared of all debris allowing a clear path for water to gather from your roof and flow into your downspout. If the gutters are full of sludge, the water can run down the sides of your home and enter the crawl space or soak into the foundation. You should also make sure your downspouts are turned away from the house to prevent a similar reaction.
Don’t be aloof to the maintenance needs of your roof. By taking a few minutes twice a year, you can help safeguard your home and protect your wallet from eating up a huge bill.