As long as my roof hasn’t collapsed it’s fine, right?
You may not see your entire roof on a daily basis, but it needs just as much care as the rest of your house. Thankfully, there are some things you can do around your home that don’t require you to climb on the roof and lift every shingle. So let’s see what we can do to help our vigilant house hat (that is, the roof).
Checking the Roof’s Exterior
Let’s start with the obvious first step: examining your roof from the outside. Part of maintaining anything is determining if there is an issue or not. This can be done anywhere that gives you a good vantage point where you can see some or most of your roof. If you need a ladder to get a closer look, make sure you do it safely and with someone holding the bottom.
If you live somewhere that experiences extreme temperatures or weather patterns, be sure to check your roof for damage and any spots of wear and tear. Climates that are especially arid, humid, hot, or cold can all damage and crack shingles, or even remove them completely in heavy winds. If you have no experience in roofing, you should call a roofing expert right away to fix these issues.
Some other eyesores that can plague your roof are mold and moss. While it may not look dangerous, the presence of either of these can mean that the integrity of your roof is compromised. If left to their own devices, mold and moss can eat away at shingles one by one until they are weak enough to fall off on their own. Eventually, both problems can lead to severe damage further inside your house as they continue to grow.
A bleach and water mixture can be sprayed onto the problem areas to kill the mold and moss. Just make sure you cover any areas below that might be damaged by the solution. Afterward, you can rinse off with some water from a hose. It’s not advisable to use a pressure wash on shingles as they can easily disintegrate or be ripped off even if you’re careful. Tiled roofs, however, are strong enough to withstand a good pressure washing.
Inspecting the Inside
Just as it’s important to maintain the roof on the outside, so too should you check what’s going on inside. Be sure to inspect the attic or any roof-adjacent ceilings for signs of water damage or discoloration. Even if there is no obvious damage on the roof, water damage is an indicator that there is something amiss somewhere since, you know, the whole point of having a roof is keeping everything under it dry.
This is another time where calling the professionals is probably the best thing you can do. It should also be handled quickly since water damage can lead to severe damage throughout a home if ignored for too long.
During your inspection, be sure to check your insulation as well. If your roof is poorly insulated, your house could be losing lots of heat, causing you to crank the thermostat more often. Better insulation can save you a lot of money in energy costs by keeping your house at the same temperature for longer.
Year-Round Roof Maintenance Checklist
While the sections above address what you should be looking out for when actively seeking problems, you can do your best to avoid trouble in the first place by applying these best practices:
- Don’t neglect your gutters. Must houses have gutters that all too frequently get backed up with all kinds of debris. Left unchecked and clogs can form, leading to more problems than one. From moisture seeping through your foundation from water overflowing down the side of your house causing efflorescence and other problems to mold, mildew, moss, and algae spreading throughout your roof, neglected gutters can wreak all kinds of havoc on your home from top to bottom. With that in mind, be sure to keep your gutters clean and clear.
- Inspect nearby trees. Depending on where you live, your house might be surrounded by any number of trees. While tree cover is great for keeping your home cool in the summer, trees can also pose a risk to your roof and house in general. For instance, branches or entire tree limbs can be knocked loose and hit your roof. With that in mind, keep tree branches trimmed away from the roof or wires; if you’re nervous about doing that, be sure to hire a professional.
- Keep your roof clear of snow. If you live somewhere with snowy winters, be sure not to let it pile up on your roof. Some roofs might be able to hold more than others, but enough snow buildup can be heavy enough to cause your roof to collapse. To remove it, grab a snow shovel or rake and try to remove as much of it as possible. Be sure to do this at an angle to keep yourself out of the avalanche zone.
Keeping That Roof Over Your Head
Your roof endures more than most people realize and it needs to be maintained properly or the rest of your house can be in danger as well. If you need help making sure your roof is in tip-top shape or in need of a good wash, give us a call.