Do you keep your roof “top of mind?” With all the daily hustle and bustle, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important exterior essentials that safeguard your entire interior space.
Even though most asphalt roof systems are designed to protect your home for about 15 years, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you inspect your roof regularly two times a year during the spring and fall.
With that, let’s take it from the top with some DIY roof inspection tips and suggestions on what to do when a roofing repair is just way over your head and you need some expert assistance.
Top Roofing Tips to Remember
1. Homebuyer’s beware. A great time to start with any roof assessment is before your closing date. Getting a professional roof inspection before that future home is officially yours will save you a lot of time and costly repairs down the road, which can also be a plus if and when you decide to sell your new home.
2. Trim troublesome trees. When admiring your home and surrounding landscape, it’s important not to overlook leaning branches seeking companionship with your roof as they can scratch and gouge your roof materials. To prevent damaging or puncturing your shingles, simply trim back and remove any branches getting too close to your roof.
3. Clean the leaves and other debris. In addition to bothersome branches, leaves and other elements can clog your gutter system and cause water to backup into the attic, living areas or behind the fascia boards. To ensure your drainage system is free flowing, it’s recommended that you clean your roof at least twice per year. Also, be on the lookout for sagging gutters or damaged drain components and repair or replace as needed.
4. Ensure the roof is built to breathe. Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can cause sheathing and rafting to rot, roof materials to buckle and insulation to lose effectiveness. This will cause your overall roofing system to be ineffective.
5. Include insulation. The best way to achieve appropriate ventilation and good airflow is through proper insulation. To protect a house from heat gain or loss, it’s ideal to include a gap-free layer of insulation on the attic floor and a vapor retarder under the insulation next to the ceiling to stop moisture from rising into the attic. Having open, vented spaces that allow air to pass freely with at least one inch between the insulation and roof sheathing is also ideal.
6. Check for attic aftermath. In addition to having a well insulated attic, it’s a good idea to check for water stains and weak shingles after a heavy storm.
7. Safeguard against streaking. Make sure to pay close attention to the color of your roof. Roof areas, generally the northern part, exposed to shade during long periods of time in humidity will eventually become streaked with mold, algae or even fungus. And if left unchecked, will eventually deteriorate the roofing material shortening the life of the roof, which could lead to leaks and other signs of trouble.
To cut the mold situation completely, it’s a great idea to install zinc strips, like Shingle Shield Roof Protector strips, along the ridge of the roof. They are precision engineered to provide environmentally safe (EPA approved), long-term (average home 20 years) roof protection from fungus, moss, mildew or algae attack.
8. Check for signs of shingle damage. Being exposed to everyday wear and tear from various elements can cause shingles to become dilapidated and get torn off, making a roof structure and interior space vulnerable to water seepage and rot. Thus, it’s highly advisable for homeowners to examine roof coverings each year to ensure their integrity.
9. DIY roof repairers. Those bold enough to attempt roof repairs themselves need to bear in mind that it’s dangerous up there. It’s advisable to stay on a firmly braced ladder equipped with rubber safety feet when possible. If you do decide to walk on the roof, it’s best to wear rubber-soled shoes to prevent slipping.
10. Quality roofing quotes. When repairs go beyond a DIY project, you should make sure to do some homework before calling in the cavalry. It’s advisable to get at least two quotes so you can determine the best combination of quality and price. Think long-term and not cheap when choosing a roofing company and it’ll save you a lot of repair costs down the road.
Bottom line: It’s important to remember the roofline. Taking a top-down approach with yearly inspections and utilizing these quick tips and tricks will help preserve and protect your interior living space for many years to come.