Your roof is one of the most critical components of your home, protecting you and your family from the elements. However, it is not immune to gradual wear and tear.
Regular maintenance helps prevent minor repairs from turning into major issues. To get the most out of your roofing system, consider a semiannual maintenance inspection. Contact Roofing Murfreesboro TN for professional help.
Flashing is a sheet metal component of a roof that prevents leaks in certain areas of your home. These include the intersections between chimneys and vent pipes, skylights, dormers, and roof valleys. It works together with your shingles and other roofing materials to ensure water doesn’t seep through any crevices. Flashing is typically made of aluminum, though some roofers use galvanized steel for greater durability.
When flashing isn’t installed correctly, moisture can enter a home and cause problems. This is particularly true when it is not sealed properly. Leaking can lead to mold, ruined drywall, and rot. It can also lead to structural damage to the roof and home.
If you suspect that your flashing is leaking, the best way to confirm this suspicion is to have a professional look at it. They can check to see if the caulking around the vent pipes and chimneys is aging or deteriorating. This caulking is meant to seal these joints, but it tends to crack and break with constant exposure to heat and cold.
Another important step in roofing maintenance is to clean the gutters regularly and trim overhanging tree branches. Both of these tasks can help to keep moss, algae, and insects from growing on your roof. In addition, keeping the branches trimmed will prevent them from slamming onto your roof during storms.
When it comes to maintaining your roof, preventative care is the best approach. Preventive maintenance can catch any small problems before they become big, and it is often less expensive than repairing or replacing your entire roof. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your roof is protecting your home for years to come. If you’re interested in learning more about preventive roof maintenance or have questions, contact an expert roofing contractor for a free consultation. They can show you how to perform routine maintenance on your roof, and they can also recommend the best roofing products for your home. They can even assist you with obtaining financing for your roof project. This will allow you to budget your costs and get your new roof up and running quickly.
Inspect the Attic
The attic is a seldom-visited space in many homes, and it often holds sections of the HVAC system, piles of insulation, and perhaps some storage boxes. Because of this, it is easy for water damage to hide and become a serious problem that threatens not only the belongings stored there but also the structural elements supporting the roof. Mold growing in the attic can affect the air quality of the living spaces below it, and rotted framing supports can lead to expensive structural repairs or even needing to replace the entire roof.
Home inspectors will always check the attic as part of a thorough home inspection, and they will assess its condition to ensure it is safe for entry. This will involve checking that the access point is safe and secure, such as a hatch or pull-down stairs. The inspector will then visually inspect the attic, looking for signs of moisture and pest infestation.
Insulation and ventilation are other issues to address. Insufficient or damaged insulation will lead to higher energy bills, while over-ventilation can cause heat loss and condensation. The inspector will also look for evidence of ice dams and other issues that can occur in the winter or excessive attic heat in the summer.
If a homeowner is planning to sell their house, an attic inspection is highly recommended. This will allow them to repair any problems and make the property more attractive to buyers. It can help prevent buyers from being shocked at having to pay for significant repairs and may even avoid the need to negotiate a lower sales price.
When examining the attic, a homeowner should always take care to walk on solid ceiling joists rather than crawling across insulation or drywall. Doing so will reduce the chance of falling through the ceiling, which could be a dangerous and expensive mishap. Always maintain three points of contact when walking on an attic surface, and use a ladder for hard-to-reach areas. This will prevent falls and injuries. In addition, the homeowner should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including a dust mask and sturdy footwear.
Inspect the Gutters
Gutters are an integral part of the roof system, designed to capture and direct runoff. They protect the roof, siding and foundation of the house from water damage. It’s important to inspect them on a regular basis and clean them as necessary. Gutters that are clogged or damaged can cause damage to the roof, siding and other parts of the home.
Gutter maintenance focuses on the gutters themselves, as well as their downspouts. Cleaning the gutters on a regular basis prevents debris buildup and helps the gutters last longer. Gutter guards can also be installed to prevent clogging and make cleaning the gutters much easier.
Downspouts should be inspected to see how the water is flowing. If the water is not draining properly, it could indicate a blockage or that the downspout needs to be moved further away from the home. Downspouts that drain too close to the home can cause water to back up onto the foundation, causing expensive structural damage.
During the inspection, look for signs of leaks, rust and holes in the gutters. These should be repaired immediately to avoid water damage to the roof, walls and other areas of the house.
Inspecting the gutters usually requires a ladder, so be sure to use common-sense ladder safety precautions and enlist the help of a spotter. Also, wear gloves and work on a dry day to prevent slippage or injuries. Start the inspection by removing any branches, leaves or debris that have fallen into the gutters. Then, using a hose or strong stream of water, check the flow of water in the gutters.
If the water is flowing quickly through the gutters, but still accumulating in certain areas, this could be a sign that the slope of the gutters needs to be changed. This can be done by installing splash blocks or changing the hangers and spikes to a different configuration that creates more of a slope.
Also, while you’re on the ladder, take a visual inspection of the gutters and downspouts to see how they are affixed to the house. Over time, gutters can pull away from the house, especially if they’re loaded with debris and heavy rain. This can lead to roof and siding damage as well as flooding in the basement.
Inspect the Roof
Getting a close look at your roof’s condition is necessary to identify damage. A good inspector will climb on the roof or use a drone to get a better view. He or she will check the overall condition of the shingles and inspect the flashings and other large accessories like chimneys and vents. If he or she notices that the surface feels spongy, this is a sign that the underlying decking is weakening due to moisture. The inspector will also check that the gutters are clean and in good shape and that there isn’t any standing water.
Other common maintenance tasks include securing loose materials, ensuring that all edge details are properly terminated and sealed and making sure that penetrating items like skylights, vents and chimneys have seals or penetration barriers that are in good shape. Occasionally, animals will create nests in these areas and can cause water leaks over time. Inspecting for these critters is an important part of preventive roofing maintenance as well.
Ponding water is another common roofing problem. Often, it’s difficult for homeowners to spot if this is an issue until there is an obvious stain in the ceiling or a leaking section of the roof.
A professional inspection can help to spot problems early so they can be addressed before they become major issues that require a roof replacement. This is especially true following storms or other weather events.
Many manufactures’ roof warranties have specific disclaimers that say that the home owner must perform and pay for a regular inspection and report any problems to the manufacturer or the warranty will be voided. By having a maintenance program in place with a professional roofing contractor, you can ensure that your roof is inspected and maintained as recommended to keep your warranty valid. This will save you the cost of having to replace your roof in the future.