As a crucial functional part of your home, your home roof needs regular maintenance. It’s exposed to the weather, and serves the purpose of keeping the weather off of the people and property residing under it. Debris can fall onto the roof from trees, animals, thrown objects. Rain can wash debris into gutters, resulting in clogs that allow water to stand in pools, creating the possibility of damage. Packed snow can damage a roof, as can hail, plant growth, bacterial growth under certain conditions, and simply the effects of old age and weathering.
Performing basic maintenance on a roof can prevent having to replace it when the damage progresses beyond the point where it is easy to fix. The maintenance can be time consuming or, when professionals are called in to perform it, somewhat costly, but not nearly as costly or time-consuming as putting on a whole new roof, which can cost thousands of dollars and require vacating the house while the work is done.
Most of roofing maintenance consists of inspecting the roof for damage, and then dealing with anything that’s found. Here are some of the things that a smart home owner will do on a twice-a-year basis:
- Check for openings between shingles, shakes, etc. – split seams, holes, or other gaps in coverage requiring patching.
- Inspect the flashings. These are places in your roof where it connects to breaks for chimneys, skylights, and so on – gaps in the smooth roofing material necessitated by function. This is probably the spot where damage is most likely to occur.
- Check for standing or stagnant water. Never underestimate the damage that water can cause! It can freeze in cold weather, expanding and splitting materials. It can also provide a growth medium for both bacteria and plants, either of which can damage your roof.
- Check the gutters for blockage. Blockage can result in standing water. It can also result in overflows that can damage your basement and foundation.
- Check caulking for decay or gaps
- Check for debris on the roof: plant matter, animal waste, objects left or thrown onto the roof by humans
- Seek out broken, missing, or badly situated shingles and shakes. Repair them or replace them as needed.
If you do these things twice a year – and although they do take a little time, it’s only twice a year and none of them is terribly difficult – you can avoid a lot more hassle and expense down the road, and extend the life of your roof.