Other than the purchase of your home, the single most investment will be in maintenance of your roof. Surprised? Most people are. We seldom think of our roof as anything other than a shed to keep water out of the house.
If you want to extend the life of your roof, either you or a professional should inspect your roof at least every two years…annually is preferable.
Roof systems deteriorate from many causes. The most common reasons are those you do not normally think about, because you do not see the destruction until it is too late. Conditions include normal wear, extreme heat, and storms, particularly severe such as hurricanes; leaves remaining on the roof, snow, wind, expansion, deterioration of roof vents, and lifted shingles are a few reasons we need to keep an eye on what is happening over our heads.
Roofs may leak for months or years before you would notice the leak and by then, it could be very expensive to repair the damage that may be avoidable with proper and routine inspections and maintenance.
Roof Vents blown up by wind allow water to penetrate the roof at the ridge.
Thermoplastic and lead boots break down or are chewed by squirrels creating holes allowing water to penetrate and leak into the attic.
Chimneys leak from improper flashing, water standing at the back of the chimney, or deterioration of the sealants used in flashing the chimney.
Valleys are a common cause of roof leaks, damage by wind or debris, especially debris, allow water to pool, or back up under the shingles causing water to penetrate the roof.
Missing shingles or shingle tabs are the most common source of roof leaks. These should never be ignored.
Clogged gutters prevent water from flowing off the roof allowing water to back up under the shingles causing rot to overhang and fascia.
Improper flashing or attachments of sunrooms, screen rooms, or patio covers may cause the same type of problems as clogged gutters.
Most of the aforementioned will not be noticeable until you see water stains on the ceiling. By this time, repairs may be very expensive and if ignored, could cause severe damage too your home.
Homeowners should perform visual roof inspections or hire professional inspectors when roofs are free of snow and materials, and after every severe wind or rain condition.
A visual inspection of the continuity of roof covering; deterioration of fascia’s, gutters and soffits; and performance of flashings; in tandem with inspection of interior finishes of all ceilings and walls for signs of water penetration from frost buildup and structural distress, is well worth your time and effort.
Yearly, check the underside of your roof from the attic. If water is penetrating the roof, you will be able to see the water stains or matting of the insulation.
A professional inspection every other year will provide an accurate record that includes photographs and test data in a comprehensive report, documenting changes in the roof condition that can be verified, and a historic record of roof condition is available to future inspectors.
Keep and maintain records of all: inspections (including the checklist if provided); test investigations (thermography readings); and roofing repairs and replacements.
Taking care of your roof will maintain the beauty of the home for years; increase the life expectancy of the roof, and when you sell the home, as an asset in presenting a home that is well documented and maintained.