Most people do not give their roof the credit it deserves. Your roof protects your home from rain, snow, ice, and wind. It also provides a barrier against heat and sunlight, while keeping destructive critters from wreaking havoc in your home. While your roof has many functions, most of us do not maintain it the way we should. Over time, the elements and other factors can cause extensive damage to your roof. Allowing roof damage to sit untouched can result in costly repairs down the road. Learn how often to check your roof for damage and when you should call a roof repair contractor.
A Look at Your Roof
Before you can fully understand the importance of routine roof repair, you must know how your roof is constructed. While most people think of shingles when they picture their roof, the structure is actually much more complex. The roof is actually made up of rafters or trusses that provide support. On top of the trusses are sheathing materials which complete the roofing structure. Next is the underlayment which acts as a base layer in which tiles or shingles are laid. The outermost layer takes the brunt of the wear and tear and therefore degrades most quickly.
Signs of Extensive Roof Damage
Unless you spend a lot of time examining your home, you might not notice that your roof has suffered damage until it becomes extensive. To prevent costly repairs, it is best to check your roof after each storm and on a regular basis between storms. While most people think that leaks are a sure sign of roof damage, there are other signs that could indicate a problem in your roofing structure. The most common signs that indicate your home needs a roof repair contractor include:
- Shingles that are cracked, curled, or absent
- Lots of shingles granules in the gutters
- Shingles that appear dirty, dark, or wet
- Visible wear and tear around vents, pipes, chimneys, etc.
- Peeling or blistering of exterior paint
- Leaks in the attic after a heavy rain or storm
- Staining present on interior walls or ceilings
- Roof deck that appears to be sagging
- Visible outside light from in the attic
- Gradually climbing energy bills
- Clogged rain gutters
- Wet spots or algae growth
- Signs of moisture in the crawl space
How Often to Check for Roof Damage
How often you check for damage to your roof will depend on a variety of factors, such as where you live, the age of your roof, the type of climate and weather you experience, and how often you have your roof inspected and repaired. Just like your car, keeping on top of preventative maintenance can help keep your roof in optimal condition. However, if you allow any existing damage to linger, it can worsen resulting in expensive repairs or even a total roof replacement. A thorough inspection by a professional roof repair contractor can help ensure that any roof damage is caught and remedied early on.
As a standard rule of thumb, you should have your roof inspected by a professional at least two times a year. It is recommended that you have your first inspection done in the spring. This allows the roof repair contractor to check for signs of roof damage caused by the harsh winter elements. You should have your roof checked again in the fall. This inspection will ensure that your roof is in good condition and ready for the long winter ahead. Any problems like leaks can then be taken care of before winter weather hits.
What to Look for During Roof Inspections
There are a number of things that your roof repair contractor will look for when inspecting your roof. During a routine check, you can expect your contractor to look for general wear and tear around pipes, vents, and chimneys. The contractor will also look for any signs of blockages in the downpipes or gutters, as this can cause water to overflow onto your foundation. Signs of rust or decay in the downpipes or gutters could indicate that water is standing which is also surefire sign of a buildup.
Every square inch of your roof should be examined during a professional inspection. The roof repair contractor will look for any missing or broken shingles, damage to screws and fixings, and possible signs of rust on the roof flashing. He or she will also check for blistering or curling shingles which may indicate the need for replacement shingles. An accumulation of algae or moss on your roof could mean that you have a moisture issue that needs to be dealt with. Your contractor should also look for loose debris or roofing material on the ground around your home’s foundation.
The outside of the home is not the only place your contractor should check for damage. The inside of the home can also show signs of water damage if a leak is left too long without repair. Leaks are typically evident by dark areas on the walls or ceiling, moisture marks, or peeling paint. You may also notice that the rafters in the attic are damp or even squishy to the touch. Another sign that something is amiss in your home is the sudden increase in energy bills. This could mean that the ventilation in your roof is damaged.
Contact a Professional Roof Repair Contractor
If you are experiencing problems with your roof, suspect an issue, or simply want to have your roof checked, you will want to contact a professional roof repair contractor for the job. As the top of your roof is not a safe place to be, it is best to leave this task up to the professionals. An experienced roof repair contractor will know exactly what to look for and what repairs need to be done promptly to avoid a more significant repair later on. For more information about roof damage or to speak with a roof repair professional, contact Beyond Exteriors today.