It is not always easy to determine the condition of your roof visually from the ground. Even if you manage to get a closer look, you may not understand the extent of any existing damage. Undergoing regular roof inspections and making any necessary repairs promptly can help extend the lifespan of your roof and keep it looking aesthetically pleasing. While most homeowners are able to perform basic inspections on their own, most rely on a qualified roof repair contractor to make any important repairs. Learn more about roof maintenance and what to look for during inspections.
Importance of Routine Roof Inspections
Many homeowners make the costly mistake of neglecting their roof. Oftentimes, damage remains unknown until it is too late. By the time damage is found, it has usually spread in the form of water damage, wood rot, and mold growth. This can result in hundreds to thousands of dollars in necessary repairs to return your roof to its prior condition. One way to reduce your risk of encountering serious damage is by performing routine roof inspections yourself or by hiring a roof repair contractor to inspect it for you.
The best times to have your roof inspected is in the spring to determine if the harsh winter weather caused damage, and again in the fall before the start of cooler temperatures. It is also wise to have your roof inspected after a significant weather event, such as a wind or hail storm. While weather is the biggest threat to your roof, it is not the only one. Fallen trees can also cause major damage to your roof. If such incidents have occurred, contact a roof repair contractor for an immediate inspection.
Common Signs of Roof Damage
Roof damage can be very minor and barely visible or significant and wide-spreading. No matter the extent of the damage, know that any amount of destruction to your roof can potentially expose the home’s inner structure resulting in water damage, wildlife infestations, and more. When performing roof maintenance or a routine inspection, look for the following common signs of roof damage:
- Buckling: Buckling may occur when roofing materials were not properly installed in the past or when there is not ample ventilation taking place. In some instances, buckling can occur when new shingles are installed without first removing the old ones. Buckling may occur in just one area or can occur in areas across your roof. If the damage is significant, roof replacement may be needed.
- Sagging: Signs of a sagging roof or ceiling could mean that significant water damage has occurred. Leaks in the roof can cause water to seep into the underlying materials. Over time, these materials can begin to weaken causing them to sag. Water damage is often most visible in the attic, but can eventually seep into the ceilings and walls on the upper floors.
- Damaged Shingles: Take a close look at your shingles for signs of damage. Shingles that appear highly worn or rotted should be promptly replaced. Damaged shingles may begin to curl, break, or corrode as they rot, creating visible holes and lifting. Do not allow this type of damage to go without repair.
- Moss and Algae: The last thing you want to see when inspecting your roof is the appearance of moss or algae. When fungi grow on your roof it is because of trapped moisture. Not only must you take the proper steps to remove the fungus, but you must also make the necessary repairs to create a moisture-resistant barrier. This will typically involve removing any affected materials and lying down new material.
Performing Routine Roof Maintenance
Even if no major damage is found, performing routine roof maintenance is critical to maintain the condition of your roof. While replacing your roof in its entirety can be extremely costly, maintaining it can be accomplished affordably and with minimal effort. Start by looking at your shingles. If any shingles are missing, curling, damaged, or show sign of excessive wear and tear, promptly remedy the problem. It is relatively simple to replace just a few damaged shingles on your own, or hire someone to do it for you.
Next, check for signs of moss, algae, or fungus growth. Know that these types of growths can spread quickly so be sure to remove them as soon as possible. Consider installing zinc or lead control strips which help ward off the growth of fungi. While performing roof maintenance, examine the flashing to ensure that it is solid. If gaps or damage has occurred, remove any old caulk, clean the area well, and reseal. Also take the time to clean and caulk around chimney joints. If cracked mortar is present, seal these areas as well.
Do not ignore smaller roof maintenance tasks, such as sweeping or blowing off debris from your roof. Over time, leaves, sticks, and other debris can build up on your rooftop, causing possible damage to shingles and trapping moisture. In addition to removing problemsome debris, trim back any branches that may be hanging over your roof. These branches can allow squirrels, raccoons, and other critters to take refuge in your home. During the winter months, snow and ice can also accumulate on your roof and gutters. Take the time to carefully remove it from the roof using a snow rake or similar tool found at your local home improvement store.
Contact a Northern Virginia Roof Repair Contractor
Regular roof maintenance and inspections is one of the easiest ways to extend the life of your investment while helping to maintain your home’s curb appeal. However, it is not always easy to determine if your roof is really 100 percent without the expert eye of a trained roof repair contractor. If you have discovered damage to your roof or simply want an experienced professional to perform a thorough inspection, a Northern Virginia roof repair contractor can help. Contact a local roof repair contractor today to schedule a roof inspection or to learn more about roof maintenance.