By keeping your roof in tip-top shape, you can avoid the many pitfalls associated with improper roof maintenance. As a homeowner, you want your roof to last as long as possible. Roof replacement is a major expense but regular roof maintenance performed by professional roof repair Fairfax contractors can help prolong the life of your roof and enhance your home’s curb appeal. While you should always leave roof repair tasks in the hands of professionals, it is important to understand basic roof issues and how to identify problems. Here are a few essential roof repair tips to consider when caring for your home’s roof.
1. Inspect Your Roof Annually Even If You Do Not See Damage
Just because you do not see any visible signs of damage to your roof does not mean it does not exist. Whether or not you see missing shingles or an active leak, take the time to visually inspect the condition of your roof at least once a year. Looking at your roof from ground level may not be sufficient. Consider hiring a contractor to get onto your roof for a more thorough inspection. If roofing problems do exist, be sure to take action quickly to prevent the damage from getting worse.
2. Know What Type of Damage to Look for
When most people think of roof damage, they envision water leaks or loose shingles. However, these are far from the only types of damage that can occur. Be aware of other types of damage that can impact your roofing structure, such as cracking, splitting, or breaking of asphalt shingles. Excess loss of granules can also become a problem as these granules are designed to add bulk and fire resistance to roofs. Damage can also affect chimneys, skylights, vents, and flashing.
3. Roof Repair May Not Always Be the Answer
When it comes to leaks, roof repair is not always the suitable choice. It is important to determine if it is financially-savvy to continue making repairs or if a roof replacement is the wiser option. Permanent repairs may be best if there are just one or two minor weak spots in the roof due to a fallen branch or major windstorm. However, if the entirety of the room seems to have excessive wear and tear, a repair job may not be sufficient in the long-term. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to have your roof replaced then to continue making small, frequent repairs.
4. Understand How to Replace Shakes and Shingles
To replace shingles or shakes, the old, damaged materials must be removed and new underlayment must be installed to act as a water barrier. Once in place, the new shingles or shakes can be installed. If you have materials leftover from the original roof installation, you can use these or purchase new. Keep in mind: replacing your roof’s shingles or shakes is a challenging job that is probably best left up to the professionals, especially if you have to replace a large section of shingles.
5. Approach Flat Roof Repairs Differently
If you have recently purchased a home with a flat roof, know that the repair and maintenance involved significantly differs than with a sloped roof. As flat roofs allow water to pool, leaks are more common making top-quality roof repair a must. The most common flat roof materials used for repairs include modified bitumen, EPDM (rubber), and BUR (built up roofing). Smaller holes and punctures can often be fixed by applying a rubber sealant. Larger tears and rips will generally require the use of rolls of membrane material. All seams between the new and old roofing materials that do not overlap must be covered with seam tape to prevent leaks.
6. Allow Your Roof to Breathe
Many homeowners make the mistake of not having an adequate ventilation system in their attic. It is important to remember that your roof needs to breathe and when moisture becomes trapped in the attic due to lack of ventilation, wood rot and mold can develop. By installing vents, you can help maintain a balanced temperature between your attic and your roof. If you live in a cold climate, having proper ventilation is an absolute must to allow warm air to reach the roof, preventing ice buildup.
7. Carefully Inspect Your Roof’s Flashing
Homeowners often neglect the flashing on their roof and put all of their attention on the shingles. Flashing that is old, worn, or broken can result in significant leaks. Flashing can also rust or become loose over time, making it less effective in keeping out water. To prevent leaks caused by flashing, a contractor will remove the shingles around the flashing, pry up any siding nearby, and take off the damaged piece of flashing. Once it has been replaced with a new piece, the siding and nearby shingles can be put back on.
8. Pay Attention to Trees and Other Debris
Wind, rain, and snow are not the only things you have to worry about when it comes to your roof. Mother Nature can also impact the condition of your home. To see if your landscaping could be damaging your roof, see if there are any leaning branches that could be lying on the roof’s surface. Also look into your gutters to see if they are clogged with leaves and other debris. When your gutters become clogged, water can back up onto your roof resulting in mold and other moisture issues.
Schedule a Free Roof Repair Consultation
One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make is performing complex roof repair jobs themselves. Not only is DIY roof repair a risky endeavor that could leave you injured, you could be wasting hundreds or even thousands of dollars in materials only to have subpar quality work to show for it. Hiring a professional contractor to do the job is always the best option if you want the job done right the first time around. For more information about roof repair or to schedule a free repair consultation, contact the roof repair Fairfax contractors at Beyond Exteriors.