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The Importance of Roof Maintenance

Roof maintenance prevents small problems from snowballing into major headaches that disrupt a business or damage a home. A routine check can catch shingles and flashing that are deteriorating, water stains, mold, and structural changes.

Roof Maintenance

A maintenance plan includes cleaning the roof, addressing drainage issues (such as ponding water), and repairing leaks. It also inspects chimneys, skylights, vents, and equipment. Click Here to learn more.

The unsung hero of a roof, flashing is sheet metal fabricated to a specific shape that prevents water from penetrating a home through joints and penetrations. If moisture gets past the flashing, it can cause both cosmetic and structural damage. A thorough roof inspection should include inspecting the flashing for signs of failure.

Most leaks originate at the flashing, particularly along walls that intersect with a roof. During an inspection, a professional will look for cracks in the flashing that create gaps or appear to be pulling away from the shingles. The metal flashing should also be examined for rust or corrosion. In addition, the flashing around chimneys and vent pipes should be inspected for cracking or wear, as this may indicate that water is leaking into the house.

Inspecting the flashing requires access to the attic and a ladder large enough to reach the roof. If the inspection is being performed on a windy day, a professional will need to use caution and take the proper safety precautions.

Flashing is usually installed at the base of a wall, where it meets a roof. If the flashing is loose, it can allow moisture to seep under shingles and into the house. Flashing can also be loose due to extreme weather conditions, which can displace the materials and compromise their effectiveness.

Leaking or damaged flashing should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent the problem from worsening. In addition, any holes in the flashing should be repaired to ensure that they are tight and watertight. If the flashing is no longer effective, it should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to the structure and contents of a home.

Professionals should be familiar with the building codes and regulations that apply to flashing installation. During a maintenance visit, professionals should also check that all caulking around the flashing is still intact and working properly. They should also clear debris from around the flashing to keep it free of obstructions and prevent water accumulation that could lead to further problems. Additionally, they should examine and clean the drains to ensure that they are open and free of debris.

Inspect the Gutters

The gutters of a roof are responsible for safely transporting water runoff from the roof to an appropriate drainage system. If the gutters aren’t functioning properly, it can lead to a variety of expensive problems including roof leaks, siding damage and even structural damage. In order to avoid these problems, a regular gutter inspection and cleaning is necessary.

Gutter maintenance is a critical part of any roofing maintenance program. It’s important to regularly clean the gutters and downspouts to keep them free of debris and clogs. It’s also important to inspect the gutters for signs of deterioration such as rust or rotting and to make repairs where needed.

If you’re planning on performing your own gutter inspection and cleaning, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. This includes having the proper ladder, gloves and a bucket or two for carrying your equipment. Always be conscious of your body positioning when you’re on the ladder and don’t forget to look for the safety instructions often found on ladders. It’s also a good idea to have someone watch you while you’re performing the inspection and cleaning, especially if you’re using a ladder that’s taller than you are.

When you’re inspecting the gutters, start with a visual check from the ground level before climbing the ladder. From this vantage point, you can spot inconsistencies like sections that appear to be out of place or that are missing components such as hangers. In addition, pay close attention to the joints in the gutters and make sure they’re securely caulked or sealed.

Another thing to look for is pools of standing water in specific parts of the gutters. These can be indicative of alignment issues or simply from wear-and-tear. However, they can also indicate other, more serious issues that require immediate attention.

You should also look for the presence of moss or other plant growth on the gutters. These can clog drains and cause the surfaces of your roof, fascia, siding and foundation to rot or decay prematurely. In addition, they can trap moisture that would otherwise escape from the roof, causing more serious damage.

Inspect the Shingles

The shingles are the covering that protects your home. They are placed on the roof in rows that overlap each other. During an inspection, you can check for shingle damage such as cracks or dents. You can also look for shingles that are loose or missing.

You can do a visual inspection of your roof from the ground and from inside your home. If you notice any signs of water damage, such as mold or mildew, water stains, or peeling paint, it is likely due to a roof leak. Leaks can also cause structural damage to the ceilings and walls in your home.

In addition to examining the shingles, you should check the flashing and the gutters and soffit boards. The flashing is the thin metal pieces that connect the various planes of your roof, and it should be free from cracks or rust. Inspect the soffit boards and fascia for rot or damage as well. You should also examine any vent pipes or skylights for leaking and leaks.

A shingle is damaged if it’s curled or buckled. A curled shingle looks like you’re rolling up a newspaper while a buckled shingle is folded like a hamburger. Both of these conditions indicate that the shingle is deteriorating and will need to be replaced.

An annual roof inspection by a professional is recommended. These roof professionals can spot problems before they worsen and prevent costly repairs down the road. Routine inspections can also help prevent insurance claims and warranty claims, especially after major weather events.

In order to perform a thorough inspection, you should have the proper tools and safety gear. You should also have a checklist to ensure that all areas are checked. A ladder and good lighting are also necessary. It is important to wear proper footwear on the roof to prevent falls and other injuries. You should also avoid walking on the roof unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe to do so. You should also be sure to trim overhanging trees, as these can lead to abrasions on the surface of your roof. Proper ventilation is vital to preventing moisture buildup and ice dams.

Trim the Trees

Trees add beauty and shade to a yard, but they can also damage the roof if they are allowed to grow too close. Overhanging branches can cause a variety of problems including clogged gutters, mold, ice dams and roof leaks. By regularly trimming trees, you can prevent these issues and keep your home safe and beautiful.

Tree limbs that hang over your roof should be trimmed to within 6 feet of the roof. It’s important to be careful when trimming these limbs, as a mistake could cause them to fall on the house, leading to expensive and damaging repairs.

A professional arborist can trim your trees safely and correctly. They will inspect the limbs for rot, disease or insects and remove any that need to be removed. They will also thin out limbs that are rubbing or crossing each other. This helps to reduce stress on the limbs and promote new growth. The final step in a proper pruning technique is to trim the limbs back to their base. This can help reduce the weight of the limbs and make them less likely to break during a storm.

Keeping trees properly trimmed can help prevent the need for a roof replacement in the future. If you notice that a tree is becoming unhealthy, it’s important to take action quickly. Look for signs of a problem such as splitting tree trunks, fungus, leaning or sagging branches, swollen spots and discolored leaves.

If a tree is unhealthy, it should be cut down before it falls on your roof. Be sure to check your local laws and speak with a professional arborist before taking down a tree. If a tree is on your neighbor’s property, consider politely asking them to get it trimmed before it becomes a problem.

Overhanging tree limbs can serve as bridges for pests, such as squirrels and raccoons to access your roof. They may then chew through the shingles, causing structural damage and creating a leak in your roof. Regular trimming of the trees around your home can stop these unwanted visitors from gaining access to your roof and causing unnecessary damage or creating a nuisance.