The roof is one of the two most important structural components of any home, the other being the foundation. The roof protects and provides shelter from the elements, it is the first line of defense from nature’s threats and it is often subjected to the most brutal effects of strong wind, rain, snow, hail, dew and extreme heat. Constantly, nature tries the resilience of your roof but its ability to withstand the effects of nature’s threats is subject to the amount of care and maintenance you give to it. It is important that you dedicate time and resource to caring for your roof. Your roof will fail at providing shelter if not given proper and adequate care.
During routine or scheduled home maintenance, most home owners seldom look to the roof but for optimal coverage, it is ideal that regular maintenance is scheduled and carried out on the roof to preserve its longevity. It is also advised that you contact certified roof maintenance professionals to carry out maintenance on your roof.
The process of caring for your roof involves proactive steps taken to mitigate against the effects of weather and its elements. The steps involved include regular inspection for signs of damage, quick maintenance of any failing part and outright repair of a failed part. Preventive maintenance is the best panacea to prolong the useful life of your roof.
PREVENTIVE ROOF MAINTENANCE
There is a number of basic roof care practice that you can carry out to ensure that your roof remains in great shape. A major practice is regular inspection of the insides of the building (ceilings) and the roof itself. Some signs of a failing roof are evident from the insides of the building. Long standing water marks, odors and unexplained mold formations on your ceiling are clear signs of a defective roof. A small crack can cause extensive damage to your roof structure, so it is pertinent that you regularly inspect your roof from the insides and engage a professional to go up and run a check outside on the roof.
There are many factors that can affect the healthy useful lifespan of your roof but the most detrimental is moisture so it is important that you try to ensure that at all times, your roof is dry and there is no sloppiness that can cause moisture to settle on or for water to gather.
Loose shingles and dislodged gutters can also be detected by inspection. Ensure you carry out immediate repairs of these defects to avoid an aggravation of the problem which can lead to total collapse or damage to your roof.
There are also some defects that cannot be seen from the ground but by a professional conducting onsite inspection on the roof. General cleaning and clearing of dirt, plants, moss and algae can expose hidden defects that should be taken care of immediately. Routine inspections allow you to notice and take care of possible threats before they manifest and cause a lot of damage and money in replacement of the roof. It is also important to conduct an inspection after any major natural occurrence such as severe windstorm, hail or hurricane. This inspection is to ensure that the shingles are intact, previous repair points are also intact and the gutters are free.
Regular cleaning of your roof and gutters, and replacement of broken or dislodged parts are very important. Have a professional check your roof regularly and ensure that all defects noticed are properly and efficiently repaired to forestall any damage to the entire roof.
Routine inspection is important to assure the integrity of your roof. Your roof should withstand any threat once you adhere to regular inspection and you take care of it.
ROOF CARE BY TYPES
Not all roofs are made the same and so they tend to have varied care and maintenance procedures. There are basically 6 roof types by material that can be found on American homes and each of them has specific maintenance and care regime to validate its integrity. The roofs are often times found in segregated formats such as the slate shingles used predominantly in the Northeastern United States where slates are quarried, the tile shingles found around the southwestern part and the metal roofs in the North West and rocky Mountain regions of the USA.
The roof types most commonly found on American homes include;
- Asphalt Shingles
- Tile (clay) shingles
- Metal (Steel, Aluminum) roofs
- Wood (Cedar, Redwood)shingles
- Slate shingles
- Fiber glass
This is the most popular roofing material type available across America. Most American homes have roofs made of asphalt shingles. They are low cost, resilient and are easy to install. Asphalt roofs are quite easy to maintain and routine maintenance can be done by you the house owner. There are a few care practices that you can carry out that extends the useful lifespan of your asphalt roof. Pressure washing is one of the ways you can care for your asphalt roof. After cleaning dirt, it is ideal you pressure wash but ensure to use only low pressure to avoid causing damage to the shingles.
Bleaching is one way to care for your asphalt roof that is experiencing challenges with algae and moss growth. Once you clear out all plants, spray your roof with bleach to prevent further growth. Please ensure your follow the manufacturer’s instruction or you contact a professional to do this on your behalf. Bleaching also removes stains from your roof.
Zinc strips are also a great way to tackle moss and algae growth on your roof. These are usually placed at the peak of your roof and when it rains, the zinc gets washed off onto your roof, preventing algae and moss growths. Please ensure you contact a professional to carryout the installation.
These are one of the most beautiful roof materials. They are predominant is the southwestern part of America and are akin to colonial Spanish architecture. The roof consists of tiles made from clay but they are very durable lasting for up to 50 years. The tile shingles require regular cleaning to maintain its aesthetic and free it from moss, stains and mildew. You may require a professional to provide care for your tile roof. The tile shingles thrive in clean environments, so the easiest method to care for your tile shingles roof is to pressure wash regularly say in intervals of 6 – 8 months. This will expose any minute damage that may be lying underneath as well as expose the beauty of the tile roof.
Regular inspection to spot broken or out of place tiles is also a care practice that tile shingles home owners must carry out. Over time due to the effects of strong wind and other elements of weather, some shingles may become loose and fall out of place, it is important you spot these on time and have a professional repair and fix them back.
After cleaning, applying a coat of paint is a good idea; this will help bring out the luster and shine of your roof. The tile is really beautiful to behold and caring for it will help it last longer and look better.
Metal roofs are one of the coolest roof types around. They come in different metals such as aluminum and steel. They are the ideal roof type for flat or steep roofline. They are very durable and can last for a long time. They are sometimes installed as solid roofs or as galvanized sheets of metal. This roof type requires very minimal maintenance. To care for your metal roof, you would need to schedule regular cleaning of the roof. Because it is metal, moisture and water deposits are detrimental to the health of the roof. Ensure that your metal roof is cleaned out regularly and while at it, look out of holes and gaps.
Water can find its way through holes and gaps on your metal roof so it is important that you make sure the there are no holes or gaps on your roof.
Ensure also to check for loose screws and nails. Screw tightly any loose screws found and change those that may require replacement.
Conduct an inspection after natural occurrences like hail, heavy snow storms and severe winds. The health of your metal roof is most dependent on routine inspections; this will allow you to spot defects in time and to nip them in the bud before they become full blown problems.
This is one of the traditional roofing materials for most American homes. This material is aesthetically appealing and they are very durable lasting for up to 50 years. The most common wood types used for wood roofing are cedar and redwood. They are hard and can withstand the harsh elements of weather; they are light and are highly resistant to decay.
The common problems of wood roofs are fungi growth and the wet and dry cycle of wood and water. When wood is exposed to water or moisture, it tends to swell and when it dries up, it shrinks back. This swells and shrinks cycle over time causes cracks to develop and this becomes a source for leakages and fungi growths. To ensure the longevity of wood roofs, it is important that they cleaned regularly and especially ensure the removal of leaves and materials that can hold moisture or water. It is also important to remove branches or trees close to homes with wood roofs. These branches or trees are a source of constant water from dew and rain which damages the wood tiles or shingles.
Bleaching can be done to remove stains and improve the color and to fight fungi attacks, you can have zinc strips installed at the peak of the roof to prevent the growth of algae.
It is important to conduct inspection regularly and invest in a good wood coating to protect the wood from water and fungi attack.
Slates are one of the oldest roof materials and they have been around this long because of their durability and resistance to the severe elements of weather. Some slate roofs have been known to last for up to 100 years. The major challenge with slates is that over time they become fragile and can deteriorate leaving holes and gaps on the roof. Other slates can become misaligned or loosed as a result high winds or broken fasteners. It is important you schedule a regular inspection of your slate roof and ensure it is cleared of dirt and leaves.
Replace broken fasteners and or loose flashings that hold the slate in place. Remove and replace deterioration slates. Secure loose and misaligned slates.
Clearing of dirt and debris, and washing are the primary methods to ensure the longevity of slate roofs. Contract only professionals to care for your slate roofs as the roof are very fragile.
FIBER GLASS ROOF
This is a composite roof structure material. It is very durable, strong and long lasting. It is also budget friendly which has made it an option for most builders across North America. They are beautiful to behold. Most Fiber glass roof can be maintained the same way the asphalt roof shingles are maintained. It is important that you ensure that roof is dirt free at all times, inspect and look out for dislodged gutters and blocked gutter passage.
Fiber glass roofs can be pressure washed to remove dirt and restore shine. You can also make use of zinc strips to prevent the growth of moss and algae.
Bleaching is also one very potent way to maintain the colour of your roof and to wipe off stains. Ensure that only professionals care for and maintain your fiber glass roof to prevent damage.
Roof care and maintenance is not a one-off practice, conducted only when there is a noticeable damage to the roof. It is important to preempt and forestall damages to your roof structure and members by proactively scheduling routine inspection and a maintenance plan. Take heed and ensure that all defects and or anomaly are attended to promptly by certified professionals.