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Why Roof Maintenance Is Important

Performing regular roof maintenance can save money over the life of your home. Most manufacturers’ warranties specifically state that the homeowner must perform maintenance and inspections.

Roof Maintenance

Typically, roofs should be inspected twice a year. This includes a thorough inspection before and after the onset of severe weather. For professional help, contact Roof Repair Helena MT.

The flashing serves an important function, directing water away from roof penetrations and the home structure itself. Without it, the walls would eventually get wet and start to rot, creating potential health issues and costly repairs. When a professional performs a roof inspection, they will note any flashing problems that need to be repaired in order to prevent moisture intrusion into the home.

Roof flashing is made from galvanized steel, copper, or lead and is typically found in places like valleys between slopes of the roof. This is a key area for leaks to develop because of the large amount of water that collects there. The flashing helps to direct the water to the gutter system, where it should drain away from the house.

Chimneys and dormers are other places that may require roof flashing, as they are penetrations out of the roof surface. The flashing will be L-shaped, and it will seal the gap at the base of the penetration.

Flashing also covers joints and grooves of the roof, as well as places that are prone to leakage, such as valleys between slopes of the roof. It is important to inspect these areas on a regular basis, as water tends to penetrate shingles and can cause damage to the interior of the home.

Another important thing to check on a roof maintenance inspection is the caulk around the flashing. This seals the gap and keeps moisture out, but over time it can degrade. You should be on the lookout for peeling, cracking, pitted spots, and missing beads of caulk. If the caulk is damaged, it should be scraped off and replaced with a new bead of caulk to maintain a watertight seal.

In addition to checking the flashing, you should also make sure that all debris is cleared from the roof and surrounding areas. This is especially important during rainy weather. Make sure all screws, cables, and straps are tightly secured and that they have not come loose or been dislodged. You should also inspect the curbs of roof-mounted equipment to ensure that they are properly anchored, as loose curbs can lead to roof cover failure and water intrusion.

Clean the Gutters

Gutters are designed to channel rainwater off the roof, away from the house. But water isn’t the only thing that gets into gutters: leaves, debris, shingle grit and even animals can get in there too. This debris can clog the gutters, leading to overflows and leaks. When this happens, it can damage the roof, the shingles and the wood fascia. The cost to repair this kind of damage can be quite high.

Gutter cleaning is a chore that many homeowners avoid, but it’s an important part of roof maintenance. In fact, neglecting gutters can be one of the quickest ways to ruin your roof. Gutters should be cleaned regularly, at least twice a year. A good time to do this is in the fall and spring.

In addition to preventing overflows and leaks, cleaning the gutters can help maintain the value of your home. It can also prevent rodents and pests from living in the gutters, which can be a major health hazard.

During the winter, clogged gutters can also lead to ice dams that can cause a roof collapse. In addition, they can lead to water seepage under shingles or behind siding and into the house. This can cause structural damage and expensive repairs.

Cleaning the gutters can be done safely by using a ladder and a pair of gloves. Start at one end of the gutter and work your way down, scooping out the gunk and dropping it on the ground. Once you’re finished, move the ladder over a few feet and repeat until all of the gutter is clean. There are also several gutter-cleaning tools that make the job much easier and safer.

Regular cleaning and inspection of the gutters is essential to protecting your roof, extending its life and reducing the need for costly repairs. The best way to do this is to establish a regular schedule that includes routine inspection and cleaning, especially in the fall and spring. In addition, it is helpful to trim branches that overhang the roof and gutters, as this will further reduce the amount of debris that gets into them.

Trim Tree Branches

Trees are a beautiful addition to a yard, and they can add beauty, curb appeal, and resale value to your home. However, they can also be a nuisance and cause damage to your roof if they aren’t trimmed regularly. Overgrown branches and limbs can scrape your roof, puncture or tear off shingles, or block light from reaching windows and doors. This is why it’s important to have them trimmed by an experienced tree professional, rather than trying to do it yourself.

One of the most obvious reasons to keep up with trimming is that it can help prevent property damage during a storm. Dead or overhanging limbs can fall and hit the roof, damage landscaping and carports, or crack sidewalks and driveways. In some cases, they may even fall into power lines and cause serious electrical problems.

In addition to preventing property damage, regular tree trimming can help prevent pest infestation. Infestations are more likely to occur when trees are close to your home, as they offer easy access for animals like squirrels and raccoons. Tree branches touching your roof can also act as a highway for pests like termites, carpenter ants, and wasps, which can chew through the shingles and enter the house.

During a storm, these issues are magnified and can lead to significant roof damage and costly repairs. Large limbs can scrape the shingles, and even break them off completely, causing major cosmetic and structural damage to your home. In addition, they can block rainwater from properly draining off the roof and into the gutters, causing water to seep into your attic and walls.

A good rule of thumb is to trim all trees 10 to 20 feet from your home, depending on the size of the tree and its canopy. In addition, you should check with your local city or arborist before cutting down unstable or ill-healthy trees.

Inspect the Shingles

A shingle roof protects your home from the elements and provides insulation. Keeping up with routine maintenance can help extend its lifespan, but even the best-built roofs will show signs of wear and tear over time. A professional inspection can help spot minor issues before they turn into big problems that require costly repairs or roof replacement.

A visual inspection of the shingles is one of the first things inspectors will do. They will look for shingles that are loose, damaged or missing. They will also check the flashing, which is a thin material that seals areas where the roof plane meets a vertical surface like a chimney or vent pipe. Inspectors will look for rust or other signs of damage to the flashing, which can allow water and pests into the house.

The inspector will also check for signs of damage to the eaves, soffit and fascia. These areas can be a source of leaks, as they are where water and other debris collect. If they are leaking, they will need to be repaired or replaced. Inspectors will also check the gutters, looking for clogs or other signs of improper drainage.

Another important part of the inspection is to check for signs of sagging or structural damage in the roof. This can be caused by a number of factors, including excessive moisture and improper ventilation. Inspectors will look for areas of the roof that are sagging or show signs of moisture buildup, and will also inspect the attic to see if there are any signs of mold or dampness.

Once the exterior of the roof has been inspected, the inspector will move on to the attic. This is where the real secrets are revealed. They will look for water stains, mold growth and musty odors that are all signs of a leaky roof.

The last thing you want is a water leak that could cause serious damage to your home and put your family at risk. A faulty or damaged roof is an expensive and dangerous liability, so it’s important to get it checked out regularly by a qualified roofing contractor.