When you are a homeowner, it feels like the upkeep and bills never stop. Well, they don't really. But the big disasters that come from neglect or unfortunate accidents can sometimes be avoided. Taking care of the roof of your house is one of those activities that you can participate in to ensure its maintained quality. Following these roof maintenance tips can also help keep you from having to pay thousands of pounds for repairs from damage. And who doesn't want to save that kind of money? We'll bring you through some tips and tricks for keeping your roof clean and preventing leaks.
Keep your eyes peeled
Don't walk on your roof. Use a ladder and take notes working your way around your home.
Call a professional for investigations if you don't want to do it yourself
If you don't like heights, stand back and look at your roof with binoculars
Don't wait if you spot problem areas. You'll regret putting it off when you find a nice big leak dripping into your living room.
Things to look out for include the following areas:
Shingles are an excellent indicator of the status of your roof. If there are many missing shingles, and you've got lots of curling and cupping or tons of chipped and buckled shingles, your roof is in a painful place. It means it's far past it's time for some assistance and it needs your help. Granules from shingles are another sign. Some of those will naturally come off and be in the gutters or at the bottom of downspouts. However, when those have started to pile up, and your roof is visibly uneven and spotty from loss of those grains, it means that your roof is nearing the end of its time. Those signs are a red flag for bigger problems, however, and are likely an indication that your roof is getting quite old, and you should consider shingle replacement.
Chimneys and flashings
Chimneys are a common source of leaks. It's important to check the flashing and make sure that it isn't peeled away, dislodged or otherwise damaged. Skylights are a little more obvious when they're leaking. You'll see it inside right away, and you'll be able to tell that water is getting through which means it needs looking after, stat. Vents should be investigated to make sure that the sealant isn't cracking or peeling away. Any structure that penetrates through the roof and requires sealing to ensure that your roof doesn't leak should be looked at it. They are the natural weak points when it comes to your roof and water coming through into your home.
Eaves and guttering
Cleaning your gutters is important to do every spring and every autumn. When debris piles up too high in the gutters, it prevents the water from flowing through to the downspouts and can end up soaking into the roof and start to rot areas of the roof. Gutters also prevent damage to the foundation which can lead to wet basements, staining, and erosion. That kind of harm is not only a pain, but it's also expensive and will bring up a bill of thousands of pounds to repair.
If you aren't confident doing it yourself, you can hire roof maintenance professionals to do it for you. If you are doing it yourself, wear gloves and use the correct access equipment. You don't want to be scraping out that debris and all those old leaves with your bare hands. Sweep the leaves and other debris away from the downspout and dispose of it before rinsing down the gutters with a high-pressure hose, this time towards the downspout. While you're up there, keep an eye out for signs of animals.
Keep big branches from overhanging trees under control
Overhanging trees and branches that lead directly to your roof can create a highway for critters that may want to make their nest in your loft. Keep branches trimmed about 10ft away from your roof but make sure to get a professional to help you in this department. Big branches can also scrape and damage your roof and send shingles flying if there's a big windy storm. Leaves and moss gathering in your gutters or on your roof are also deterred by giving more space between the roof and the branches of the nearby trees. The shade allows moss to grow more efficiently and once it establishes, can be a hassle to get eliminate.
The hidden dangers of moss
A pain and unsightly. Keep in mind that black algae spots are different from moss. Black algae are only superficially displeasing and don't cause any harm to the home and your roof. Moss, on the other hand, holds water which means that it needs to be removed. If you catch moss before it's made a nice, big cosy life on your roof, you can probably just sweep it away and be done with it. If it's become more of a problem, however, it's suggested to kill the moss. Killing moss involves using a product that has potassium salts of fatty acids instead of something that is far more harmful such as a toxic formula that includes zinc sulphate. Only apply the mixture where the moss is growing, no matter which product you use.
Investigate your loft
Don't forget to take a peek upstairs. Look in your loft and keep an eye out for any damp spots. Visible water damage is a straight give-away and doesn't ignore it even if it looks like it could be older. It means that water got in and some point and is worth a little more inquiry just in case. It's better safe than sorry, after all. If you look during the day, and there are sunlight spots streaming in, take note of where they are and look into fixing the shingles on your roof where they have worn or broken away.
Early warning signs of a roof leak include the following:
- Dark or browning spots on the ceilings
- Blistering and bubbling paint on the ceiling
- Damp spots that are forming near the fireplace
- Moist areas in the attic
- Rust on metal pipes
With all of these tips, tricks and key pieces of advice, you're ready to take a closer look at your home and your roof. It's worth taking note and being sure that your home is secure and in good shape. The inside of your home is important to observe after you've taken a look at the roof itself. As soon as you notice warning signs, resolve the problem. It will save you disaster and headache in the future. Don't wait any longer. When you catch a problem early, it's more likely to be easy-to-fix. The last thing anyone needs in the comfort of their home is a flooded basement, mold infestation or a hole in their ceiling. A leaky roof will cause more damage than it would cost to fix the cause. Follow the tips above to ensure you keep your roof in tip-top condition.
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