Some things are just “over our heads.”
You always think your roof will keep the elements out, and most of the time it does.
But if neglected, the elements will invite themselves in like unwanted guests, and trash your place.
Here are a few simple maintenance tips:
1) Inspect your roof often
A semi-annual inspection, spring and fall, and after a severe storm, will keep you informed about the condition of your roof, and any damages since the last inspection.
2) Look for missing or broken shingles.
Check the entire roof for shingles with corners curled or broken off. Visible nails from the layer below can allow water penetration. Cover with a patching compound until the roof can be repaired.
3) Make sure gutters are clear.
The gutters are possibly the easiest fix for your roof, but have the potential to destroy the whole roofing structure if neglected. If the gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, water can’t flow down the downspout, and may enter the house under the bottom row of shingles.
4) Check metal flashing
Metal flashing is used to provide a water-tight barrier at the edges of the chimney, stack vents and roof vents. Check the condition of any cau
lking, and re-caulk if shrinkage has left on opening for water entry. Also, check for any nails that have pulled out, leaving the flashing susceptible to further damage.
5) Ensure adequate ventilation.
Warm interior air rises to the attic. In the winter, the unconditioned area is much cooler, causing moisture in warm air to condense, and collect on the structural members. Eventually, the wood will begin to rot, grow mold, and excess water will make its way into the main building. Existing insulation will become saturated, and ineffective.
Solution…make sure you have adequate ventilation in the attic, so the warm, moist air can escape in the winter, and the hot air of summer can be flushed out. A pitched roof should have a vent for every 300 sq. ft. of roof surface ventilation.
Make sure the vents haven’t been damaged by falling debris, or aren’t blocked by leaves.
6) Remove any moss or plant growth on the roof surface.
Humid environments are ideal breeding grounds for moss and other plant life. Gently sweep off new moss, being careful not to remove the shingle aggregate. Older moss will require removal by a professional cleaner. Left untreated, the plant life will expand and destroy the roof surface, trapping moisture, and eventually causing damage to the underlying wood structure.
Follow these simple tips to keep the roof over YOUR head.