27 Mar Roof Maintenance: 7 Steps to Get the Most out of Your Roof
As one of the few roofers in Hamilton who aims to not only do great work but also better educate homeowners on what they need to be concerned about (and what they’re better of leaving to the professionals), I frequently get asked the question: “How do I make my roof last longer?”. Aside from picking the right shingles, the right underlayment system, the right contractor, and making sure your ventilation is right to avoid thermal shock, one of the most overlooked aspects of increasing the longevity of your roof is having basic roof maintenance done.
So what does roof maintenance consist of?
Step #1: Be safe! Don’t do anything crazy or stupid just to check on these things. It only takes one slip to spell disaster. It is not dangerous if you maintain a certain level of awareness, but please exercise caution!
Step #2: Do an inspection of the roof overall. Look for any of these 7 signs you may need a new roof. Sometimes you will notice early warning signs that do will not put you in any danger for a few years, but it is still good to be aware of it.
Step #3: Get rid of anything that does belong up there. That could consist of anything from your kids toys (I’ve seen everything from tennis balls to GI Joe’s up there), to animal waste (yucky, I know), to any leaves or branches that may be on your roof surface.
Step #4: Cut back any overhanging tree branches to minimize the work required for Step #2 in the future!
Step #5: Check your flashing (located in any areas that butt up against a wall or chimney) and valley’s to make sure that they are as watertight as possible. Do not be overwhelmed by this. You might feel like you don’t know what you’re looking for, but just remember: water can not go against gravity (even wind driven rain can only push water uphill to a very limited extent) so simply look for any areas that water can flow directly into your attic whether that is holes in your roof plane, cracks in your caulking or gaps in your flashing. It’s more intuitive than you might think!
Step #6: Seal any cracked mortar or caulking around joints, chimneys, flashing and exposed nails.
Step #7: Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that the roof you rely on to cover yourself, your family and your possessions is in good shape and well taken care of! It’s also nice to have a good idea of when you need to think about having to put a new roof on, rather than the stress of worrying about if everything is okay up there.
So why go to all the trouble? According to certain studies, a roof that receives no maintenance can have it’s lifespan reduced by up to HALF the length of time a properly maintained roof would be expected to last.
According to a thesis published by Schreiber Roofing:
“Ideally, when a roof is five years old, a bi-annual inspection of the existing roof areas should be established. This will allow owners to locate defects in their roofs before these trouble spots can evolve into serious roof problems. The establishment of a roof maintenance program will head off serious roof failures and extend the serviceable life of the roof to its maximum design life expectancy. Ignored roofs will need replacement in less than half of their rated life, and preventive maintenance programs can reduce the cost of re-roofing by 50% or more.”
So there you have it! It’s always best to be proactive and avoid the collateral damage involved with letting situations (especially your roof) stagnate. Roof maintenance is just one of the many steps you can take to get the most out of your roof. And as always…stay safe out there, home owners!