Keeping Your Roof in Shape: The Top Roof Maintenance Tips
While experts say that a roof could last for 30 years, it really depends on where you’re located in the world. If you live in an area with harsh winters and hot summers, your roof could last half as long. Roof maintenance is valuable in any climate to ensure you get as much life as you can out of your roof.
Here are a few things to keep track of when it comes to your roof.
Watch Out For Trees
Falling trees and branches are one of the main sources of issues for building owners suffering from roof problems. The thing is, we may not even know when this has become a problem.
Since we don’t get a regular view of our roof, we don’t notice the difference from storm to storm and season to season. Most of what gets observed is only seen once there’s already a problem or a leakage.
It’s also hard to know the state or health of a tree until you inspect it closely. Even tree specialists can’t tell whether or not a tree is dangerous at a quick glance. Any large trees should be trimmed and pruned to ensure their old or loose branches are removed before they come crashing down.
On top of that, most of the damage that comes to a roof happens during the chaos of a storm. It’s hard to know if what you’re hearing is just the wind or a tree hitting the top of your metal roof.
Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters serve the purpose of redirecting water from dripping down on you as you stand at the edge of your building. But they also collect debris from your gutters. This is a great way to keep buildup from your roof, as long as you remember to clean up.
Leaving your gutters filled with debris defeats their purpose. When they’re full, things collect on your roof. Ice and water can back up, putting unnecessary pressure on your roof. This creates the perfect conditions for leakage.
Your roof should be cleaned at least twice a year. Watch for sagging gutters or damaged drain components as they can hurt your gutters’ ability to get debris and water off of your roof. While they may freeze up during the winter, if they’re clogged with branches and leaves, the ice won’t melt and run off the way it should.
Roofs Need to Breathe
Every building needs the ability for ventilation. Without ventilation, moisture and heat can build up and cause problems.
Sheathing and rafting can rot if they’re put under the pressure of a hot day after a moist and rainy night. The roofing material could buckle and your insulation could suffer. If you start to chip away at the various components that make up your roof, you’ll eventually make your whole roofing system ineffective.
After a heavy storm, check for blockages to ventilation. Also, look for water stains and weak shingles that could come off during the next storm.
Don’t Forget to Insulate
Ventilation and airflow can be assured through appropriate insulation. Insulation is meant to protect buildings from heat gain or heat loss, depending on the season. A layer of insulation on your attic floor is vital to keep temperatures from fluctuating and to keep heating and cooling costs down.
Using a vapor retarder is smart for taking care of moisture. Moisture that rises up into the attic can cause mold and make the space too humid to be useful.
Open and ventilated spaces should be created to keep air passing freely. Leave a one-inch space between your roof sheathing and insulation to keep from ending up with mold or moisture issues.
Growth is a Problem
In areas of life, growth is good. However, it’s a real problem when it comes to your roof. Watch the color of it and make sure that you don’t see any major changes.
The northern part of your roof is most susceptible to change. That’s the area that’s exposed to shade and humidity. Over time, it can be streaked with mold, fungus, or algae.
This growth deteriorates roofing material and can shorten the life of a roof. Later, this can lead to leaks and other signs of trouble.
Zinc strips are one-way building owners fight off mold. Placed along the ridge of your roof, they can allow for long term protection against fungus, mildew, and moss while maintaining an environmentally friendly building.
Beware of Material Damage
When you’re using a material that can take a beating like built-up coal tar, asphalt, or gravel, you don’t expect any major issues. But even a small section of material that’s torn off can reveal the raw materials of the building below. Those exposed sections need to be replaced immediately.
Liquid-applied materials require you to carefully inspect your roof every six months. It might be more apparent when a section of a metal low-sloped roof is damaged.
If crimped seams come apart or a panel becomes loose, it’s vital to get that fixed as soon as possible. Often, building owners don’t notice seepage until it’s too late. By the time it starts dripping into office or warehouse spaces below, you’ve probably got a problem that’s going to be too massive to deal with easily.
During your biannual checks on your roof, make sure you test and monitor the coverings. The integrity of the membrane or materials you’ve used to cover your roof is vital to protecting the building as a whole.
Consider Commercial Membrane Roofing
Some membrane roofing manufacturers require a documented maintenance program, while others don’t. If you are required to document a maintenance program but do not, your warranty will be voided by the manufacturer.
Duro-Last roofing does not require a documented maintenance program on 15 and 20-year warranties, but does on 25 and 30-year warranties. Choose wisely.
Roof Maintenance Saves Money
Roof maintenance can spare you from the tens of thousands of dollars it costs to replace a roof entirely. A few hours every six months can ensure your roof lasts for several years more than it would if you hadn’t cared for it.
If you need roofing help in the Madison, Wisconsin area, check out our list of services.