As a residential homeowner, you need to be conscious of how any type of roof can be damaged by severe weather. If you expect to maintain a healthy roof for decades, you need to make sure it is inspected periodically by a professional roofer. Here are key items which should be included in a roof maintenance inspection.
Evaluate Roof Installation
The root of many roofing problems is whether or not it was installed properly. Poor installation may skip important steps can lead to a wide variety of maintenance problems. When you move to a new home your first roof inspection should tell you how well it was installed. An example of improper installation is not using enough nails on a shingle, which can lead to curling.
It is crucial for the roof underlayment to provide sufficient support for the outer layers. It must be installed so the roof membrane is not exposed to water. This can lead to rot and even mold. The drainage system must be free of debris so water is not pressured to create a new pathway.
Obvious and Hidden Leaks
Leaks commonly occur around roof extensions such as flashings and fans, but they can also occur in unexpected areas. It’s best to catch leaks early in an inspection. You don’t want to let them grow into bigger, more expensive problems. The easiest leaks to spot are those near cracked, broken or missing shingles.
Places where leaks commonly develop include around flashings, chimneys, skylights, and at drainage points. Other places to be inspected carefully include roof edges and walls. If water vapor cannot escape within the building the pressure can cause blisters in the roof, causing leaks.
Loose or Damaged Shingles
Shingles are nailed down, so it takes a pretty strong force to loosen them. When you see loose shingles you should be concerned. Shingles can last over a decade, but they eventually degrade in numerous ways. Sometimes they warp, curl, or crack from severe weather or getting hit with tree branches.
There are a number of ways shingles can get damaged. One of the easiest ways is if you allow excessive foot traffic on your roof. Strong winds, rain, and hail are usually more common reasons for roof damage. Every roof is vulnerable to a degree since the strength of storms is unpredictable – in any region.
Moisture and Effects
The reason shingles get warped is usually more than just exposure to sunlight. It can be due to insufficient ventilation in the attic. Hot air builds and leads to moisture and mold which then curls or warps shingles.
The problem with ignoring moisture is it can lead to the buildup of mold, mildew, and algae. The presence of these environmental contaminants can create health risks in your household. You’ve got to prevent all forms of moisture from entering your home. Water can cause structural as well as electrical damage. If water passes through the ceiling it can be an indicator of weak insulation, which can lead to higher energy costs.
Signs of Old Age
You should have a general idea of how long your roof will last from the time you bought it through many years of stormy weather. Missing, loose, and curled shingles can be a sign of old age and need for replacement. When shingles curl they increase the odds of leaks developing. Another indicator the roof is nearing the end of its life is when the granules from the shingles are in the gutter or your yard. Excessive weight on the gutter system from water and debris may accelerate the end of a roof.
If your roof is over 15 years old, it’s time to start thinking about getting a new roof. But it comes down to the current condition of your roof and finances. You definitely need a replacement by the time you see bald spots, cracked shingles, and curled tabs. If you see excessive cracks of light which shine through your roof, consider a replacement right away.
A modern way to detect trapped moisture on a roof is with an infrared scan of the roof assembly. It will help you check for wet roof insulation and improve energy efficiency.
One of the best ways to protect your roof is to hire a professional roofer for periodic inspections. Each contractor visit should bring you up-to-date on the state of your roof, whether it’s free of problems, needs repairs or should be replaced. Knowing the health of your roof is important. Make sure you have a clear idea at all times. To learn more, contact Go Roof Tune Up and ask how we can help you plan a safe, durable roof.