Roof Maintenance Basics: What Do You Need to Know

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roof maintenance

Here’s a question for you, what’s the most easily damaged part of a house? It isn’t a hard question, but if you’ve guessed the roof, you’ve guessed correctly.

Look at a few homes outside and observe their roofs. There’s a high chance that at least one looks quite damaged. The reason is that roofs stand directly between your home and everything in the outside world—strong winds, heavy rainfalls, hail, snow, and the sun. They will wear it down eventually, resulting in a need to replace your roof.

This article focuses on common causes of roof problems and how to maintain your roof to prevent such issues.

Common Causes of Roof Problems and Solutions

Roof damage can come from various factors; here’s our risk assessment list, some common hazards, and preventative solutions:

Risk Assessment List

Very High: These issues can cause severe structural damage and leaks and compromise the overall integrity of the roof, leading to costly repairs or even roof replacement.

High: These can cause significant damage and lead to leaks, water damage, and other issues that require immediate attention.

Medium: While not as immediately threatening as high-risk issues, these can worsen over time, leading to more extensive damage if not addressed.

Low: These may not pose an immediate threat but can still cause minor damage or contribute to the roof’s deterioration over time.

Common Hazards and Solutions

These are our tips on various weather hazards and more, with preventative maintenance of roof tips included:

1. Heavy rainfall

This weather condition carries a high risk of damage:

What can go wrong?

Excessive rain can flood gutters and enter through shingle cracks or underneath them, causing leaks and structural damage. If it’s severe enough, it can cause a roof collapse; make sure you regularly check your roof and maintain it properly. 

How to prevent damage?

If you live in an area where heavy rainfall is common, consider installing a waterproof membrane under your shingles to prevent water from damaging your shingles and adding an extra layer of protection. 

Proper roofing maintenance is key; ensure your gutters are clean and debris is routinely removed to prevent blockages.

2. Snow and ice

    This weather condition’s risk assessment depends wholly on the region:

    What can go wrong?

    Snow can easily weigh down a roof, leading to a saggy roof or a collapse. Similarly, ice might form along the eaves and prevent proper drainage, which could trap water under the shingles and cause leaks and water damage.

    How to prevent damage?

    In areas with plentiful snowfall, maintain your roof using a rake or razor to clear excessive snow and ensure your roof isn’t overweight.

    Check for ice build-up on the roof and clear it out, as water might make its way into your home for an unpleasant surprise.

    3. Strong winds

      This weather condition can carry a high risk of damage, but it heavily depends on the region.

      What can go wrong?

      Strong winds may rip shingles off, and strong winds coupled with rain may cause stuck water under the shingles, resulting in leakage. 

      How to prevent damage?

      If you live in a region prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, ensure your roof and shingles are secure and fastened properly. You can consider hurricane straps or clips and trim down the trees around your home to ensure trees won’t fall on your home during strong winds. 

      4. Hail

        This weather condition carries a medium risk of damage:

        What can go wrong?

        Hailstorms can cause the roof’s structure to weaken over time, and if a hailstorm is strong enough, it can even cause punctures or dents in the roof.

        How to prevent damage?

        Material plays a big part in preventing hail damage, so if you live in an area that is particularly susceptible to hailstorms, such as the Great Plains region of the US, consider metal or asphalt shingles over traditional shingles for impact resistance. Regularly checking your roofs for damage after a hailstorm might save you from replacing a roof entirely.

        5. Age deterioration 

          Usually, all of the above-mentioned won’t be the only reason your roof might be damaged. However, if you add age to those factors, then the chances for damage are much higher; that being said:

          What can go wrong?

          Any of the reasons we mentioned can cause small damages that add up and potentially lead to a roof collapse after some time has passed.

          How to prevent damage?

          Check your roofs for small damages every six months. Doing this will save on roof maintenance costs in the long term and extend your roof’s lifespan considerably.

          6. Poor installation and maintenance

            Poor installation and maintenance are in the very high-risk category for damage.

            What can go wrong?

            When roofing installation is done by inexperienced contractors, shingles might be mismatched or missing entirely, visible nails might be present, and the roof might be uneven, resulting in leaks, rust, drainage problems, etc.

            How to prevent damage?

            Hire reputable professionals, such as HomeSolidHome’s roofing experts with locations in Austin, Baltimore, and New York City, to ensure reliable roof installation and good roofing maintenance.

            F.A.Q

            1. What’s an ideal timeframe to inspect your roof?

            Depending on where you live, twice a year is enough for most homeowners, but do check for damage after every severe weather event to be safe.

            2. What if I attempt roof maintenance on my own?

            You can, for small maintenance tasks such as gutter cleaning, but it’s always safer and recommended to hire professionals for inspections and repairs.

            3. What should I do if I notice serious damage to my roof?

            Do not wait; call professionals as soon as possible. Roof damage can lead to expensive home repairs if not treated immediately.

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