These roof maintenance tips can help strengthen your roof and prevent costly damage.
Every second of every day, your ceiling is put to the test. Sunlight can cause shingles to bend and crack, and a sweltering, overheated attic can cause them to age faster. To keep airflow in your attic, install baffles to prevent insulation from blocking soffit vents. Rain and hail can also cause damage to shingles, and hurricane force winds can tear shingles off and even blow off underlying coverings. Over time, even a small roof leak can lead to expensive repairs. Why not stop the damage before it starts? Learn to recognize the early signs of a problem and take steps to strengthen your roof.
Roof damage: Signs to look out for
Outside your home
Check for missing, bent, cupped, broken, or cracked shingles. Check joints for damaged or deteriorated materials.
Look for excessive granular loss by looking down gutters and vents. Manufacturers coat asphalt mix shingles with granules to block the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but natural aging will cause the granules to erode and expose the asphalt. Granule loss begins during installation and occurs daily. Although this is expected to happen, excessive loss may indicate a problem.
Blisters or raised bubble-like areas can appear on the shingles when moisture trapped between the shingle layers heats up and rises to the surface. These blisters can break open, causing the gravel to fall out. Blisters are often the result of poor attic ventilation, which causes heat to build up under the roof.
The dark spots and streaks that sometimes develop on roofs (especially light-colored tiled roofs) are caused by blue-green algae. This is more likely to happen in warm, humid areas. Algae can damage shingles over time, and should be removed by a professional roofing companies near me cleaner.
Tree branches that rub against the roof should be cut off.
Flashing around plumbing vents and chimneys should not be rusted, cracked, or loose.
Keep the roof, seams, gutters, and downspouts free of leaves, branches, and other debris to allow for proper drainage. Water should not accumulate on low-sloped roofs. This may be an indication of inadequate drainage.
Inside your home
Inspect the attic for leaks that often leave dark spots on the joists and underside of the deck. The most likely areas are around the chimney, vents, skylights, and joints.
Check for mold on the underside of the roof deck. This usually occurs when ventilation is poor and moist air collects in the attic.
See if the deck is sagging between the joists. Fallen roofing materials or broken beams may have been badly damaged by long-term constant leaks.
Make sure soffit, ridge, gable and roof vents are not blocked by insulation or storage components. Proper ventilation will help prevent structural damage caused by moisture, increase the life of roofing material, reduce energy consumption, and improve the comfort level of rooms below the attic. Requirements for proper attic ventilation can vary greatly, depending on the part of the United States in which a home or building is located, as well as the conditions of the structure, such as exposure to sun, shade, and moisture. To make sure your attic has enough ventilation, the National Roofing Contractors Associationrecommends a minimum of one square foot of free ventilation area for every 150 square feet of attic floor.
Make sure the attic floor is covered with a layer of gap-free insulation to prevent air from heating or cooling from escaping your home.
When is it time to replace your roof?
Your shingles may have a 15, 30, or even 50-year warranty, but they may not last that long depending on roof slope, quality of installation, quality of attic ventilation, and weather conditions in your area. If your roof shows serious signs of wear, have a roofing professional inspect it for you and see if it needs to be replaced; If your roof has sustained serious hail or wind damage, contact your insurance company. The following are some things to consider before installing a new roof:
Cover an old roof
If heavy snow, hail, or high winds are common in your area, building codes may not allow covering an old roof with new shingles. In other areas, building codes may only allow roof coating once.
When a coated roof wears out, both layers of shingles must be removed and new underlayments and shingles installed.
Choosing a new roof
Asphalt shingles, also known as composite shingles, are the most common type of shingles used on homes in the United States. They are made of either strong roofing felt or fiberglass mat, saturated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules on the exposed side.
Available in different colors and grades, slate is considered to be highly durable. But it’s more expensive than other roofing products, and it requires special experience and skills to install.
Metal roofing products come as panels and as tiles. Panels are available in different shapes, while metal shingles are often made to look like tile and wood shingles. Metal roofs are durable and relatively lightweight, although they can be noisy during rain or hail. Some have a Class A fire rating.
Synthetic roofing products are made to look like slate and wood shingles and shakes. Some are highly resistant to fire and impact.
Sorting out your roof
When you’re looking to buy new shingles, remember to see how well they’re rated for fire, wind, and impact resistance . Many roofing products are tested against standards created by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and FM Global to see how well they hold up to extreme conditions. The following are some of the classifications you should look for:
Winds. If your area is prone to high winds or hurricanes, you may want shingles that are more likely to stay put during a storm . Shingles that have been evaluated in accordance with ASTM D 7158 may receive a Class D (90 mph), G (120 mph), or H (150 mph) rating.
Fires. Fire resistant shingles are classified by UL as Class A, B, or C, with Class A being the highest.
Impacts. UL 2218 and FM 4473 standards give shingles an impact resistance rating of Class 1 (weakest) through Class 4 (strongest). Some insurance companies may offer discounts for properties with impact resistant shingles. Ask your insurance agent if you qualify 1.