The Basics of Roofing Maintenance
Roofing maintenance involves routine inspections, cleaning, and repair services to extend the life of a roof. It includes repairing shingles, clearing gutters, and inspecting flashings.
An inspection is also a chance to look for signs of rot, water stains, and damp beams. These may be signs of a leaky roof or upcoming issues that can’t be fixed with repairs alone. Visit Website to learn more.
A common roof covering, shingles are often made of asphalt and may last 15-20 years. Weather and other factors such as moss/algae growth, debris accumulation, and temperature extremes can shorten the lifespan of shingles. It is important for a homeowner to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance instructions for their specific shingle type, as these will vary.
Shingles must be inspected regularly for damage and to check on their condition. If they are blistered, curled, cracked, broken, or missing altogether, it’s important to replace them. Otherwise, these gaps in the roof will allow rainwater to enter a home or commercial building.
During a shingle roof maintenance inspection, it is also a good idea to inspect the flashings, which are strips of metal (usually aluminum, galvanized metal, or lead) that run along roof edges or joints. These are needed to divert water, keep it out of tricky areas where bathroom and kitchen pipes/vents extend through the roof, or around skylights, chimneys, or valleys. Flashing can rust, crack, lift, or separate, and this is a major cause of roof leaks. If you find any spots where the flashing is no longer securely in place, it should be sealed with caulk as part of your shingle roof maintenance.
Another part of a shingle roof maintenance inspection is to clear all debris from the roof. This is especially important in shady parts of the roof, where leaves and other debris can quickly build up and block drainage valleys or become homes for invasive pests like rats. A professional can safely clean the roof with a broom or vacuum cleaner and, if needed, preventative products that will inhibit the growth of moss/algae.
Compared to other roofing materials, metal roofs are low maintenance and require only a general inspection biannually. However, this doesn’t mean that the roof doesn’t need regular care. Rather, the inspection is a chance for a professional to identify problem areas that could become serious or lead to a failure in the system.
During the inspection, the contractors should check that panel seams are not loose or separating. Water easily leaks through these gaps and can cause major damage to the home. They should also check that all flashing materials are intact, sealed well, and in good condition. These are strips of metal that cover areas surrounding penetrations such as chimneys, vents, and pipes. They are designed to move water away from these vulnerable parts of the roof.
If any parts of the metal are rusting or have scratches, they should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If the rust is too deep, it may be necessary to paint the entire area. In most cases, minor scratches can be buffed out with mineral spirits and a clean cloth. Then, the panel should be rinsed with clean water and allowed to dry. If a touch-up coat of paint isn’t possible, the contractor can provide a protective sealant that should last for a long time.
Another important step is to remove organic debris, such as leaves, twigs, and branches, on a biannual basis. This helps keep gutters working properly and protects the paint from premature degradation. It’s also a great way to improve the curb appeal of your house, as a clean metal roof enhances the appearance of any property.
Wood shakes are durable, but they do require a little more maintenance than other roofing materials. They need to be treated with flame-retardant chemicals every few years, and they are more prone to mold, mildew, fungus, and insect damage. They also tend to attract moisture, which causes them to swell and shrink at different times. This creates stresses that can cause the wood to crack and rot. Because of these problems, it’s important to inspect your wood roof regularly and repair any damage as soon as possible.
Basic housekeeping for a wood-shake roof includes removing all pine needles, leaf litter and debris from the roof surface. This helps retard the shedding of water and keeps the wood-rotting organisms at bay by preventing them from reaching the minimum water level required for their growth.
A wood shake roof’s lifespan can be extended by thoroughly cleaning the shakes and removing any algae, mildew, moss or fungi that may grow on them. This can be done by sweeping, brushing and scraping or by washing with soap, bleach, a detergent or other chemical.
It is recommended that you hire a professional roofing contractor to perform all maintenance work other than basic housekeeping. This should include protecting the surrounding vegetation and the house from damage caused by debris and chemical overspray; removing plant growth; spraying for moss and fungi control, and power washing (which can force water up under the shakes and cause leaks). In addition, an experienced contractor will apply waterproof, UV-blocking, preservative and restorative treatments to wood roofs.
Slate is perhaps the most beautiful and durable roofing material that a homeowner can install on their home. It reflects at once the awesome forces of nature that formed it and the craftsman’s skill in handshaping it into place on a roof. When installed properly, slate can last for decades or even centuries.
It’s essential to have your slate roof inspected and cleaned by a professional at least three times a year. During these maintenance service visits, the roofing experts will check the entire surface for signs of damage from storms. Depending on the severity of the storm, your roof might need to be repaired with new tiles or flashings.
A reputable roof cleaning company will use a delicate process to clean your slate roof. This will ensure the proper care of the surfaces and prevent potential discoloration. Most homeowners try at-home roof cleaners such as bleach or ammonia, but these are only Band-Aid solutions and can cause permanent damage to the slate.
One of the most common problems with a slate roof is broken or missing tiles. These can be repaired with relative ease by a skilled slater. Small chips in the corners of slates may look unsightly, but they don’t usually cause leaks or structural issues. Larger holes that penetrate the tiles and the underlayment are more serious and costly to repair.
A roof warranty will cover some of the costs of repair to a slate roof. However, this isn’t a blanket policy and will depend on the individual roofing company that you work with. Make sure that you read the fine print of your warranty to understand exactly what’s covered and how long it lasts.
Generally speaking, clay refers to a natural material with plastic properties that contains very fine mineral particles and is composed primarily of hydrous-layer silicates of aluminum (although it can also contain magnesium and iron). Clay minerals tend to have very thin plate-like shapes under an electron microscope, and they are very sticky, which helps them stay together. They are brittle, however and so must be handled very carefully or they will break.
When compared with other roofing materials, such as shingles, clay is extremely durable and can easily withstand harsh weather conditions. It does well in high heat and frigid cold, and it doesn’t expand or contract nearly as much as other roofs.
As a result, it offers great insulation and energy efficiency and is incredibly water resistant. It’s also impervious to insect damage and rot, making it one of the more sustainable options for roofing.
The only drawback is that clay tile is quite heavy and may require a structural engineering analysis before installation, as it’s more than double the weight of asphalt shingles. In addition, if you are considering a tile roof, it’s highly advisable to hire a professional to clean it. This will help you avoid any accidents if the roof is very steep or if you’re not experienced with power washing.
With proper maintenance and inspections by a professional, you can expect a clay tile roof to last for decades. It is important to have it professionally inspected about once a year, watching for moss growth, mildew, and cracks. In the event of damage, repair and replacement is quick and straightforward. It’s also a good idea to have your roof professionally cleaned from time to time to remove dust and debris.