Replacing an entire roof can cost as much as $12,000, a hefty number for any budget, so what can you do to avoid a complete roof upheaval? Ignoring it isn’t wise as it only worsens with time, so general upkeep is the best rule of thumb. No one wants roof issues affecting their house, so we have come up with ten roof maintenance tips for you to avoid any embarrassment when your family comes to visit.
1. Inspections to Maintain Roof Integrity
Roof inspections could reveal that you are in need of a total roof replacement. To ensure your roof is in good condition we recommend regular inspections so as not to lead to that. You want to look for everything in our list below as a sign of work to be done.
2. Damaged Shingles Get the Boot
Proper maintenance can extend the life of your roof and help you avoid potential problems in the future, so it’s always a good investment. Damaged shingles can allow all kinds of nasty weather into your house, meaning you should look for missing or curling shingles, as well as any other signs of wear and tear. It’s inexpensive and simple to replace one or two shingles at a time, so it makes sense to do this as they present themselves with issues.
3. Avoiding Roof Leaks
We suggest going through these maintenance tips in the spring and fall. Once the rainy season hits you don’t want to suffer from water damage due to roof leaks. Check for dark spots on the ceiling, or mold or dampness in your attic, and then take action immediately. Roof leaks only get worse and it’s better to spend a few dollars on roof maintenance rather than a lot on a big repair.
4. Fungus Amongus
Next, you should check for signs of fungus or algae on your roof. If it’s beginning to collect moss or algae, install lead or zinc control strips to get rid of it.
5. Rust on Metal
Then, make sure you inspect metal areas for rust. If you find it, wire brush the rust, then prime and paint the metal beneath.
6. Ice Ice Baby
While it may not be super common in Houston, ice damming, a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof, can cause leaks. Snow creates a similar issue because too much weight built up can make a roof collapse. The right insulation can stop your roof from warping, and it can save your roof during a snow or ice storm. Insulation can also prevent snow and ice from melting and then refreezing, potentially causing water damage to your roof.
7. Caulking is Nothing to Baulk at
Roof maintenance is a necessity to keep your house in mint condition. Roof repair refers to many different things, and one of them is the caulking. Seal any cracked mortar or caulking around chimneys and joints, if it appears to be deteriorating. Be sure to examine the flashing to make sure it’s solid, too. Flashing covers entry points into your roof which include the vents, exhaust pipe, and chimney, so it’s a hotspot for leaks. Look for bending or even punctures and dried out or loose sealant. If needed, remove all of the old caulk and scrub the area clean before sealing it.
8. Clean Like You Mean It
You may want to hire a professional to give your roof a solid clean. Walking around on a roof can be dangerous and it’s also easy to break shingles that way. Sticks, leaves, and other debris can damage shingles, cause algae to grow, or even cause wood rot, so you want to sweep or blow off excess debris.
Cleaning your gutters is an important seasonal activity for upkeep since all kinds of things can pile up in there, especially after a storm. If left alone, these items will eventually clog the gutters so you should use a trowel to clean them out every few months. You may want to consider installing eaves protectors. These metal meshed grates prevent buildup of debris and make cleanup easier. Even the way the gutters were installed can affect how much gets caught in there. They need to be tightly fastened to the house and sloped properly to drain. A professional roofer will use gutter caulking, a gutter patching kit, or roofing cement and patches to repair corroded or leaky sections of the eavestroughs or downspouts. If they are sagging he will use a level to determine the correct pitch and rehang them accordingly.
9. Loose Branches Hang No More
It’s important to trim any branches that hang over the roof to prevent damage to your shingles and keep squirrels and raccoons away. They are often closer than you think. Tree limbs can be flexible and swing several feet during a storm, causing them to scrape at your roof.
10. Goodbye to Pests
If you see signs of small animals, termites, or other pests, remove them immediately. They will cause serious damage to your roof as they chew and use materials to build their home.
To read through a complete list of maintenance ideas the professionals use, go to GAF’s technical advisories. Pro Painters, your Houston painting contractor, can help you with your Houston exterior painting below the roof. We can work on stucco, brick, or wooden siding, so regardless of what material your house is made of, we can fix it up. We also have a roof coating system which we apply to the roofs of commercial buildings. You can read about it in more detail here: https://www.mypropainters.com/commercial-roof-coating-systems/. Give us a call today to help you out with your commercial or residential exterior project.