The Importance of Roofing Maintenance
Roofing Columbus GA maintenance is an important task to ensure that small, easily repairable issues don’t escalate into bigger, more costly problems. This includes cleaning the roof and inspecting it regularly to make sure that the shingles are intact, the flashing is in good condition, and there are no clogged gutters or downspouts.
A well-planned maintenance program can help extend the life of the roof and protect the beams, trusses, and walls of your building.
While some roofing materials require special care and cleaning methods, all should be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt buildup that can depreciate the lifespan of the shingles. In addition to sweeping and blowing away debris, the roof should be inspected for any areas that need attention.
For example, a deteriorating shingle can allow rainwater to leak through the roof, which may damage the interior of the home or cause mold and mildew problems. If the roof is not properly ventilated, it can also become a breeding ground for insects. During a visual inspection, the homeowner should look for any areas that need cleaning or repair, such as moss or algae.
Using soap and water isn’t enough to get rid of these growths; you’ll need some type of chemical cleaner to do the job right.
In addition to cleaning the roof, the homeowner should inspect the gutters and downspouts to ensure that they are free of clogs or blockages. This will help to make sure that rainwater is draining properly and not flooding the foundation or basement of the home.
Finally, the homeowner should inspect all of the vents on the roof to make sure that they are working properly and that there are no signs of wear or tear on the plastic pieces that surround them (called boots). If the boots have rust on them, it could indicate that humidity is building up in the attic and that more ventilation is needed.
Inspect the shingles.
While cleaning is an obvious part of roof maintenance, it’s also important to inspect the shingles. Some shingle wear is normal, but excessive wear and tear could signal that the roof has an underlying problem. For example, cracking shingles or granule loss are signs that the shingles are in need of replacement.
Another critical aspect of a roof inspection is checking the flashing, which is the metal strip that runs along the edges of the roof. A damaged drip edge can allow water to seep under the shingles and cause leaks into the home. A professional roofing contractor should always use the correct flashing materials when installing a new roof or making repairs to an existing one.
Shingles are a common roofing material for residential homes and come in a variety of colors and styles to match different architectural styles. They are easy to install and provide good protection against the elements. However, extreme summer weather can take its toll on even the strongest roofs, and it is crucial to do routine maintenance and inspections to catch any problems early.
During a roof inspection, it is also a good idea to check the interior of the house for signs of water damage, such as mildew, mold, or water stains on ceilings and walls. It’s also a good idea to make sure that the eaves are not blocked with insulation or other stored items, which can lead to condensation and moisture buildup. This can eventually cause wet rot and decay on the joists and trusses of the upper floors of the house. This can be very expensive to repair, which is a very good reason to do regular maintenance and inspections.
Inspect the flashing.
Flashing is a sheet of metal fabricated into a specific shape to tie elements of the roof together, eliminating a seam that might leak. It is often used around skylights, chimneys, vent pipes, and dormers, but it can be found anywhere there’s a change in the direction of water flow on the roof. The flashing is usually made of rust-resistant galvanized metal, but it can also be copper or aluminum. The flashing is usually installed with a sealant to hold it in place, but the sealant can degrade over time.
Roofing professionals often inspect the flashings more thoroughly than they do the field of the roof because the vast majority of leaks start at the flashings. Look for signs of moisture penetration at the edges of the flashing, particularly around the corners. Check that the flashing is tight and sealed where it meets the walls or equipment curbs. Also, if the pipe or equipment stand is waterproofed with a metal pitch pan or concrete ring, check that the seal between the pan and the roof is intact.
The flashing should also be checked for corrosion. Corrosion of the flashing can result in leaks and structural damage. A roofing professional can recommend whether the flashing should be replaced or not, depending on the extent of the deterioration and how well it is protected from moisture intrusion.
During a roof inspection, a good home inspector will always examine the flashings. If the roof is too steep to safely climb, a home inspector can use binoculars or a camera mounted on a ladder to check the flashings. A home inspector will also note whether the flashing is in a poor location, such as being exposed to direct sunlight or positioned too close to a wall or chimney.
Inspect the gutters and downspouts.
The gutter system is a critical part of the roof’s drainage system. Gutters that aren’t in good condition can lead to soffit damage and leaks into cornice areas, as well as erosion of the soil beneath the gutters. This can affect the foundation of your home. In addition, gutters that are bent or damaged can cause water to fill the gutter, thereby causing it to rot. It’s important to inspect the gutters as part of your roof inspection.
Start by checking the downspouts to make sure they are clear of debris and that water flows freely. You should also check for any sections that are missing or loose. The next step is to examine the gutters themselves. Look for rust or corrosion, holes, sagging, or any other problems. You should also check the seams, end caps, and any other places where sealant might have worn away or been ripped off.
If you notice any leaks, you should immediately repair them. If left untreated, these leaks can lead to major water damage that can threaten the integrity of your roof and other parts of your home. Once the gutters are clean, you should also check that they are properly rerouting water away from your house. If your gutters aren’t working, water can flood the soil around your foundation and lead to basement flooding, fascia damage, siding damage, and other problems. It’s a good idea to test the gutters by pouring water into them and checking that the water flows away from your home. If the gutters aren’t functioning, you should have them repaired as part of your roof maintenance plan. You can hire a professional to perform this task for you.
Inspect the interior.
Your roof is the barrier that protects your family from obvious threats like weather events and falling tree branches, as well as less obvious dangers like excess moisture that can lead to mold. Maintaining your roof means regularly inspecting it to find and fix problems before they become serious. If you are not comfortable climbing a ladder to inspect your roof, you can ask a professional roofer to do it for you. However, you should always be extremely cautious when using a ladder, as falling off a roof can result in serious or fatal injuries.
Your inspector will first walk around your home and check the exterior of the roof to look for signs of damage. They will also examine the condition of the soffit, fascia, and gutter system. They will be on the lookout for cracks, crumbling grout, and the presence of shingle granules on the ground or in your gutter downspouts. This can indicate that the shingles are close to the end of their lifespan or that the ventilation in the attic isn’t working properly.
When the inspector is done examining the exterior of your roof, they will move inside to do a more detailed inspection. They will look for water stains, mold, rot, and other telltale signs of roof leaks in the interior ceilings and walls of your home. This is important because if you have a roof leak, it will eventually cause interior damage and unsafe living conditions for your family.
Regularly inspecting your roof and implementing the necessary maintenance will extend its lifespan and help prevent costly repairs down the road. It’s a good idea to have your roof inspected on a biannual basis, particularly after any extreme weather events.