Perhaps the most key way to prevent expensive roof repairs is to have your roof regularly inspected, by a qualified and trustworthy roofing contractor. Most experts suggest that this be done twice a year, once in the spring (before summer heat and storms) and once in the fall (before the cold and snow of winter). However, in areas with extreme weather, it may be advisable to do an inspection once every three months. Also, your roof should be inspected following any kind of major storm to check for damage.
The main idea here is that by having these inspections, you can usually find out about any roof problems while they are still small and not become a fortune to repair if they are left undiscovered.
This is something that many homeowners can and should do themselves, as an attic is usually much more accessible than the roof itself. The first signs of a roof problem usually appear in your attic space. Water leakage will get into the attic right away, before showing on ceilings of your home.
Water damage often will show up as black marks or as mold or mildew. You should also check to see if any light is shining through the roof anywhere in the attic. Since you usually can do this inspection yourself, do it at least quarterly and also before and after any major storms. Contact a roofing contractor promptly if you notice signs of any problems.
Tree limbs and branches that get too close to the roof can cause damage, sometimes seriously. Therefore, keep trees that are close to the roof properly pruned and trimmed. A very common cause of roof problems are leaves that clog the gutters on the roof. Clogged gutters prevent proper drainage from the roof, and this can lead to water damage of the roof and other parts of your house. Keep the gutters clear by cleaning them out regularly, especially in the autumn when leaves are dropping in large numbers.
These two issues often work hand in hand. A major reason to have proper insulation in the attic is to prevent moisture from becoming trapped in your attic and right under the roof. Such moisture build up over time can cause roof damage. However, proper ventilation is also necessary for this. Therefore, as part of the attic inspections, you should look for damaged or missing insulation and also for clogged ventilation portals.
Another important reason to maintain proper insulation is energy usage. Improper insulation in the attic will cause extra heat to get into your house in the summer and allow cold air in during the winter. Of course these would cause higher energy bills.
In areas with any appreciable humidity, parts of the roof (especially those that don’t get direct sun light) can start having mold, mildew and fungus start growing on them. If left unchecked, this will eventually deteriorate the roofing material – shortening the life of the roof, which could lead to leaks and other problems.
To prevent this situation completely, you can have installed zinc strips along the ridge of the roof. They are precision engineered to provide effective, long-term (20 years on average) roof protection from fungus, moss, mildew or algae growth.
When using a roofing contractor to do inspections or repairs, you should consider the following in choosing who to hire:
– They should be properly licensed and insured.
– The contractor should have checkable, recent references from other customers.
– There should be written warranties on both their workmanship and the materials they use.
– Always get a written quote from more than one contractor.