The last thing that any homeowner would want to deal with is to have major issues in their homes – we’re talking about burst pipes, improper electrical wiring, drainage problems, malfunctioning heating systems, etc. Another “nightmare” that homeowners should avoid is roof damage. The reality is a lot of homeowners often don’t think about the condition of their roof. They skip cleaning their gutters, they don’t mind having missing or broken shingles, and they ignore roof leaks as long as they are “minor”. However, while living with these issues seem manageable, not having them fixed will lead to more extensive and costly repairs over time.
Think about it. Your roof is actually one of the most important parts of the house. Without a well-maintained roof, you won’t have protection from the elements, your home won’t have proper insulation and ventilation, plus, the value of your property would probably decline. So we thought it would be helpful to answer the question: How to avoid roofing problems at home? From regular roof inspection and removing debris, to taking care of cracks immediately – we will cover all these plus more tips in this article.
Before we get into the tips to avoid roofing problems, let’s take a look at the most common roofing issues in homes.
Top Roofing Problems
- Leaks – Probably the top roofing problem in homes (and the most common reason for homeowners looking for roofers on Same Day Pros) are leaks. There are various reasons why roofs leak, but the most important thing to remember if you have this issue is to have it checked and fixed immediately before it turns worse.
- Broken Shingles – Just like any part of the house, roof shingles will eventually deteriorate considering that the roof is a home’s first line of defense against the elements. Over time, you should expect your shingles to experience wear and tear, loosen, or completely come off.
- Damaged Flashing – The purpose of the flashing is to protect the most vulnerable areas of the roof (chimneys, roof valleys, walls, etc.). Any damage to it can cause a bigger roofing problem.
- Granule Loss – Granules are an important part of a roof shingle as they provide protection from UV rays. Once they fall off and create bald patches on the roof, the shingles will be more vulnerable and will begin to crack.
- Pooling Water – Another common roofing problem is stagnant water on the roof. And obviously, pooling water on the roof spells trouble as this can create mold and deteriorate the roofing material if not dealt with.
Read more: Learn more about the Top 10 Roofing Problems Homeowners Need to Lookout For
Tips on How to Keep the Roof in Good Condition
Did you know that a minor roof repair can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,500 (Forbes, 2022)? If that amount doesn’t bother you that much, a major roof repair runs from $1,500 up to $7,000, which will cause a dent in your budget. If a repair is not enough, a roof replacement may be inevitable. And as you guessed, a new roof installation would cost more than the numbers we just mentioned (an average of $8,300).
If you want to prevent these expensive repairs and ensure a long lifespan for your roof, the key is to keep it in good condition.
Carry out a regular roof inspection
Generally, professional roofers recommend having your roof inspected at least twice a year, particularly during spring and before winter. In addition, you should also check your roof if your area just went through a big weather event.
Here are some quick tips when you perform a roof inspection:
- Keep an eye out for piles of leaves, algae, or moss buildup. You can do this by simply walking around outside your house to check. Growth and debris on your roof are bad news as they trap moisture and can cause major damage.
- Examine the condition of the shingles. Look out for shingles that have curled, warped, or buckled. Deformed shingles can make your roof vulnerable as they could let water sip in and compromise the integrity of your roof.
- Scan for missing or old shingles. You should also check if your roof has missing or old shingles as they can also lead to extensive roofing problems. For asphalt shingles, see if your gutters have granules in them as this means that your shingles are starting to deteriorate. For wooden shingles, lookout for signs of dry rot. If you have slate or clay tile roofs, see if there are cracks or breaks. As for metal roofing, check if there are signs of rust, corrosion, and other issues.
- Do an up-close roof inspection. Get a ladder and check your roof up close. See if there are damages on the flashings – these will be found around vents, chimneys, or skylights.
- Walk around your attic. You should also include your attic during a roof inspection. Check the room’s ceiling and look out for signs of water damage or mold buildup as these could be caused by a leaking roof.
Clear your gutters
Cleaning the gutters is a messy, time-consuming task; however, it is one of the most important things that you should do every fall before winter comes in. Removing leaves and other debris from your gutter is crucial and has plenty of benefits for your roof, including preventing water damage, protecting your roof, keeping gutter pests away, and saving you money from unexpected repairs.
If you don’t have time to clean your gutters you can always call a professional gutter cleaning company for help.
Trim tree branches
Did you know that tree maintenance is also important for your roof? While trees are great to have on your property – they provide shade, and are good for our health and environment, they can cause damage to your roof if you don’t pay close attention to them.
Trees near your home can have overhanging branches that scratch up your shingles and damage them. These branches also make a great way for pests and other uninvited critters to nest on your roof or attic. Large tree limbs can break off and cause a hole in your roof. And if you have weakened trees around, these could topple over and cause substantial damage not only to your roof but also to your home.
The bottom line here is that you should ensure that your trees are trimmed and properly maintained to prevent having issues with your roof. As tree maintenance is a safety risk and requires some equipment to accomplish, you may want to consider hiring a professional tree service instead.
Periodically sweep dirt and debris
As mentioned earlier, the roof is your home’s first line of defense so it’s no question that it will get dirty and it will also have a build-up of some substances like algae, fungus, and moss. As you know, these things can cause damage to your roof. Algae, for example, feeds on asphalt and could even spread quickly from rooftop to rooftop of neighboring homes. Moss, on the other hand, has a shallow root system that can grow under the shingles or tiles, uprooting them from the roof.
The best way to deal with these substances and dirt is to keep your roof clean. Ideally, you should have your roof expertly serviced by roof cleaners once a year, or if it’s just newly installed, once every two years. Making sure your roof is clean helps it keep in good condition, increase your home’s curb appeal, and also saves you money as it can increase the lifespan of your roof.
Call for emergency roof repairs
As with most problems in your home, you should have roofing problems fixed right away instead of ignoring them. Roofing issues no matter how small should be addressed immediately. If your roof sustained damage because of a storm or other causes, have a professional roofer check and fix it right away. Water damage, for example, will not only lead to issues with your roof but can also affect your walls, ceilings, and furniture.
Although this means that you’ll have to spend some money for the emergency repairs, it will surely cost lower than getting your entire roof replaced.
How can I find a reliable roofer?
Here are some tips if you’re planning to hire a roofer to inspect, clean, or repair some roofing issues.
Talk to at least three contractors – Look for various roofing companies from your neighborhood and ask them to submit their proposals. Be sure to ask questions and learn what you can from them. Pay close attention to what each roofer will recommend as this will help you make an informed decision.
Be careful about getting the lowest bid – Getting the cheapest bidder isn’t always the best idea. If a contractor offers you a bid that’s significantly lower than the other companies, treat this as a red flag. These companies may not carry the right insurance or warranty and would probably carry out some shoddy work that will cost you more in the near future.
Check if they have insurance – Speaking of insurance, you want to make sure that the roofing company that you’re planning to hire is registered and has insurance. Only professional roofers carry licensing, which is also proof of their knowledge and experience.
For more tips, you can also check out our article on how to deal with bad roofers.
Your roof is a crucial part of your home, so it makes sense that you give proper care and attention to it. We hope our tips will help you avoid costly roofing problems and keep it in top condition. If you’re looking for reputable roofing companies near you, click here.