You see your roof every time you drive into your driveway or when you’re having a relaxing family barbeque in your back yard. But how often do you think about the condition of your roof? Roofs are the one part of our homes that are often neglected, yet they play a major role in protecting us from the elements and keeping our homes safe for us to live in. If you’re wondering why roof maintenance is important, just take a moment to think about what your roof does for you.
What Is Roof Maintenance?
Roof maintenance is the regular inspection and cleaning of your roof in order to keep it dirt-free and in good condition. Although there are things that you can do on your own, it’s always advisable that a professional who knows what to look out for also inspects your roof. Professionals can give you the assurance that your roof is as healthy as it should be.
Why Regular Roof Maintenance Is Important?
Helps Prevent Your Roof from Deteriorating
With time, your roof deteriorates. Constant exposure to varying weather conditions (rainstorms, hail, snow, wind and even the harsh sun, etc.) inevitably causes wear and tear on your roof.
Frequent maintenance can slow down this deterioration and help to increase your roof’s lifespan by keeping it in great condition, eliminating any wear and tear that may have started to occur.
Detect Leakages Early
Early leak detection is one for the advantages of roof maintenance. Roof leaks can cause a lot of damage to the inside of your home. Maintaining your roof and keeping it clean can help you to spot leaks earlier, before any surmountable damage is done.
Roofs are expensive. The last thing you want is to have to replace your roof long before you actually need to. Maintaining your roof ensures that you enjoy the full return on your investment. In other words, the money that you spent to install your roof won’t go to waste, since your roof will last as long as it’s expected to. Also, keeping up with your roof maintenance allows you to find damages before they grow into bigger problems that cost a lot more to fix.
Your Roof Stays Healthy
Continuous inspection will give you a clear, functional roof. Removing any fungi and nesting birds or squirrels will help keep your drainage working and also remove any moisture that could lead to serious mold problems.
Protect Your Home’s Insulation
You’ll be able to catch any issues before they spread to your home’s insulation. When this happens, moisture can seep into your home, causing damage and mold. But keeping up with your roof maintenance won’t cost you money to fix your insulation or remove mold that’s developed in your house.
Believe it or not, a well-maintained roof will benefit your standing with your home insurance company. These days insurance companies look at your roof to help them determine how much of a risk you are. They know that a poor roof means damage in your home, which means you’re more likely to file a claim, costing them money. As a result, your policy could be canceled because of a roof that’s in poor condition.
While most people only concern themselves with the inside of their homes, taking care of the exterior matters too. Having a beautiful, clean roof adds to the general aesthetics of your home, which improves its curb appeal.
How Often Should You Clean Your Roof?
Cleaning your roof is an essential part of roof maintenance and is, in fact, the best way to prevent expensive roof repairs or replacements. The four seasons provide an opportunity for fungi, moss, and mildew to grow; while leaves along with other debris can build up as well, weighing down on your roof as time goes by.
When deciding when to clean your roof, look at factors such as the weather conditions in your area, your roof’s condition, how often debris builds up, and what type of roof you have.
In short, you should clean your roof as often as necessary, which means you have to check your roof regularly for stains and dirt to not miss anything. Sometimes you can do the cleaning yourself, but because of the safety hazard involved and the possibility of you missing something, it’s often better to hire a professional to do the job.
Signs of Roof Damage
Another reason why roof maintenance is important is because of the consequences that come if you don’t do it. Just about anything can cause damage to your roof. Greenery, weather elements, and even a tree branch falling onto your roof. However, even though some damages can be fixed, some cannot, and it’s important to know the difference. Call in a professional roofing expert to assist you.
Any sign of a leak is a strong indicator that your roof is no longer in good condition. If it’s not too severe, you can solve this by replacing some flashing. Otherwise, a roof replacement is your best bet.
A Sagging Roof Deck
The deck should always be straight. If you start to notice sagging, you should get your roof inspected ASAP. Sagging decks, which are caused by leaking moisture, can be solved by replacing the affected parts of the deck.
Daylight Entering Your Attic
Damaged shingles cause holes that allow exterior light to shine through into your attic. Although light is harmless, you should be concerned water and debris entering through the openings.
An Increased Energy Bill
An increased energy bill can mean that the warm or cool air from your air conditioner or heater is escaping through the roof. This causes your appliances to use more energy to maintain temperatures in your home. So if you notice a spike on your bill, be sure to check if your damaged roof isn’t the culprit.
Signs You Need a New Roof
Curled or Cracked Shingles
If most of the shingles on your roof are curled at the edges, cracked, or missing, it might be time for a roof replacement.
Shingles Are Dark, Wet, and Dirty
When shingles are wet, it means they are trapping in moisture, which means that they are no longer functioning. Wet shingles can lead to other problems in your home, like mold growth that extends into the wall structures. Because of this, it’s always best to replace wet shingles as soon as possible to prevent mold from spreading.
Shingle Are Starting to Shed
If you start seeing shingle granules (which resemble black, coarse sand) in your gutters, it’s a sign that the shingles are in a bad condition and they should be replaced.
Discoloration on Your Walls or Ceiling
Discoloration (water stains) on your interior walls or ceiling is another sign that your roof needs to be replaced.
Shingles Are Just Too Old
As with many things, age does take its toll on your roof. Although many shingles are built to be durable, several factors can accelerate their aging process, leaving your roof looking old and worn out. Usually, your roof is meant to last for about 20 years before it needs to get replaced. The closer it is to its expiry date, the higher the chance for a replacement.
Your Neighbors Are Getting New Roofs
If you start noticing that your neighbors are getting new roofs, it’s probably time that you do the same. If your home and theirs were built around the same time, it means that you’ve experienced the same kind of weather conditions, so your roof should also need a replacement at more or less the same time.
Roof Maintenance Costs
We mentioned earlier that saving money is one of the reasons why roof maintenance is important, but exactly how much could you have to spend? If you don’t get on top of damages the moment they develop, your repairs will be more costly. Failing to maintain your roof can force you to part with anything from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand. The more the damage, the more you have to pay.
- Roof cleaning costs range from $293 – $576, with an average of $418
- Roof repair costs range from $351 – $1,366, with an average of $843
- Roof replacement costs range from $ 5,347 – $10,539, with an average of $7,797
These figures (according to HomeAdvisor) can be higher or lower depending on factors like your area and the size of your roof. Only settle on a price once you’ve compared at least three quotes and keep in mind that experience is also important.
Unfortunately, most homeowners only act once the problem has progressed to a point that the only solution that’s left is a roof replacement. Your roof is just as important as any other part of your home, and it should be treated as such. Damages can go from bad to worse very quickly, so regular maintenance and taking care of problems as they arise is the best way to go.