What to Expect With Any Roof

A roof system is a big investment for homeowners, and may represent a significant portion of construction costs. It’s a roofer’s job to help the homeowner protect his or her investment by conducting thorough, careful maintenance on the roof on a regular basis. This can help ensure it’s being properly protected.

What causes damage to a roof?

The average roof takes a lot of abuse over its lifetime – often more than other areas of the house. Some common examples include:

  • Exposure to the elements (sunlight, wind, rain, hail, snow)
  • Biological growth (blue-algae, trees or plant debris)
  • Poor installation technique
  • Inconsistent maintenance or repairs
  • Change in building use (leading to increased humidity or imbalanced ventilation)

Why maintain a roof?

Even if there are no outward signs of obvious damage, every homeowner should ensure a professional regularly inspects and performs maintenance, where necessary, to a roof. Keeping it in healthy condition may protect the home. Maintenance is an investment that may pay major returns down the road.

Steps to Regular Roof Maintenance

A roofer can help a homeowner properly maintain his or her asphalt shingled roof by completing four basic steps twice a year – plus after major storms (including ice, hail, snow or rain storms; or other major weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes).

It’s important to also remind homeowners to always contact a licensed roofing contractor to help conduct both the inspection and repairs of their roof.

An important part of roof maintenance is the routine cleaning, clearing and tidying of the roof and its related systems. Pay attention not only to shingles and flashing but other key components, such as eaves troughs, down spouts, installations (such as skylights, vents, chimneys, solar panels), and ventilation.

Once the roof has been cleared, the roofer should inspect it for any potential problems or red flags that could spell trouble down the road.

They should complete this inspection twice annually (we recommend spring and fall). This will give him the opportunity to make note of anything suspicious, as well as complete small fixes or minor repairs before they turn into big issues.

  • Replace or repair missing, broken or buckled shingles: A roofer may use roofing cement and/or nails to repair shingles that have become cracked or loose. He may also replace any shingles that have broken free or blown away.
  • Replace Or Install Valley Flashing: A roofer may also consider replacing the existing valley flashing it if it has become corroded, cracked or is no longer holding in place – thereby threatening its waterproofing properties.
  • Replace Other Flashing: Your roofer may use roofing cement and nails to replace metal flashing around chimneys, roof vents or other installations if the flashing has become loose or rotten. If installing the flashing against brick, it’s advised to use copper or galvanized steel, because the lime in brick mortar may corrode aluminum.
  • Repair Gutters Or Downspouts: Your roofer may use gutter caulking, a gutter patching kit or roofing cement and patches to repair leaky or corroded sections of the eavestroughs or downspouts. If they are sagging, he will use a level to determine proper pitch and rehang them so they drain properly.

A roofer should make a note of any potential problems he sees during a roof inspection (such as rust appearing on flashing, or a single popped nail). If it’s not a concern today, the roofer should check in on it during his next inspection and make a note if it’s getting worse. He may consider whether it’s time to make repairs or replacements if he notices consistent or major changes. The roofer should also make a log of any repairs he completes. This will help remind both the roofer and the homeowner down the road what sections or materials are newer than others. (After four or five years, it may be difficult to recall strictly from memory!) This will also help create a roof history for the homeowners, other roofing contractors they may hire down the road, or even for future homeowners who may want to see what work has been completed over the years to maintain the roof.

If you have any further questions please contact Dykstra Knight Roofing and Renovations.