A roof is a very essential part of a property and keeps out the elements and ensures that the space below it is one that is livable. Roofs form a major part of the cost of a home and require a lot of thought and expertise in their installation, if they are to give you the long service that you expect from them.
Look After Your Roof
People pay a lot of attention to how the walls and floors of a home look, and will constantly look to repaint or retile the floors. Unfortunately the same attention is rarely given to roofs which perform far more essential and difficult tasks, and literally keep a roof over your head. While most people pay a lot of attention to keeping the floors and walls inside a home clean and tidy, they forget that a roof is equally if not more exposed to the constant detritus that daily living brings. It has to contend with the wind, the rain, snow, storms, fallen leaves and other things. All this can lead to roof damage, which if neglected, may ultimately need costly roof repair and replacement. Regular cleaning of a roof and inspecting its elements can help to spot the most common roof problems, before they turn into major ones. You must know what to look for, and carry out such inspections regularly. If it is not possible for you to do this, appoint an agency to carry out periodic inspections and give you reports that can help you to detect and solve problems.
Water Damage and Leaks
Among the most common roof problems is the one that is caused by water. This normally occurs when a roof tile or shingle is cracked and is permitting the water to seep in. A regular inspection of the roof can help you to spot such damaged elements and arrange for their repair or replacement. Once the water get into the base material of a roof, damage to the roof can happen almost immediately. If, by chance, a rainstorm hits your area, you may find yourself contending with a lot of water entering your home through them.
Besides the water damage through broken shingle or tiles, this can also happen, when your metal flashing between the roof and the structure is damaged. This problem is very acute at places where chimneys puncture through the roof. A rubber caulking is used to seal joints between roofs and flashing, and this can dry out and give way, leading to the leaks.
Gutters that are not cleaned, or down take pipes that are choked can lead to rain water build up, which can always find a way into your home from some vulnerable point. Cleaning them is a must and this can help to avoid one of the most common roof problems.
Cracking and Tenting
A poorly installed roof can bow or sag or tent over time. This can come from weak roof structural supports or improperly laid and fixed tiles. This cracking and tenting can also happen when very fierce windstorms hit a roof and cause severe updrafts that act like a vacuum that forces roof structures upwards. This is one of the main reasons you would want to contact a roofer. Very hot weather can also cause these problems, and it is necessary that this aspect be given sufficient attention at the time of selecting the materials for a roof. Choose materials that have greater elasticity, or make the roof structure such that any expansion is catered for and not passed on to the elements of the roof.
Accumulated Debris Can Damage Roofs
Debris that accumulates on roofs comes from wind carried dirt like fallen leaves. The shape of the roof can cause greater accumulation of debris especially in valleys between the roofs where they change direction. If this debris consists of pine needles and like debris that has sap in them, they can create a sticky mass, which further attracts dirt and causes it to build up. They can eventually also cause roofs to get stained.
Spotting Most Common Roof Problems
A proud homeowner will always make it a point to inspect his or her property at regular intervals. Any roof inspection has to start with an inspection of all ceiling surfaces within the home. If any water stains are seen, mark the spot, for further inspection. If paint is peeling, it is a sign of some distress that will warrant closer inspection. Plaster board that is sagging can mean some structural element of the board has given way and this may be linked to roof damage. Any wet or spongy area is a sure sign of dampness entering the home, and if left unattended can turn into mold growth that can cause severe health problems. Carry out the same inspection for the outer walls. Problems here can mean attention needs to be paid to gutters and down pipes as they may be overflowing and causing water to run on wall surfaces in huge quantities. If left unattended, this moisture can seep into interior walls and damage the paint on them.
Now is the time you need to inspect the roof surface. This is not a job to be taken lightly and you must have the necessary ladders or scaffold and make sure that you take all safety precautions while you walk on a roof. Get professional help if you are in any way diffident, and have the roof surface minutely examined. Roofs should always have flat appearances and any undulation is a sign of a problem that needs attending to. At no stage must a roof ever have water standing on it, as this can lead to leakage. Check all flashings, eaves, gutters and down pipes, while you are up there.
Most common roof problems are easily detected and must get immediate attention, even if they are temporary solutions. This will prevent the problem from aggravating and leading to major repairs or replacement. Inspect a roof at least twice a year and definitely after any major storm. This will help your roof to give you the long term service that you expect from it.