Regular roof maintenance is crucial to the life of your home. Without it, damage to the interior and exterior of your property will occur.
A detailed inspection should be done before and after severe weather. This includes a thorough check of the flashings. Visit https://redstickroofing.com/ for more information.
The roof should be free of debris like twigs, leaves and branches that can cause shingle damage and clog gutters. It’s also important to trim trees that hang over the roof in case they fall during a storm.
Keeping attics well ventilated is one of the most important parts of roof maintenance. A properly vented attic keeps the home cool in summer and prevents ice dams in winter. Ventilation also minimizes excessive moisture that can lead to mold and mildew. If attic ventilation isn’t working, it will increase air-conditioning energy costs and cause a host of problems for the house’s roof structure and insulation.
Ventilation is accomplished through a series of openings called vents that are placed in the eaves of the roof and ceiling. These vents are sized to allow for the natural flow of heat through the attic. During a roofing project, builders will usually add soffit and ridge vents to the attic during the installation process. These vents should be regularly inspected for proper functioning.
When a home has no attic ventilation, the air in the living space can heat up to the same temperature as the roof deck. This excessive heat can damage the roof shingles and insulation. In addition, the warm air can cause a build-up of moisture that leads to mold and wood rot.
Most older homes don’t have soffit vents or they are blocked. If there are soffit vents, they need to be checked occasionally and cleaned of debris. If the soffit vents aren’t functioning, they need to be replaced.
If the soffit and roof vents aren’t sufficient to maintain an even airflow in the attic, another option is to install gable vents. These are placed in the gable ends of the attic and have controllable openings that can be opened or closed to drive air out of the attic.
Some homeowners opt for power vents that use electricity to force hot air out of the attic. The round, low-profile vents are installed near the ridge of the roof and are run on a timer with a humidistat during the winter to help keep the home warm. These types of vents need to be checked frequently for insects, birds and other debris that can enter the attic.
Gutters are essential for directing rainwater away from the fascia, soffit and home foundation. They also protect shingles and prevent moisture from damaging wood. Gutter systems should be cleaned on a regular basis to remove debris and keep water flowing properly. If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder to clean your gutters, a reputable roofer will be happy to help.
Gutter cleaning is a simple task, but it’s important to do it regularly. Debris can clog gutters and cause damage to the fascia board, soffit, roof and chimney. A clogged gutter can also cause mold, mildew and wood rot in the attic and basement. It’s also a fire hazard if you live in an area that experiences frequent wildfires.
Ideally, gutters should be positioned so that they don’t overhang the edge of your roof. Overhanging branches may break during a storm and fall on the house or onto your roof, which can lead to structural problems. Overhanging branches also block sunlight and increase the likelihood of insects and fungus in the attic. If you have trees nearby, you should trim them to keep their branches from overhanging your roof.
A properly functioning gutter system will help protect your home and yard from costly repairs and maintain the value of your property. A gutter system with downspout extensions can also protect landscaping and flower beds from soil erosion. Without gutters, rainfall cascades off the roof in heavy sheets that pound and flood the soil around the foundation and house.
A gutter system that’s clogged with leaves, pine needles and other debris can also freeze during the winter, which obstructs the flow of water. It’s recommended to have a professional roofer inspect your gutters and downspouts at least once a year to ensure they’re working properly. They can also recommend any necessary repairs or replacements. If your gutters are rusting, cracked or sagging, it’s time to consider replacing them. A new gutter system will also protect your roof from moisture and fungus, prolonging its lifespan. You should also check the condition of roof penetrations like skylights, vents and chimneys to make sure they are properly sealed and secure.
Depending on what type of roof you have, shingles will need to be resealed periodically. This is a task best done by a professional. This sealant is critical to keeping water from seeping into your home through the roof. It also protects the shingles from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can cause them to degrade and eventually need replacement.
It is not uncommon for shingles to become cracked, loose or even missing. These are all signs that it is time to contact a roofing contractor for repairs. Leaving these problems untreated can lead to water leaks and interior damage to your home.
Another important part of shingle roof maintenance is to keep the attic well ventilated. Without proper ventilation, the hot air in the attic can melt shingles and lead to the growth of mold and mildew. A professional can check that your soffit vents are clear and not blocked and that insulation is not overfilling them. They can also make sure that the roof vents are working properly and are not obstructed by debris like leaves.
In addition, a regular inspection will help to prevent moss and algae from growing on your shingles. These plants love to grow in damp areas, and if they are allowed to spread across the shingles, they can lead to material decay and shingle failure. Inspecting the shingles for any signs of this, such as dark streaks flowing down from peak to eave, is a good idea.
Finally, it is also a good idea to trim the trees near your home regularly. Overhanging tree branches are a threat to your roof during severe weather, and they can fall on your house or break power lines. They also provide a safe hiding place for squirrels, raccoons and other small animals, who can chew on your attic wires or create biohazards with their waste.
A final part of shingle roof maintenance is to ensure that your chimneys, skylights and other penetrations are properly sealed. A thin sheet of metal called flashing is installed around these to direct rainwater away from the crevices where shingles butt up against walls or other structures. It is one of the most crucial components of a functional roof and should be checked for any cracks or leaks on a regular basis.
A roof’s flashings prevent water leaks around chimneys, vent pipes, walls, windows and door openings. They are thin sheets of impervious metal that help increase the durability of the building’s structure by decreasing water penetration and reducing indoor mold problems. Flashings are made from a variety of materials, including copper, aluminum, galvanized steel, zinc alloy and lead. Each type has unique characteristics and plays a vital role in the anatomy of a roof.
Different types of flashing are designed to cover various types of roof penetrations and areas where the roof meets a vertical wall or sloped area. There are also flashings that cover skylights and other decorative items. Flashings are typically installed in two parts, and each part helps to protect the other from weather changes and evaporation. Base flashing, which is usually a tin or copper sheet, is placed underneath shingles and other roofing material where the roof meets a vertical wall. Counter flashing, which is placed opposite the base flashing or above it, completes the flashing system.
Step flashing is L-shaped pieces of flashing that are placed along the edges where the roof meets walls or other roof projections. The upper and lower edges of these pieces overlap each other, forming a “step” that keeps out water. This type of flashing is also used to surround skylights and protect them from leaks.
Valley flashing is a special type of step flashing that lines the indent where two intersecting roof planes come together, directing water away from the wall and down the roof. This type of flashing is also commonly installed around chimneys and dormers.
Penetration flashings are used to waterproof pipes, supports, cables and all roof protrusions. This flashing is often used under shingle roofs but can be found under concrete, brick and stone veneer as well. Stainless steel penetration flashings are the most durable and long-lasting.
Performing regular maintenance on your roof will ensure that the flashings are protected from corrosion and leaking. During your maintenance inspection, look for any damaged flashing and replace it promptly if needed. To replace the flashing, gently pry up any shingles that are covering or touching it. You may have to remove undamaged shingles as well, but this is usually not difficult. Once you have removed the old flashing and the surrounding shingles, reinstall the flashing, making sure it is properly secured and nailed in place.