How Your Roof Can Lead to Costly Home Repairs
The roofs above our heads represent a physical barrier from the elements as well as an important psychological comfort. Yet, even though a roof represents one of the largest investments in our home, most homeowners do not maintain it as diligently as they would their car. This all-too-common problem, can lead to significant damage inside the home.
Roof maintenance needs to be on the annual to-do list for every homeowner and especially for those of us that live in climate with four seasons. During a harsh winter, our roof is exposed to the cold causing its components to contract. Hot summers have the opposite effect making the roof components expand and placing additional strain on its integrity. Dry and alternately rainy spells can all accelerate the degradation of the roof.
When a roof fails there can be very obvious leaks from the ceiling. Far more insidious is the leak that is not readily apparent, usually as a result of a defect in a seam. Water may drip into the space between the walls and collect under tile, carpet or wood. By the time the defect is found, it may have already caused extensive damage that went largely unseen. Not only can this water intrusion cause physical damage to the home, but it can also create a mold contamination problem that can cause significant ill effects to occupants.
Some practical tips on maintaining your roof include
- Get an annual inspection from a licensed, experienced roofer
- Ensure that all seams, especially those around chimneys and where a flat roof meets the pitched roof or a wall, are watertight
- Ensure that any structures attached to the roof including trellises, gutters and more are not rotting and are appropriately fastened
- Ensure that there is sufficient airflow into and out of the attic
- Ensure that any roof cleaning is performed by a professional with extensive experience. For example, using chlorine bleach to clean a roof can cause the degradation of the nails or screws used to fasten the roofing material to the deck as well as degradation of the roofing material itself
- Of course, do not wait to repair or replace the roof when needed
In the end, a minimal investment in ensuring that your roof is well maintained can go a long way toward helping avoid a disaster in the future.