Many homeowners are quick to take action and get their roofs repaired or replaced once they see obvious signs of leaks, such as water stains on the ceiling. However, this is not the ideal way to deal with roof problems. You must not wait until water is actually beginning to cause issues in your home before you take action.
Every day, and all year round, your roof is exposed to the elements: heat, cold, rain, snow, and wind and, as it is, it also ages. Just as with anything that grows old, your roof also needs to undergo regular check-ups. Routine maintenance and inspections are crucial if you want your roof to last – you’ll understand why after reading this article.
Why It Pays to Have Routine Roof Inspections Done
We carry out routine inspections and maintenance for just about everything: our lawns and gardens, HVAC equipment, and vehicles, among other things. To keep our household and our property in general in good condition, regular upkeep is necessary. Unfortunately, one important aspect of maintenance, roof inspection, is often forgotten because the roof is “out of sight” and, therefore, is also “out of mind.”
You may well ask, “What benefit will I get out of spending money on roof inspection?” Well, studies show that the service life of a roof that is not regularly maintained is cut to about half its normal expectancy. “But, what about my warranty? Doesn’t the warranty assure me that my roof will last a minimum of X years?” That’s true, it does, but there’s a caveat: Failing to properly maintain your roof will void your warranty. Check your warranty’s small print; If you can’t prove that your roof has been getting regular checkups, you may not be able to claim anything when you need to.
Routine roof inspections help considerably in identifying potential causes for concern. If you are able to catch things while they can still be repaired, it’ll save you from having to spend on premature roof replacement. Furthermore, you get to protect your warranty from being voided.
What Needs Repairing
Some issues can be solved by easy fixes. (After all, avoiding extensive damage is the whole point of regular inspection.) Loose, damaged, or missing roof shingles, for instance, can and should be replaced immediately. Popped nails must also be hammered back into place. Missing or loose flashings can be replaced and caulked. Take note that metal and vinyl flashing around skylights, chimneys, vents, and other penetrations that have separated can all be resealed with caulk. However, flashing and vent boots that have signs of rust or deterioration must be replaced.
Do You Need a New Roof?
As mentioned earlier, roofs age. Despite routine inspections and regular maintainance, every roof will eventually reach the end of its expected service life and begin to fail. The following signs and conditions will tell if you need a new roof:
- Your roof is over 20 years old.
- Roof shingles are already curling and buckling.
- Roof shingles on roof valleys are falling apart or missing.
- Your gutters are filled with shingle granules.
- Outside light is already penetrating through the roof.
Preventative inspection and maintenance is a cost effective way of taking care of your roof and your property. Having your roof inspected at least once or twice a year can do wonders for prolonging its service life and saving you from the unnecessary expense of addressing more serious problems.
Steve Campbell is the owner of Patriot Roofing. With over 40 years of experience in the construction industry, the last 17 years of which have been dedicated to roofing, he has acquired more-than-adequate knowledge and training in home constuction. Much of what he knows is shared with clients and homeowners through his blogs. Besides continually working to master the craft, he also enjoys pursuits such as golf, biking, and racquetball.