When you own a home, it's usually your most important and expensive investment. It's important to keep everything working well and one of the most important aspects of your home outside of the foundation is the roof. Now, we know it’s not exactly plumbing related but if the roof is not kept in good order you can suffer leaks which can escalate into bigger problems inside your home. (And that’s all water related so bear with us.)
Pretty much any time you're outside your home you need to train yourself to take a look at your roof. You never know when something can happen that you just weren't aware of such as trees touching your roof, branches falling on your roof, or other debris. Even the existence of black streaks on your roof can be a sign that you need roof work done.
Most people use the season of spring to check their roof, this is a good rule of thumb to use since most people do their spring cleaning at that time and the weather is not too hot or too cold. But, it’s never too late to start keeping an eye on your roof. The last thing you want is to have a hole or leak in your roof during the winter. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for.
Check for Overgrown Trees
Overgrown trees can cause a lot of problems with your roof. They can scratch it, gouge it, and even fall onto your roof. They can puncture your roof, scratch your roof, and make holes in your roof. The falling leaves can also clog up your gutter causing water to back up and run down the fascia causing mold build up and other problems. Any low hanging tree branches should be removed and cut enough that they are not close enough to your home to drop their leaves in the guttering or touch and scratch your roof.
Check for Mold
If you have black discoloration on your roof it is more than likely algae, fungus or worse, mold. If you live in a humid area or have humid times of the year like we do this is a danger. These bacterias can eat away at the roofing material and eventually lead to leaks. Plus, the discoloration is unsightly. If you trimmed your trees to provide more sunlight to directly shine on your roof this can be a natural way to repel the growth of algae, fungus or mold. You can also have zinc strips installed after you've cleaned and scrubbed the roof, which will create zinc oxide during rain which will retard the growth of these deteriorating conditions.
Survey Your Roof for Actual Damage
If you see shingles that are flapping in the breeze or actually missing, it's important to get this repaired immediately. It's only going to get worse, and cost more if you don't fix it right away. Fixing a few shingles yourself is not difficult. Just pull the bad shingle off carefully and put a new one in place. If you have a tile roof it might be best to hire someone to do it for you. But a shingle roof you can easily do yourself if you are handy. Here’s a video from This Old House with some good direction.
If you do at least an annual inspection each year, and you train yourself to always look up at your roof when you are outside doing something else you can avoid issues. Just because they say a roof lasts for 15 or 30 years does not mean you may not have damage from low lying trees, storms or rain damage. Keep diligent about your most important investment and it will be in good repair for a lifetime.