Do you think of the roof over your head as a passive structure? If you do, think again: a roof is a complex system with a variety of different parts.
Why is this important? Well, being a complex structure makes your roof prone to all sorts of damage. From wind damage and falling debris to hail damage and leaks, your roof takes a lot of beating each year. The good news: being proactive can prevent many types of roof damage. Here are four simple tips on how to keep your roof in good shape.
1. Inspect the Roof Regularly
Roof inspections are essential to extending your roof’s lifespan. With some routine maintenance, you can spot issues before they become problems. Inspecting your roof is particularly important before storm season.
Roof maintenance is also important. During your inspection, check that your roof is free of debris, cracks, and other visible signs of damage. This will also help to prevent water from seeping into your home and causing further damage. Depending on your roof’s condition, you may need to replace some shingles or repair cracked ones. The sooner you do this, the better.
If any shingles are damaged, the rain will penetrate your roof’s protective layer. If the wind is strong, the shingle itself may turn into a projectile! In general, it’s best to leave roof inspections to professionals. Checking for damage from up close can be dangerous, especially on steep-sloped roofs. Plus, some types of roof damage can be hard to identify.
2. Keep Nearby Trees Trimmed
Do you have one or more trees looming over your roof? If so, you may need to occasionally trim them to keep your roof intact. See, a heavy branch dropping from a few feet can break through most roof coverings. In some cases, it may damage the roofing materials under the shingles. Smaller limbs can create dams that lead to water buildup.
Some branches may also grow next to your shingles, creating a constant source of pressure. To avoid these issues, trim these trees annually. For best results, keep any branches at least six feet away from the roof.
If the trees are too close, pruning can include cutting them back to a shorter height or removing the tree entirely. Besides addressing possible safety hazards, this will allow more sunlight to reach the roof, reducing the chances of algae growth. It can also help improve air circulation and increase the overall curb appeal of your home.
3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are among the most essential parts of your roof. If they’re blocked, water won’t be able to flow off your roof. If this happens, there’s a decent chance your roof will suffer water damage. Some water may get under the shingles, then leak into your home. Even if the water stays in the gutters, it can lead to mold growth.
To keep your roof safe, clean the gutters and downspouts once every six months. While you’re on it, check for loose fasteners. When gutters get heavy with water and debris, they’re more likely to fly off the roof.
Besides regularly cleaning and inspecting your gutters and downspouts, it’s important to make sure they are large enough for the amount of water that flows off your roof. If the gutters are too small, the water won’t drain properly, leading to potential water damage. Installing larger gutters and downspouts can also help with proper drainage.
4. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Does your house have an attic? If the answer is yes, it would be prudent to ensure that the roof is properly ventilated as well. In warmer months, the airflow provided by ventilation can help reduce the risk of mold growth, sagging plywood, and more. In winter, proper ventilation will protect your roof from ice and frost buildup.
Roof ventilation comes in two forms: active and passive. Active ventilation involves fans pushing air through the attic. Passive ventilation includes all types of vents without a baffle, such as ridge vents. By regularly inspecting your attic for any signs of damage or deterioration, you can ensure that your roof is in the best condition possible. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your roof healthy and ensuring that your home is properly ventilated.
This Is How to Prevent Roof Damage
Ideally, storm season will come and go without impacting your roof. Still, we don’t always get what we want, so it pays to prepare for roof damage. Follow the above tips to get ready for any storms that come your way!
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