5 Roof Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
Imagine a home without a roof? Hard, right? It is easier to think of a home that’s all roofs rather than one that’s all walls. Ever since ancient humans developed the brain power to think for themselves and plan for the future, shelters have been high on their priority. Along with fire and our opposable thumbs, being able to build a safe place for us to rest has greatly contributed to the continued success for humans against its environment.
Archaic homes of prehistoric humans are close to impossible to fully know. For one thing, those shelters were flimsy and made to only be used for short durations before being abandoned, therefore no evidence of such structures exist today. But based off evidence gathered from un-contacted tribes in pockets of deep jungles around the world, nomadic humans built their shelter out of leaves and branches. These were simple structures with a small hole on top for ventilation and another one on the sides for entry and exit. These structures were basically one single roof.
With progress comes easy access to more materials for roof building. Roof construction follows three elements: material, construction, and durability.
The materials used for roofing range from leaves and branches to straws and seagrass to glass, copper, and aluminum sheeting. In a lot of places around the world, ceramic tiles are also a popular choice for roofing material for many centuries. Other materials used for roofing also include asphalt, rubber (EPDM), PVC, slate, TPO, and wood shakes and shingles.
Roof construction is primarily dictated by the support structure, how it is bridged, and if the roof is pitched. The pitch of a roof is the angle from the lowest to the highest point. The presence of drainpipes have largely negated the value of a roof’s pitch and but maintained in many modern houses due to tradition and aesthetics value. In areas around the world that has little rain, the roof is almost flat with only a slight inclination to protect against the occasional rain.
Durability in a roof is a main priority because it is one of the hardest to access parts of the house for repair and maintenance. Its damage can have serious effects on the residents of the home.
Roof Maintenance Tips
Like any part of a home, the roof also requires care and maintenance. Because the roof is such an integral part of the structure of the house, providing defense against the outside elements, it needs to be in tiptop form all the time.
Inspect the Roof
The recommended roof inspection of twice a year is an effective way of preventing the common roofing problems many people face. There is even no need to climb up to check it; you can use a pair of binoculars to see any damage on the roof. In cases where you have to climb up and walk on the roof, make sure to wear rubber-soled shoes because even walking on it can cause a number of problems. Make sure that the ladder you are using is braced and be very careful not to slip and fall.
Never Power Wash
It can be very tempting to simply use a powerful water stream to quickly remove mold and mildew in our roof but doing that could lead to all sorts of structural damage on the roof. Power washers use very high pressure which can damage parts of the roof and force water under the tiles or shingles, exacerbating the problem. A recommended way to clean a roof is by using specific cleaning products made for it. Some of these products are specifically made to remove mold and mildew, as well as stains and other gunk.
Remove Accumulated Debris
When maintaining a roof, the first thing that most people do is clean out leaves, branches, and other debris from the gutters and the roof itself. Downspouts should never drain directly into the lower roof, instead should extend towards the eaves-troughs of the roof below. Clogged gutters can cause a whole host of problems to shingles, tiles, or shakes when it is not cleaned regularly. Debris also holds moisture which helps mold proliferate and can eat away at your roofing material.
Trimming Trees Help
Most debris that accumulates on the roof comes from trees. They are the major culprit of roof damage and should be managed well and regularly. Branches that are already leaning on the roof can gouge out deep scratches on the roofing material as they move around in the wind. Branches that fall unto the roof itself can cause major damage on the roof and may even puncture it, compromising the roof’s waterproofing. Leaves from trees can also clog gutters and cause water to back up underneath the roof and into attic spaces. Leaves also hold moisture that encourages the growth of mold.
Call an Expert
There is only so much we can do when it comes to roof maintenance. Small repairs and simple re-caulking of the roof might be doable for our skill level but major issues should be relegated to the professionals. Over-extending our capabilities might land us in a world of pain, literally; many people have suffered serious injuries and even casualties from trying to repair their roof. Even regular maintenance should be passed on to experts if your safety can not be guaranteed. It is better to be safe than sorry.
There’s no denying that the roof is a very important component in the structure of the house. It provides us shelter from the rain, snow, hail, and even extreme heat. It keeps us safe and protects our possessions. Maintaining it, therefore, should be high on every homeowner’s priority list. Doing small things can go a long way in extending the life of our roof. Make sure to inspect it regularly, repair small damages before they lead to bigger problems, and regularly clean it from debris and mold. And when all else fails, you can always call a professional roofing company to do all that for you.
Sarah Brooks is an ardent blogger who loves to write about home improvement, remodeling, restoration, and repair. She is currently working with HBB Roofing, one of the leading commercial and residential Roofers in Harpenden, which offers quality roofing services.