Professional roof maintenance is important for the overall life and health of your roof. If you don’t have your roof inspected and maintained regularly, there is a high chance that it will have a much shorter lifespan and need more repairs. Maintenance is also important for ensuring that the roof isn’t leaking and for preventing leaks. This guide will help to show you what all is involved in maintaining your roof and also why roof maintenance is so important.
Inspecting the Roof, Flashing, Vent Pipes and Skylights
When maintaining a roof, the roofers perform an inspection to look for loose, damaged or missing shingles, tiles or other components. This is important for ensuring that the roof is still watertight and preventing it from leaking. The roofer will also inspect around all of the vent and exhaust pipes that stick up through the roof to ensure they are fully sealed and water can’t leak in around them. If you have any skylights, they will check whether they aren’t leaking and that the frame around them is still in good condition and not rotting or damaged.
Inspecting all of the flashing on the roof is also essential for ensuring it has a watertight seal. Flashing is a piece of metal that is installed underneath the shingles or roofing materials wherever two roof slopes meet. For instance, there should be flashing underneath any valleys in the roof, and there will also be flashing around any chimneys and vent pipes and along the entire outside edge of the roof.
If the flashing is damaged or not properly sealed around the edges, it will allow water to start seeping underneath the roofing material. The water can cause leaks and damage the plywood below. Water damage can become structural, which could mean that the roof may be unsafe to walk on and susceptible to collapse.
In addition to inspecting the outside of the roof, inspections may also include the attic, Here, the roofer will look for signs of recent leaks or damage. They will check the roof trusses are in good shape and that the wood isn’t damaged or structurally at risk.
Inspecting the Soffit and Fascia
The roof on most homes slightly overhangs the side of the building, and this overhang is known as a roof eave. The covering on the underside of the eave is known as the soffit, while the fascia board runs along the edge of the eave and connects to the end of all of the roof trusses.
The fascia works to provide support to the bottom row of shingles or tiles at the edge of the roof, and it also supports the gutters and holds them up. If the fascia is damaged, the gutters could start to sag and not drain properly. Damaged fascia can also lead to gaps between the gutter and the roof that allow water to leak down along the face of the building and possibly damage the siding.
The soffit works to seal the underside of the eaves so that moisture can’t get inside and cause the trusses or roof sheets to rot. If the soffit is damaged or any pieces are missing, birds and pests can also get in and start nesting inside.
Repairs or Replacements
If the inspection finds any issues or damage, the roofers can schedule a time to perform necessary repairs. Depending on the age of the roof and the level of damage, the roofer may discuss the pros and cons of repairing the existing roof or upgrading to a new roof. If a roof is near the end of its lifespan, it can be more economical on a longer scale to replace the roof rather than making a series of repairs.
Some roofers are also solar installers. Even if your roofer is not certified to install or repair panels, they can check the integrity of the solar panel attachments to your roof and inform you if there is a problem. They can also look to ensure that the roof is bearing the load of the panels safely.
Cleaning Off Moss and Algae
One of the most essential parts of maintaining a roof in Florida is cleaning it to remove any moss and algae growth. Moss and algae growth are extremely common in this part of the country due to our warm, wet and humid weather. If you know that your roof commonly gets moss, you can schedule a professional cleaning at regular intervals.
Having lots of moss and algae growing on your roof can be a serious issue. Moss absorbs and holds water, putting added weight on the roof. Clumps of wet moss can cause the edges of composite shingles to lift so that water can start seeping underneath them. When the underside of the shingles is exposed to water, they will start to degrade much quicker and shorten the life of your roof. Algae typically won’t damage the roof, but it will often leave dark streaks that will make the roof look unsightly and lower your home’s curb appeal.
Climbing on a wet, slippery roof is dangerous, and you can also damage the shingles or tiles if you’re not careful. This is why it’s a good idea to call a professional to complete this task. When cleaning the roof, the roofers will first use a hose and a soft-bristled brush to gently scour away all of the mold. If there is lots of algae present or the roof has lots of streaking due to algae, the roofer may also clean everything with an algicide.
If you have solar, a regular roof cleaning can keep your rooftop panels free of algae, dust or pollen. This may pay for itself as it can keep the panels generating electricity at full capacity.
Inspecting and Cleaning the Gutters and Downspouts
Another essential part of maintaining a roof is cleaning out the gutters and downspouts and inspecting them. Leaves and debris will often start to clog up the gutters so that the water gets trapped and can’t drain out. This can lead to the gutters overflowing and the water dripping down the side of the building and pooling next to the foundation instead of draining out and away from the home. Clogged downspouts and overflowing gutters can cause water to pool at the home’s foundation. This can cause structural damage. As such, it is important to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned every fall. You should also have your gutters cleaned and inspected if you ever notice that they are overflowing or not draining properly.
In addition to cleaning visible debris, a professional will check your gutters and downspouts for damage. They may run a water test to see whether the gutters are sloped so that the water easily drains out of them.
Xtreme Roofing & Construction is the top choice for residential roofing maintenance and commercial roofing maintenance in Sanford and the surrounding areas. We work on all types of residential and commercial roofing, and our team can take care of all of your roof maintenance, repair and installation needs. For more information on the importance of roofing maintenance or to schedule an inspection and maintenance appointment, give us a call today.