February 20, 2008
An annual check-up can prevent minor problems from becoming major headaches
Properly installed asphalt and cedar roofing willprovide years of protection. The homeownercan ensure maximum roof performance byinspecting annually to evaluate its condition anddetect potential problems before major damage occurs.The best time for an inspection isin the spring after the severe weatherconditions have abated. Many of theseobservations can be made from theground with binoculars or from a ladder.Getting on your roof can be dangerous and can damage some types of roofs, so be sure to contact a professional to determine what owner maintenance can be done safely based on your roof’s construction, materials, and pitch.
What to look for
■ Check inside the attic and inspect the roof sheathing for evidence of leaking such as water stains. Walk around the house and inspect the overhangs. Check your roof for visible signs of wear. Over time, composition(fiberglass) roofs begin to lose their granules and become brittle. Cedar shakes become vulnerable when the shake liner felt breaks down from being exposed tothe sun and weather.
■ Remove overhanging tree branches and leaves from the roof. Trimmed trees prevent branches from scuffing roof surface. A clean roof prevents debris dams that can force water to back up and cause leaks, and reduces the risk of fire. Keep climbing roses, vines, andivy trimmed away from the roof.
■ Clean gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters fill with water and the extra weight causes them to pull away from the house, allowing water to flow betweenthe gutters and the house.
■ Inspect metal flashing at the edges of the roof and around penetrations like chimneys, plumbing pipes,and roof vents to ensure it is sealed and secured.
■ Look for exposed nails or staples that have worked their way through asphalt shingles.
■ Remove as much moss from the roof as is practical. Unobstructed water flow on low-slope roofs is especially critical because water drains slowly, creating a greater possibility of water back-up and damage to roof sheathing. Moss growing in the spaces between shingles can cause water to flow sideways under shingle courses and a slow saturating type leak can develop.
■ Treat area of roof that develops moss with a moss inhibitor.
■ Replace or repair any damaged or missing shingles or shakes.
■ Check your roof to make sure you have enough roof vents. Good ventilation is essential in the space behind the roof deck to prevent moisture-laden air from being trapped. If inadequate ventilation is provided, roof sheathing may buckle and shingles will blister. Mold and mildew may develop in the attic. A good rule of thumb is 1 1/2 vents per 100 square feet of roof surface. Proper soffit vents and roof vents provide good cross flow ventilation. For more information and pictures of roofing problems, visit our website at www.realestateroofing.com.
Just as soon stay off that ladder? Give us a call at Home Services and we’ll get you in touch with RealEstate Roofing Services.
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