Roofs are like tires. We only think of them when there’s a problem, and we only replace them when we have to. But, when we do maintain them regularly, we can extend their useful life. We also need to make sure that our roof receives the proper maintenance to increase its useful life.
Guaranteeing roof life starts with regular inspections. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends inspecting all roofs twice a year: once after the coldest temperatures, once after the hottest temperatures. (And it’s always a good notion to scrutinize the roof following any major weather occurrence). But why should roofs be inspected, and what do we hope to discover by doing so?
With our roof, out of sight means out of mind. That’s not a good notion, since regular roof inspections can help avoid long term expensive problems.
What follows are some of the most common reasons — to inspect roofs at least twice a year.
Weathering and Aging
All roofs undergo normal aging, and the effects are usually visible. As roofs age commonly, leaks may occur, leading to moisture infiltration. Regular inspections call attention to weathered regions and enable property owners to schedule maintenance on these issues to avoid further problems.
Damage From Storms
High gusts of wind, hail, and other weather events can create damage to a roof that are able to be covered by insurance. Roofs should be inspected immediately following weather events to prevent further damage due to water leaks. Impairment from wind gusts or hail can be slight and require little more than minor repairs, or the problems can be major and require an entire roof replacement. Insurance adjusters report that substantial amounts of storm damage are actually caused by debris blown from roofs by high winds. Tree limbs and branches can fall on roofs causing great damage. Roof blow-offs start at the boundary, and when roofs are not properly designed or installed to provide proper boundary securement, serious damage can result. Storm damage may require emergency work costing even more expense.
Roof Repair Companies
Leaks after heavy rain is the primary reason for most inspections. But a leak is only a sign of a problem that might have been building over time. If you’re looking for a silver lining, a leak can actually be good news. Without evidence of a roof leak, a lingering problem of undetected water infiltration could continue to create hidden deterioration, such as rotting wood, mold, wet insulation, or corrosion.
It takes an experienced professional eye to conduct a thorough leak investigation and diagnosis, because the entry point for water might be quite far away from the detection point. Leaks can be evidence of serious roof problems or minor issues. Many roofs in excellent condition occasionally have issues due to minor flashing problems.
Making Sure There’s Proper Drainage
Few features are as important to roof performance as proper slope and drainage. Water standing on a roof increases the chance of leaks and water infiltration significantly. Making sure you have good drainage is a very important reason for regular roof inspections. Leaves, trash, debris, and other objects can clog or obstruct roof drains, creating standing water. Regular cleaning of roofs can help remove such problems and allow water to drain properly, which reduces the chance of leaks. Also, water is heavy – weighing about 5 pounds per square foot per inch deep.
Poor drainage also causes deterioration of roofing materials, leading to a shorter life of the entire roof system. If a leak occurs from standing water, insulation can get saturated over a wide area, which could require entire roof replacement.
Roof Inspection Services
Assessing Tree and Vegetation Damage
Vegetation can grow on roofs when gutters and other low areas aren’t cleaned on a regular basis. Birds can land and nest on roofs. They also deposit seeds, which will promote the growth of vegetation. Gutters are a particular source of problems because of the accumulation of dirt, seeds, and water. In addition, tree branches scraping on roofs during wind storms can cause serious damage. Gutters should be cleaned regularly, and trees near your roof need to be trimmed to prevent contact with roof surfaces.