Putting a roof over you and your family’s head is one of most essential comforts we all strive for in life. However once you’ve got it up there, your job’s not over.
Materials degrade over time and there are plenty of events or circumstances that can lead to your roof getting damaged and no longer doing its job effectively. With roof repairs and replacements costing as much as they do, it is important to understand how to spot concerning damage and how to fix or at the very least easily prevent further harm.
Missing or damaged shingles can be a real problem for a roof. You should check your shingles about once a year, and if there are any missing or damaged, you need to replace them. When checking the condition of shingles, you want to look for signs of decay such as curling, or cracking. For asphalt shingles you may need to get closer to determine whether there is a noticeable loss of granules.
For the most part, weather is not going to damage your roof or tiles, but in some extreme cases, things like wind, heavy rain and hail can cause damage over time. If you have trees near your home, there is also the possibility that the branches could damage your roof by landing on the roof after breaking off in the wind.
You should inspect your roof after any major weather event. Look for damaged or missing shingles and check the fascia and gutters for damage. If you want to prevent some of these issues in the future, you should maintain the branches of the trees surrounding your home and even cut down any particularly large trees or overhanging branches entirely.
Flashing is the material (usually aluminium or galvanised steel) that runs over the joins in the roof’s construction. It is designed to protect your roof from water seepage.
You might find it around a chimney, a skylight, vents that penetrate the roof, and at places where two sections of the roof meet.
When the flashing is damaged or begins to deteriorate, it can result in unwanted leaks in your home. Check the flashing at different areas for things like buckling, tears and deterioration. For most simple repairs, you can buy flashing and do it yourself, but some complex or hard to reach flashing repairs may require the skills of a professional.
It is not uncommon to see moss growing on a roof and it can cause significant damage if left unchecked. The moss can start to grow in between shingles and cause them to separate. It can also store water that could eventually seep into the roof to cause a leak.
You have a few options when it comes to removing moss from your roof. You could get up there and clean the roof with water and a brush. You just want to avoid using a pressure washer or scrubbing the shingles too hard. If you are too rough, you could cause damage instead of preventing it. Be sure to check the different chemical solutions available to remove moss, often mixable and available from your hardware or garden store that also assist with removing lichen, algae and mould.
For future proofing there are also different chemical treatments available that can be applied to prevent further moss growth.
If animals can get in your roof they can cause damage. Pesky possums may look innocent but they are crafty when it comes to invading your home via the roof. If you find that you have something like possums or mice nesting in your attic, they could damage insulation, and if they get on top of the roof, they could also cause damage to the shingles. Beyond that, you also have to consider the potential health risks that can come with having animals in your attic space. With most animals, the first sign of trouble is when you hear them walking around in the ceiling. You might also find the droppings in the attic.
When it comes to getting animals out of your attic, the smart move is to hire professionals. You will hear about DIY methods for removing things like possums and mice, but they can be dangerous or not entirely effective. Furthermore, if you are talking about possums, there are regulations concerning the removal process and release of possums that is best left to an expert.
Most roof problems start out small and the early signs can be difficult to notice. By performing the occasional roof inspection of your home, you can immensely increase the chance that these small problems will get caught early and save your wallet some heartache later on. By getting the necessary repairs done, you can protect your home from additional damage and reduce the cost of the repairs.