Roofing Maintenance: Keeping Shingles and Flashing in Good Shape Saves Money and Prevents Leaks
Keeping up with roofing maintenance can catch problems before they become extensive. Repairing shingles, for example, prevents leaks and saves money.
During an inspection, the roofer will check for debris buildup on the roof and gutters. Debris like twigs, leaves, and water can cause damage if left unchecked. Visit https://www.orangecountyroofingfl.com/ for more details.
Your roof protects everything and everyone inside your home. It’s important to keep an eye on it, recognizing problems early so you can have them fixed before they turn into major issues.
Luckily, you don’t need to get on a ladder to examine your roof. You can do a thorough inspection from the ground with a pair of binoculars or, if you’re a little more squeamish, just walk around your house while keeping an eye out for problem spots. Start by walking around the gutters and fascia of your roofline, checking for discoloration, rot or mold, cracking caulking, rust or fungus. This will help you determine the state of your roof and if it’s safe to climb on.
Next, walk the perimeter of your roof and look at the shingles. If you see any shingle granules on the ground, that’s an indication there’s a problem with your shingles and it needs to be addressed. Look for cracked, curling or missing shingles as well.
A good rule of thumb is to replace a shingle when it shows signs of wear or if you can hear it rattling during heavy wind. If you notice a patch of missing shingles, it may be time to consider replacing your entire roof.
You should also inspect your roof valleys and look for shingle aggregate on the ground, which could indicate an overflow of water that’s causing damage. If you have a tree that’s overhanging your roof, make sure you check for branches that have fallen from the tree. Branches that rub against your roof for a long period of time can cause damage to shingles and even the structure of your home.
Finally, you’ll want to check the interior of your home for stains on the ceiling and walls that might be caused by roof leaks. Once they occur, they can lead to mold, rot or other serious problems throughout your home.
You should also take this opportunity to inspect the condition of your vent pipes and other penetration seals on the roof, ensuring they’re intact and in good shape. This is especially important after severe weather like a rain storm or hail storm.
Look for Loose Shingles
Loose shingles aren’t just an eyesore, but they can be the prelude to serious roof damage and leaks. Securing wandering shingles is one of the most effective ways to prolong your home’s roofing life. This task isn’t hard for homeowners with the proper tools and a bit of bravery (or an aversion to heights). But extensive damage, lack of proper safety equipment, or even a fear of heights may mean that this job should be left to professionals.
Look in your gutters and on the ground around your house after a storm passes through to check for shingle granules that aren’t where they should be. This is a sure sign that your asphalt shingles are starting to wear out and leave the underlying roof exposed. This can cause a number of problems, from moisture penetration to mold and rot.
If you discover a loose shingle during your inspection, use roofing cement to secure it. This will prevent the shingle from lifting during strong winds and prevent water leaks down the road. The cement can also be used to fill in any nail holes you find. You can find roofing cement at any building supply store in either a caulking gun or bucket form for use with a brush.
To replace a damaged shingle, first remove any wood, siding, or trim that’s covering it. Then slide a pry bar under the front edge of the shingle and lift up slightly. You may need to hit the pry bar with a hammer to loosen the nails that hold it in place.
Once you’ve removed the damaged shingle, put in a fresh replacement. Overlap the new shingle with the undamaged ones above it. You can line up the edges with a carpenter’s square and marker to make sure the shingle is properly aligned, then use tinsnips to cut it to size. Then nail it into place with roofing nails that match the existing nails in color and size.
It’s a good idea to replace any missing shingles as soon as you notice them. This will keep the underlying structure of the roof protected and help you spot potential trouble before it gets out of hand. If you’re not comfortable working on your own roof, a professional roofer can replace missing or damaged shingles quickly and easily.
Examine the Flashing
Flashing is a thin layer of waterproof material, typically metal, that prevents moisture from entering the structure and causing damage. It is used around exterior windows, doors, and any projections from the roof like chimneys or skylights. Flashing is particularly susceptible to damage from high winds and extreme weather conditions. Regular inspections can help you identify flashing problems before they cause major issues. Holes, cracks and dents in flashing can allow water to penetrate the roofing and damage the underlayment and shingles. This can lead to rusting and leaks. If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to repair them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Flashing can also be damaged by exposure to dramatic temperature changes. This causes the flashing to expand and contract, leading to a “wrinkled” appearance. This is a sign of poor installation and should be corrected as soon as possible to prevent moisture intrusion. Flashing can be repaired by resealing or replacing it. Depending on the type of flashing, this may require the assistance of a professional.
You can also check the flashing for signs of corrosion. Corrosion can be caused by exposure to salt and other minerals in the environment or from improper installation. When examining flashing, you should note whether it is mildly corroded, which can be repaired with a coating of sealant, moderately corroded, which needs to be replaced as soon as possible and severely corroded, which must be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to the roofing system.
Another common problem with flashing is that it can be pulled loose from the roof. This can happen due to high winds, snow or ice building up on the roof, or by the movement of a tree branch against the flashing. If the flashing is pulled loose, it can be fixed by pulling back the lip of the cap and mortar and resealing the area. This can be done by hand or with a power tool. It is also a good idea to add expansion joints to the flashing where it meets a vertical surface, such as a chimney.
Look for Sagging Roofs
Sagging roofs aren’t just unsightly — they can also be dangerous. If the sag is severe enough, it could cause serious structural damage to the house and lead to leaks and collapse. The first step to fixing a sagging roof is to figure out the cause of the problem. If the sagging is caused by inadequate support, it’s important to fix this before the problem gets worse. This might include re-stacking the rafters, adding supports to the walls or installing angled braces to shore up the structure.
If the sagging is caused by excess weight, it’s important to reduce that load as quickly as possible. Every roof is designed to support a certain maximum weight, so anything over this can start to affect the structure. This is particularly common in cold-winter climates, when snow can add extra weight to the roof over time.
You can check to see if this is the problem by going up into the attic with a flashlight and looking at the rafters. It’s important to make sure they aren’t overcrowded and that the spacing between them is about 3 feet. If they are too close together, it’s possible that the sagging is caused by too much weight on the roof and that a more dense material would help to reduce this.
If the problem is caused by structural issues, it may be necessary to hire a professional to assess and repair the issue. A qualified roofer will be able to recommend the best solutions for your situation. It’s also a good idea to contact your homeowner’s insurance provider to find out if the damage is covered by your policy.
Whether or not your homeowner’s insurance covers the cost of a repaired or replaced roof will depend on the cause of the damage. If the roof sagged due to a sudden accident such as a storm, most policies will cover the costs. However, if the sagging is due to age or neglect, most insurers won’t pay for this. As such, it’s important to perform regular maintenance and get your roof inspected regularly.