Unless a homeowner is good with a drone or unafraid of heights, they're probably blissfully unaware of the condition of their roof. They may not know when to inspect it or what to look for. It's the biggest reason why a leak or insect infestation is the first clue a homeowner gets of the structural damage that was likely forming for many years prior. Roof damage is not only inconvenient, it can also be dangerous to the people who live in the Nederland home. See what can be done to prevent problems before they begin.
Common Signs of Roof Damage
As scary as it may be to get up on the roof, it's usually the best way to inspect the flashing, joints, and shingles. Tears in the outer layer of the roof, moss or algae formations, or curling shingles are all signs the roof is starting to wear out. Usually, homeowners with asphalt, wooden, or composite shingles should inspect their roof once every three years or so. Those with tile roofs can go up to five years without an inspection. Those who would prefer to stay on stable ground should inspect their attic or crawlspace for signs of water damage. Flaking paint or peeling wallpaper may indicate a decomposing roof.
How to Manage Roof Openings and Ventilation
There is a sweet spot that homeowners need to hit when it comes to their roof. Too much ventilation and it will start to invite in insects and small animals. Too little ventilation and it can cause water to become trapped inside the interior of the home, leading to mildew or even mold. If an ember happens to land on a roof with poor ventilation, it can rapidly fan the flames. Soffit attaches to the eaves of the roof and serves to reinforce the stability of the roof with either cement or steel. But despite its hardy construction, soffit won't last forever. If a homeowner sees signs of major wear and year, they'll need to have it replaced as soon as possible to balance the ventilation of their home.
Roof Cleaning, Inspections, and Maintenance
Gutters need to be cleaned out regularly to or else they may start to create a drag effect on the roof. They can also be the culprit of dangerous ice dams that can cause major liability headaches for homeowners who aren't careful. For those who can't (or would prefer not) to perform their own roof maintenance, they should consider hiring a professional to help. These extra costs can usually save owners more money in the long run because the professionals will take care of the damage sooner rather than later. For those who consider themselves to be DIY mavens, they should get into the habit of cleaning and inspecting the roof but they may want to skip doing the actual repair work. Most experts agree that major roof repairs are not worth the risk.
What are the Most Durable Roofing Materials?
If a roof is too badly damaged for repairs to be feasible, it may be time to replace the roof. During this period, it's important for homeowners to do research to determine what type of new roof will serve them best going forward. Not all roofs are created equally, and some roof construction materials can last decades—or even a century—longer than traditional asphalt.
Asphalt shingles generally last 10–20 years. Here are a few different roofing materials that offer longer lifespans than asphalt.
- Architectural Asphalt: This is a higher quality type of asphalt better made to withstand the elements. They tend to last anywhere from 25–30 years.
- Wood Shingles and Shakes: Though they generally have a lifespan comparable to asphalt, homeowners in moderate climates with mild weather can see these roofs last as many as 30–40 years.
- Metal roofs: No longer the eye-sores they were in the past, metal roofs are catching on in popularity both for their durability and their energy efficiency. Metal roofs can be expected to last 40–80 years.
- Slate, concrete, and clay tiles: Possibly the most durable roofing products on the market, slate, concrete, and clay roofing all have a life expectancy of 100 years once installed.
The cost of each of these roofing styles is varied, but the money and time saved through the lifespan of the roof can be tremendous.
Start Your Home Roof Repair Project Today
The best way to prevent and repair roof damage has a lot to do with just understanding the components of the physical structure. It's usually less expensive in the long run to perform a thorough repair of the roof when it's damaged. While it may be tempting (and certainly less expensive) to do a quick patch-up job, these methods often just lead to additional repairs later on down the line. Finding regular maintenance now can be a good way to stave off future trouble.