The roof over your head provides all manner of protection from the elements. This protection extends not only to yourself but to your home as well. Although your roof is a crucial part of your home, its out-of-sight location means it’s also usually out-of-mind. But ignoring your roof can be disastrous for all involved. And your roof can get damaged in a dizzying number of ways.
According to Cape Analytics, 45 percent of homeowners file home insurance claims for wind or hail damage to their roofs. A severely damaged roof can make you choose between relocating or upgrading your house and cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, says Powell Renovations. You need to prevent damages to your roof not just before they’re too extensive but before they’re even an issue.
Here are five crucial tips on how you can prevent your roof from getting damaged.
Check Regularly for Damages
Unless your home features an unconventional design, you probably don’t get to see your roof all that often. This means that, for all you know, there could be huge rust spots on your roof or missing shingles, or a bird’s nest in a hole. Unless you want to be surprised by a small waterfall the next time it rains, you’re going to need to check your roof regularly for damage.
The best people for such a job are licensed roofing contractors, but you can always do spot checks yourself, reminds Beacon Contractor. Every couple of months, you should take a stepladder, don some work gloves and clamber onto your roof. Summer is the best time to do such inspections, but you should perform through the year to avoid any surprises.
Beat Back Branches
Although most roof damages stem from weather events, such as wind and hail, one of the most vicious sources of damage turns out to be the most innocuous. Dead leaves can wreck your roof just as thoroughly as a hurricane or a blizzard. Even worse are the trees and branches those leaves come from. A strong gust can topple over a tree or break a branch that can gouge a gaping hole through your roof.
If you have trees growing around your property and especially close to your house, keep a careful eye on the branches and leaves. Make sure to cut down branches before they stretch over your roof and become a problem.
Routinely Clear the Gutters
Even after you’ve cut back branches and large plants around your home, odds are your gutters will still occasionally play host to hundreds of dead leaves and other debris. A few clumps of leaves and debris aren’t a problem all on their own, but dozens of them can cause clogs. Backed-up drains can cause water to infiltrate your ceiling. This can eventually cause your roof’s support struts to rot and become a breeding ground for fungus and other destructive fungi.
Ensure your gutters are in top condition by routinely cleaning them out. Use a rake, a bristled broom, or even a robotic gutter cleaner to root out possible blockages. This will ensure water flows through your spouts rather than flooding your ceiling.
If you can’t climb atop your roof for one reason or the other, you can still make sure your roof isn’t leaking by performing a visual inspection of your ceiling. This is the last resort method because any damage to your ceiling means that your roof has already been compromised. But noticing small signs of damage on your ceiling is a great way of preventing your roof from getting more dilapidated.
Check your ceiling for any dark spots or suspiciously soft spots. These can indicate a small leak and that the water is rotting the wood. If your ceiling isn’t made of wood, you can check for stains instead. Any brown or green spots can indicate fungi growing on the wet spot caused by a leak.
Repair Damages Immediately
Finally, when you climb atop your roof, immediately repair the slightest bit of damage you see. Is a shingle a little loose? Secure it to your roof quickly with nails or tar. Is the paint job on your roof flaking? Give it a quick fresh coat as soon as you can. Enacting preventative repair such as these means you won’t have to worry about your roof getting too damaged.
Roof repairs can be extremely expensive and time-consuming, offers Home Advisor. You can avoid these costly expenses by being innovative and keeping an eye on the condition of your roof. This way, you can ensure that the roof over your head remains intact for the foreseeable future.