If you want to know the main reason for home or business roof repairs, ask the people who deal with roofs day after day, year after year – ask the roofing contractors.
They will tell you the number one reason for roof repairs is not damage from a major weather event. According to roofing companies, the number one reason for roof repairs is the fact that home and business owners simply ignore their roof until there’s a major problem with major expenses.
You should treat your roof like you treat your car. You (or someone) changes the oil, the fluids, the filters, the tires and so on, so your car serve you well. Waiting for the engine to blow or the transmission to quit, then fix it, is way more expensive than a little preventative maintenance.
Your roof is similar to your car. Every part of your home or business receives wear and tear every day – your carpets, doors, faucets, toilets, crawlspaces, attic and roof. But because you use your carpets, faucets and like items every day, you know when they need repair. Items you don’t use hands-on every day, like your roof, are still receiving wear and tear and should be inspected every six months.
Here are some simple ways to make sure small roof/attic problems don’t lead to leaks, mold, structural damage, and costly repairs:
• Set a date every six months to inspect your roof. After winter wear and heading into autumn are good times.
• Start with the inside of your house or business. Go through every room and look for water spots on the ceilings and walls. Take a flashlight and look inside closets and behind furniture for water damage or mold. And remember, there is no harmless watermark. You need to figure out where the dripping is coming from. If it’s a roof problem, that small watermark could eventually lead to dry rot, mold or pest infestation. Better to fix this small problem now, before it comes a budget busting problem.
• Inspect your attic. Be careful where you walk so you don’t bust through the ceiling. Take a flashlight and inspect the ridge beams, rafters and sheathing for water damage. Mark any spots you see with chalk to determine if they’re growing. If so, determine exactly where the water is leaking through the roof and repair it.
• Inspect the roof from outside. From a distance, assess the condition of your roof’s surface, flashing and eaves. Make sure all parts of the roof are straight and smooth. Any sagging indicates a structural problem. Sometimes it’s simply because a beam was put in the wrong way, other times it a bigger problem. This may be a little tricky for the average home or business owner to fix.
• Inspect the roof close-up. The less you walk on your roof the better, but doing a close-up inspection will alert you to broken or missing shingles; worn down flashing around the chimney, plumbing vents and attic vents; and any damage to gutters and downspouts. All of these items need to be water-tight to prevent leaks.
• Know when you’re over your head. You’ll be able to fix a majority of small roof repairs, but you should think twice before taking on bigger, more complex jobs where you could cause more damage. If you know someone who is mechanically inclined, ask them for an opinion. If it appears that it may need a special expertise to fix the job, gather a few estimates from reputable roofing companies and fix the problem while it’s still small.
Remember, the bitter of not inspecting your roof properly lingers a lot longer than the sweet taste of putting it off to do something fun.