Performing regular maintenance can prevent damage and extend the life of your roof. Many of the problems that home inspectors see during home inspections could have been avoided with consistent maintenance.
A trained eye can spot many things from a ladder, but if you are not comfortable climbing a ladder, consider hiring a professional to inspect your roof. Contact Roofing Nashville for professional help.
The attic space in your home is one of the most important parts of the entire roof system. It serves many vital purposes, including equalizing the temperature of your attic with outdoor air, preventing heat build-up during summer, and reducing energy consumption. If your attic is not properly ventilated, or if your vents are blocked, your roofing materials may suffer premature wear, and moisture-related issues like ice dams or mold could form. In addition, an unventilated attic can cause the HVAC system to overwork itself and lead to expensive repairs.
Thankfully, attic ventilation is relatively easy to install and maintain in most homes. There are a few different types of attic ventilation, and the best option depends on your climate.
Passive – This method of ventilation relies on natural sources such as wind or convection to move air in your attic. The most common types of passive vents include ridge vents without baffles, gable end vents, and static vents (also called turtle vents or box vents).
Active – This type of attic ventilation uses power, electricity, or fans to circulate air in your attic. There are four common types of active roof vents: turbine, power, ridge, and solar-powered. Turbine vents are the circular-shaped vents that you see on most roofs. They work by using a wind effect to pull hot air out of your attic. Power vents are similar, but they use electricity instead of wind to blow air through your attic. They’re usually installed near the ridge of your roof.
Soffit vents, which are installed into the soffit of your home, also allow for air to flow through the attic space. These are great options for homes with soffits that have ample room. Ridge vents are installed at the ridge of your roof, and they work well because hot air rises.
Regardless of the type of vent you choose, building codes require that you have at least 1 square foot of vented attic space for every 300 square feet of floor area in your attic. Moreover, the ventilation openings must be sealed to prevent rain, snow, pests, and debris from entering your attic.
Gutters are an important part of your roof and your home. They help to direct water away from your home and prevent water from pooling on the fascia boards and soffits. But they can easily become clogged with leaves, pine needles, roof debris and other items. When these block the gutters from doing their job, they can cause a variety of problems including water damage to your home and the growth of mold and mildew.
Cleaning your gutters is not difficult to do, but it is something that many homeowners do not get around to doing. In fact, if you are going to tackle this task yourself, you should be familiar with ladder safety and working at heights, as it can be dangerous. You should also wear gloves and a face mask when working with sharp or heavy objects. If you cannot do it yourself, it is a good idea to hire a professional roofing company.
It is important to clean your gutters frequently enough that they never get clogged. If a clog does happen, it will stop the flow of water from the roof through the gutters and down the spouts. This can cause water to collect on the soffits and fascia of your house, which can lead to wood rot and other structural issues over time. It can also cause water to back up under the roof, which can seep into your living spaces.
Clogged gutters can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can cause itchy and uncomfortable bites. Standing water in a clogged gutter can also attract rodents and other insects that can be hazardous to your family’s health.
Cleaning your gutters is a necessary maintenance task that can be done with ease by using a ladder and a few cleaning tools. Adding it to your roof maintenance routine will keep your gutters looking their best and allow them to function properly, which can add value to your home. In addition, a regularly maintained and clean roof can add longevity to your home’s structure. You should also inspect your gutters on a regular basis to make sure that they are secure and in good condition.
Trim Tree Branches
Having a yard full of trees is a great way to add visual interest, but they can also cause damage to your roof. Especially in Central Texas, where storms can really whip up strong winds, it is important to keep an eye on tree limbs that hang over your house. If left unchecked, these can sway and break off, causing serious property damage. They can also touch the roof and rub against it, which can leave abrasive marks on the shingles. Regularly trimming the limbs that are hanging over your house will reduce the risk of this occurring and save you some cleanup work after a big storm.
If you are unsure of what to look for, consider hiring an arborist to inspect the trees around your home. These specialists have a lot of experience with pruning and will be able to assess the health of your trees and recommend what needs to be done. They can also safely cut problem branches without damaging your roof or property and ensure that all of the cutting is done correctly.
In addition to removing diseased or dead branches, tree trimming can help your roof by thinning out the limbs that are overhanging it. Overgrown limbs can weigh down and break the roof, while thin limbs will allow more light to reach your roof, protecting it from overheating and the formation of mold.
When you are doing your own pruning, make sure to follow proper safety procedures and use the right equipment for the job. This includes wearing a harness and safety tethers, working only when the weather is clear and never trying to “limb walk,” or move on your own up a high tree.
When making your first cut, make it about a foot away from the branch collar and angle it upwards so that you don’t rip the bark. Then, cut a second time about an inch further out and angle it downwards again. This should separate the two halves of the limb cleanly and prevent the limb from falling. After making these cuts, the limb should be removed completely from the trunk and thrown away.
Look for Leaks
When it comes to roofing maintenance, spotting leaks as they develop is one of the most important things you can do. Leaks will not resolve on their own and water damage inside your home can cause structural problems, mold and rot that require extensive repairs. If you’re unsure about a damp spot on the ceiling, it may be a good idea to have an expert take a look.
You should also look for signs of moisture in your attic. This is a good time to bring a flashlight and check for dark spots on wood or stains that indicate the presence of water. If the attic is accessible, be careful not to walk through any weakened areas of the trusses or insulation.
If you are unable to access your attic, use a ladder to closely examine any area of the roof that you suspect may be affected by leaks. You can also do this on a rainy day and look for evidence of dripping water in any suspect area.
Some of the most common sources of leaks are damaged roof vents, chimneys and skylights. Check for cracks in the housing of plastic roof vents or broken seams on metal ones. You can re-seal these with caulk, but it’s best to replace the entire vent.
Pay special attention to the flashing around these items – it is one of the most vulnerable areas on your roof. Metal flashing can rust, and even a small gap can allow water into your house. Check for any areas where the flashing has lost its adhesion to the shingles, as this will only get worse with the next rainstorm.
Other common causes of leaks are missing or damaged shingles and faulty roof ventilation. Make sure you have enough shingle underlay to prevent leaking and that the flashing at all vents is in good condition. Look especially for shingle granule loss, which indicates that the shingles are getting old and are no longer protecting your home. You should also examine the flashing for any crimping or lifting, which will also create an entry point for water.