While a roof is one of the most prominent protection features of any home, it is also one of the most neglected. Rooftops receive a constant beating from heat, rain, and extreme weather conditions. The weight of humans walking about from cleaning out gutters or trees and branches falling on them only add to their deterioration.
Lack of roof maintenance may cause a worst-case scenario down the road, which could mean a total roof replacement. The key is to stop a problem before it starts. A well-maintained roof is an excellent defense in securing a less worrisome property. Here are simple steps to ensure your roof doesn’t cost you untold amounts of time and money.
Be proactive with inspections and repairs
A good way to substantially maximize the longevity of roofs is to do a yearly check. If you can, you may do it even twice a year during the end of the spring and winter. Harsh weather will cause roof deterioration, so you will want to check for possible leaks that can compromise structural frames or even electrical wires above your ceiling.
There are a few key things to look for while inspecting your roof:
- Make sure all seams and joints are secure and still in strong condition
- Check that all sealants and flashings are in good shape
- Keep gutters cleaned out; excess weight adds stress on certain roof areas
- Check that vents and fans are still sound
- Check for debris in valley areas of roof and behind lights and gutters
- Regardless of type, always check shingles for breaks, cracks, or missing pieces
- Consider location and climate
Climate-related roof issues
Every season dishes out numerous types of abuse on roofs, from being covered in snow or leaves to being assaulted by wind, rain, and tree branches. In warmer areas, you may be more concerned with keeping rodents from tearing at your roof. On the other hand, insulation from heavy rain and snowfall is a priority in colder climates.
Here are some issues to consider that are more climate specific:
- Humidity and rain damage: Consistent rain and humidity give rise to mold. Mold will not only lead to structural damage but could cause health problems as well. Make sure to repair any water or moisture damage.
- Storm damage: Harsh winds and heavy rains during a storm can likely tear up shingling on your roof. They can also loosen tiles and cause leaks. Fallen tree branches can also cause damage so be sure to do a check after a heavy storm.
- Heavy snowfall damage: While some places get far larger amounts of snow than others, any significant amount of snowfall will cause pressure on your roof. Check in your area to see if a company offers snow removal services.
- Sun damage: Being exposed to excessive sunlight can cause roofing products such as sealants to have a shortened lifespan. Be sure to make regular checks on these as well.
- Vermin and pest control: Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and termites love to get cozy in roof areas. Make sure to block off any small openings and get rid of any trespassers as soon as possible.
Landlords and property managers should have a consistent plan for roof maintenance and repair to avoid costly expenses in the future. Regular checks will also reduce the probability of a liability. For these reasons, it is best not to hire just any roofer for maintenance, repairs, or replacements. Qualified roofers need to be contracted to do the job and completing their work promptly.
Hiring a Qualified Roofer
Entry-level positions for roofers are available to those even without a high school diploma. Due to the nature of laying roof shingles, constructing a roof is generally completed as a group effort. Training for proper roofing generally happens on the job, so ensure your roofers are properly trained.
Luckily, you won’t be looking for individual roofers. Roofing companies will provide their own team of workers. Unlike electrical and plumbing work, roofing is usually a collaborative effort. Online reviews and other forms of evaluation can help determine if a roofing company is up to par.
Roof maintenance safety concerns
Not only do incompetent or negligent roofers pose a danger to your property and everything inside it, but they also pose a danger to themselves. The obvious risk is falling from the top of your building. Other hazards include dehydration, heat stroke, or sunburn, especially in summer.
As a landlord, you could be held responsible if an accident happened to your roofing crew. Property managers should also keep somewhat of an eye on their operations, if not just to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Are your contractors insured?
Legally your roofers have to have some form of insurance. You need to know what is covered in those insurance policies. Don’t hesitate to ask for a copy of any insurance documentation they may have on file. Individual roofing businesses may also have additional warranties or service guarantees that they may offer their clients.
When hiring a roofer, your best bet is to shop around.
Shop around for the best roofing contractor you can find. They will all offer slightly different services at different price ranges, but your goal is to sort them out and find the best fit for you. Also, you need to do all of this before you actually need any roofing work done.
You are contracting roofing professionals and they will be your go-to resource for all of your roofing needs. Try to be on a first-name basis with all of your contractors so all the work goes smoothly.