An unfortunate truth is that many people don’t keep up with maintenance, whether it be their cars or their bodies. That being said, even less ever think about maintaining the roofs of their homes. It’s just something that homeowners don’t think or know about, but could lead to huge headaches in the future.
In much the same way that your car needs oil changes or inspections every year, getting your roof checked out annually is extremely important. Doing so can stop huge problems that could end up costing thousands because of preventable damage. To get the full scope of things though, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of roof maintenance.
What does roof maintenance check for?
Like most other forms of maintenance, a big part of roof maintenance is examining problematic areas that are prone to damage or other issues. Whenever you hire someone to check on your roof, there are several major things that they will do first.
• Examine Roof Boots/Pipe Boots – Roof boots are installed to seal off pipes that have to vent through the roof. If these seals are cracked or damaged, water can enter your home around these pipes and cause damage to your property. This is a lot more common during colder weather, when the gaskets might crack due to the temperature.
• Remove Potential Blockages – Random debris on your roof isn’t just an eyesore. They will cause water to back up due to clogging up your gutters or creating small dams on the roof itself. Shingles simply can’t combat overflow of this nature, and prolonged exposure to water like this will cause leaking.
• Checking for Animals – Another potential cause for leaks is if animals are living in your attic. Some of them can chew straight through shingles, and also pose a hazard to any wiring. In fact, rodents chewing on electrical cords is a common cause for house fires.
• Check for Condensation – A leak isn’t the only way for your home to suffer water damage. Condensation can occur in the winter months, causing water to form from inside your home. Improper ventilation and/or insulation problems leads to moisture build up, which will cause incremental damage over time.
• Inspect Caulking – Caulking is another line of defense against water from penetrating into your home. It’s important to see if pre-existing caulk needs to be replaced, or if additional caulk needs to be applied. In some cases, caulk is also used to cover up metal that would otherwise be exposed, like nail heads. If moisture sits on these areas too much, it can cause rust.
• Inspect Chimney – Specifically, you should get your chimneys inspected by someone who is certified by the Chimney Sweep Institute of America. Damage or blockages in your chimney will lead to potential fire hazards or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Why get your roof checked?
There are many benefits to having a professional inspect your roof annually. Your house is an investment, and it makes sense to protect that investment in any way you can. It might seem like an unnecessary expenditure, but proper roof maintenance can prevent a disaster that could end up costing you much, much more. Below is a list of benefits that will come from getting scheduled checkups.
Preventing Bigger Problems
Preventative measures have already been mentioned multiple times, but it’s something that bears repeating. Checking for problems can unearth minor issues that you might not know are there. As with most other things, something small can quickly snowball into bigger and worse surprises.
In general, a roof inspection will range from 100 to 300 dollars. Even if you don’t think anything is wrong, that couple hundred could uncover something that can cost thousands to fix down the line. For example, an inspector might find a small crack in your roof boot. On average, that would be another few hundred to fix, or you could potentially fix it yourself.
On the other hand, leaving that crack will eventually cause rainwater to start leaking into your attic. Prolonged exposure will result in damage to anything you might be storing up there, or even the ceiling. That’s potentially thousands and thousands of dollars out of your pocket. The same can be applied to a myriad of easily fixable problems.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Roof
Whenever a life cycle is attached to a product, that length of time is usually dependent on you getting that product maintained. Cars are expected to last a certain amount of miles, but those numbers will drastically go down if you don’t get it inspected. Your roof is no different.
On average, a new asphalt roof is expected to last between 15 and 30 years depending on where you live. The less you spend on roof maintenance, the smaller that number will get. In addition, having an inspector check out your roof will be able to tell you how much life your roof has left. Having that information can give you an idea of what you need to do to protect your home.
Having Peace Of Mind
Planning an annual roof checkup can give you the peace of mind that you are protected from any nasty surprises. If the inspector can’t find anything wrong, that’s more confidence that you won’t get slammed with a surprise bill to fix preventable damage. It also means that your property will be able to stand up to bad weather like big storms a lot better.
In the event that the checkup unearths a few small problems, that’s okay too. Like mentioned above, getting those issues out of the way can save you thousands of dollars. Ultimately, you’ll also have the knowledge that your roof will last as long as it’s supposed to.
People normally scoff at paying for protection plans on headphones or other consumer products. However, your home is a much more important investment than some hundred-dollar AirPods. It’s true that roof maintenance isn’t exactly cheap. What is also true is the fact that your roof protects your property and your livelihood. Paying extra to keep it maintained will keep that investment protected for years to come.