Roofs play an integral part in protecting buildings and their inhabitants from the elements, but surprisingly, it is one of the most neglected areas when it comes to upkeep. Staying on top of regular roof maintenance may help extend the life of a roof, which is typically much less expensive than replacing it entirely.
Below is a list of ways to be proactive with roof maintenance and common signs of when it is time to call for the help of a professional. Staying on top of these items may help your roof last longer and help you spot potential issues before they get out of hand.
4 Ways for Facility and Building Owners to Be Proactive with Roof Maintenance
Repairs are an eventual part of every building owner’s life, but fortunately there are ways for them to be proactive when it comes to roof maintenance, including:
- Be vigilant about looking for damage caused by animals. Roofs can be home to many different kinds of animals, primarily squirrels, birds, or even rats. Even the smallest roof openings are an invitation for these animals to nest. Listen for the sound of squirrel feet scampering and watch for signs of animal droppings on the roof and in the attic. It may be a sign that animals are camping out on your roof or have made their way through it.
- Don’t neglect the gutters. Gutters are usually installed along a roof’s eaves and are designed to catch and direct rainwater off the roof. The most common issue for gutters is that along with water, they can fill and become clogged with debris such as leaves, shingle granules, grit and dirt. At the very least, owners should ensure that their gutters are cleaned out twice a year to remove any debris blocking the flow of water. In some cases, it can be advantageous to install covers over the gutters that allow water to flow in but keep the majority of debris out.
- Keep an eye on the state of shingles. Most roof shingles are exposed to extreme hot and cold temperatures during the year and can be pelted with rain, hail, and ice. This continued exposure may weaken shingles over time causing them to crack, chip, or come loose. Although it seems like an obvious technique, it becomes an out of sight, out of mind issue for many building owners. Consider putting a shingle check on your calendar for at least twice a year to check for shingle damage.
- Clear away tree limbs, ivy, and seedlings regularly. It is common for roofs to take the brunt of fallen tree branches and limbs, winding ivy, or sprouting seeds and plants. Each of these can pose a problem if left unattended as it may break, lift, or shift roofing materials that can potentially leave your house exposed. When making a point to check the state of your roof’s shingles, make the most of that effort by also clearing away fallen debris and growing plants at the same time.
Signs That It Is Time to Call in A Professional Roofing Company
Despite practicing regular and careful roof maintenance, there are times when roof damage can still be a reality due to extreme weather events. And for those that do not practice roof maintenance, damage is often an unfortunate effect of neglect.
Some signs that it is time to call in a professional roofing company can include:
- A sagging roof deck. Look up periodically to see if the roof appears to be sagging in some places. The biggest indicator of this problem usually manifests itself in warped roofing lines rather than sharp angles. A sagging roof deck is typically a sign of a larger problem and should be addressed by a professional as quickly as possible.
- Wet spots in the attic. Roofs are intended to help keep the moisture outside of the building, so if a damp or wet spot is seen in the attic or on the ceiling, it can signal a leak somewhere in the roof. The leak itself is the primary issue, but if it isn’t addressed quickly a buildup of mold or mildew in the attic can also become a problem. Moisture of this nature in the attic requires an examination by a professional.
- Exterior light visible from the attic. A ray of exterior light that is visible from the attic is not a good sign. This means the roof has been damaged in some way and requires immediate repair. Delaying the repair of an open gap in the roof can allow severe water damage and attract nesting animals if not attended to right away.
What to Look for in A Professional Roofing Company
When it comes to one of the building’s largest defenses against the elements, it is critical to put research into finding the right professional roofing company. Some considerations of things to look for in a roofing company should include:
- Service area. Verify that a roofing company is active in your service area.
- Service scope. Choose a company that provides a wide scope of services including leak repairs, maintenance, renovations, inspections, replacements, and more.
- Experience. Look for a provider that has been in the roofing business for years and has a solid foundation of experience and a positive reputation.
- Free roof assessments. Choose a company that provides a free roof assessment at no charge.
- Accolades. Check to see if they have received any recognition or awards within the industry.
Protect your building and your investment with regular roof maintenance and both your building and your wallet will thank you. And when it’s time to call a professional roofing company, be sure to work with a company that is reputable and well-respected.