Since the roof is the primary defense against the elements, its maintenance is a major priority for all homeowners. The roof is usually installed with all the protections necessary to keep temperatures at reasonable levels, protect from water damage such as rain and snow, and ice. It also protects against debris and wildlife including insects. Its careful construction should last for years but it still calls for the responsibility of the homeowner to keep a weather eye out for trouble.
First of all, one should do an eyeball scan of the roof itself. Any debris laying on top of the roof materials should be brushed or swept off as well as power hosed. Once that is done any damage to shingles or tiles should be easier to see. Look for peeled back shingles or torn ones. Tiles, look for cracks and missing tiles. Other materials like metal should be looked at for mildew or mold. If you see anything out of the ordinary, this calls for greater inspection, usually by a roofing company to determine if something catastrophic could occur should the problem e left alone.
Looking at the structure at the roof’s interior is also required. Of course, the first things to look for are holes fell roofing material, discolored or warped material. Water stains running down the walls behind the insulation or water residue on top of the floor or items stored in the attic will show where the holes in the roof are and require immediate repair. Water is the worst damage because it can be dramatic or subtle and do irreparable damage before you even detect there’s a problem. This could be costly as in the extreme, structural damage may have occurred.
Talking about structure, the chimneys are of equal importance. A chimney not cleaned and operating efficiently can be the source of disaster. It may take an expert eye to examine these structures and it’s a good idea. The average person may not know what to look for where a professional can. Considering the chimney reaches through the structure and is where fires will be stoked, you want no room for error. There are special tools for cleaning chimneys, gutters, spouts, that are part of the home structure and each can affect the roof and vice versa. A dirty chimney, for example, can spew harmful particulates through its top and land on your roof. Clogged gutters and spouts are a source for mold and mildew. A clean roof is a safe roof, in this case.
If you see damage or debris or anything out of the ordinary, you can take it upon yourself to do a wee bit of fixing up. With a solid ladder and person to spot you, use a broom or brush to gently remove such debris. While doing so look again for holes and cracks, loose tiles or shingles. Mark them down and go inside to the attic and see if the damage outside has reached inside. You’ll know from your hardware store what tools and materials you can use to DIY if possible. Don’t risk it, if it calls for professional skills, then get a pro in roof maintenance.
Image Credit: Jonathan M