Your house and property are meant to be enjoyed, and as every homeowner knows there’s always some outside work to be done to make that enjoyment possible. Your roof is one place that you should be checking on seasonally to head off expensive repairs.
If you’re getting uncomfortable thinking about having to actually go up on your roof, don’t worry, as just inspecting for any issues can be done sufficiently from the ground or call us for an inspection.
Winters tend to be harshest on your roof, but knowing how to best protect it for the winter will provide you with the maximum life of your investment. While all four seasons call for a visual check, before and after the snow, ice and cold is the most vital time to be checking and performing basic maintenance tasks or calling in a professional to do the job.
This page can help end the confusion of what is best for your roof from season to season and help you confidently take care of the minor work that you may be able to do yourself to keep your roof in its optimum condition from year to year.
Seasonal Roof Maintenance Tips
We recommend you do a quick roof inspection every three months to be aware of any problems, but you won’t need to spend a lot of time with this preventative maintenance task every time. Once a year, either in the late fall or early spring, you should consider spending a few hours with the tasks to clean up and fix up the top part of your house. This includes inspection of the shingles, flashing, chimney, vent pipes, gutters and eaves.
You may find some shingles that need to be replaced, a damaged chimney cap to be reinstalled or moss growing. By catching the little things soon after they’ve just happened, you’ll save yourself the added expense of avoidable repairs when these minor problems are left to cause deterioration and decay of major sections of your roof.
Home Roof Maintenance Checklist
The lists for each season will touch on some of the issues to look out for, and then more information on how to deal with some of those problems will be provided after the checklist. We’ll start with the most popular time for outdoor maintenance: the fall. The coming cold temperatures and heavy snow and ice call for a special approach to protect your roof for the winter.
Is My Home and Roof in Good Condition?
You want to get both an overall estimate of the condition of the roof as well as specific lists of existing problems or areas for future concern. A top home inspection tip for buyers is to ask about the roof as it currently is and to get the inspector’s impression for how well it will stand up in the future.
Inspections are a great way to identify damage that you can’t easily see from the ground, and it’ll also let you know about weaknesses that may not have been detected yet. If a roof is wearing down prematurely or is nearing the end of a warranty, you can get a good estimate of your future costs.
Are There Any Current Problems?
Leaks, rot, cracks, gaps, and holes can cause significant damage to your home. A quality inspection will look for these elements not only on the roof but in the attic and all interior spaces. Your inspector will know the danger signs and can often spot attempts to hide damage.
A good inspector with proper certifications and training will know when to look beyond fresh paint to see if there is an issue that wasn’t properly repaired. Attend the inspection and ask about trouble spots if you are concerned.
Were There Any Recent Repairs?
The home purchase roof inspection should note if there was any recent work, or if parts of the roof seem mismatched, indicating an area of wear or damage. You are within your rights to ask the homeowner or contractor about the repairs.
If the work was done by a reputable contractor and they used high-quality materials, you might be able to have the roof’s existing warranty transferred into your name when you purchase the home.
What About that Warranty?
Some warranties will last for the life expectancy of the roof, usually prorated to 40 or 50 years. Discuss warranties with your agent. Typically, the inspector will not have any idea about the warranty, but they may know the contractor, so ask here, too.
Are the Accessories in Good Condition?
A roof often comes with many different elements unique to the home and installation. These will include things like siding, soffit, fascia, gutters, downspouts and more. Your inspector should be able to see if they’ve been installed properly and if any maintenance is needed.
All of these elements are designed to keep the roof and home healthy. If they’re compromised, water and debris could pile up or leak into the home, generating long-term problems.
Mentioning them can also prompt your inspector to give you a full rundown on the roof. You may hear about cracked boots near vent pipes, rust spots, damage to the chimney cap or discoveries like asphalt grit in the gutters. All inspections will come with a very detailed report with pictures and descriptions of all areas of concern.
These recommendations and suggested areas to check and review are backed up by the National Roofing Contractors Association, which has a mission to protect homeowners.
Top Maintenance Check: The Ventilation
Proper ventilation is one of the biggest factors determining the durability and lifespan of a good roof, regardless of age.
Poor ventilation can trap heat or moisture in the attic area of your home. As these build up over time they do damage to the internal pieces of your home and your roof. Rafters and sheathing can start to rot, shingles may buckle, insulation becomes less effective and risks to your walls all increase if the ventilation isn’t working properly.
Your roof should be installed in a way to encourage ventilation and minimize the chances of vents from becoming blocked. Inspectors should check for boffle and soffit vents, ridge vents and other systems.
The attic will need a gap-free layer of insulation to protect both the roof and home below, open vents that can allow air to move and pass freely and other structural protections.
It’s always best to contact Summit Roofing and Restoration to understand what your attic needs. Requirements vary greatly across the U.S. based on local weather, sun exposure, humidity, shade and more. There are also specific considerations for each individual home, including the pitch of the roof.
Nothing that’s available on the internet can provide you with a 100% correct assessment or requirement for your individual home, which is why it is important to consult your trusted contractor or home inspector.
What If the Home Needs Repairs or Other Help?
A pre-sale roof inspection for the homebuyer is always a great step, as it can help you determine whether the purchase is right for you. You will be happy to hear that you can often choose your own contractor and inspector to get an opinion on the home.
Locating problems during an inspection can be upsetting, but they may not mean you need to drain your savings. If your roof leaks, you may or may not need it have it replaced completely. It all depends on the leak.
Sometimes, a roof may leak as a result of loose flashings or only a small part of the roof system is damaged. In the case of small problem areas, a localized repair can solve many issues. However, if the damage is systemic or mold and mildew are permeating the majority of your roofing materials, then you’re likely looking at a full replacement.
An inspector who determines the damage and its extent can help you understand the potential possibilities for causes. Sometimes this can include improper installation or previous repairs. If that’s the case then you should contact your previous contractor about their warranties and protections to see if you’re still covered.
Unfortunately, in our area not all roofs perform well. If the damage was caused due to poor or improper materials being used, then you might face the full cost of a roof replacement.
Where to Go from Here
We suggest you look no further than Summit Roofing and Restoration for an honest assessment of your property. We offer a range of full exterior home services and know what to look for when it comes to safety and beauty.
We are happy to answer the questions you may have from a home inspection or to discuss possible warning signs. Our team will provide you with a free evaluation and inspection so that there are no surprises along the way. Our no-obligation quotes can even help you judge other bids, which J & B West Roofing and Construction will often meet or beat.
Get started today and set up a time for your inspection by clicking here or by calling (901) 430-1974.