As the weather starts to cool and autumn approaches, taking the time to prepare your home for the coming winter months is a good idea. Planning ahead and starting fall projects will put you in great shape for winter when it arrives, and with the roof, making sure that it can withstand the winter weather is critical. Discover what you need to do to prepare your roof for winter.
Inspect the Roof
A roof inspection is key to addressing pressing issues before winter weather sets in. Learn about what you should inspect.
Shingles or Roofing Material
Shingles that have damage on them need replacing before they start to leak. If the shingles become loose, water can get under them, and when the weather gets cold enough, the water can freeze.
Your home’s roof is vital to your house. After all, it protects virtually every other component and all your possessions. Unfortunately, many people never give their roof a thought unless problems arise. Unexpected roofing repairs can not only be costly but can also cause issues elsewhere in the house.
Thankfully, proactively maintaining your asphalt shingle roof can dramatically increase its lifespan, protect your home, and save you money in the long run. Performing a self-check of your roof at least twice a year in addition to professional inspections as needed and after severe weather events.
In the greater Olympia area, self-inspect your roof semi-annually in late April or early May — at the end of the rainy season — and again in late September or early October before the heavy rains begin once again. Here is what you can expect from a typical residential roof inspection done by a professional.
Residential roofing systems are complex components that play a critical role in the protection of your home against the elements. A roof that falls into disrepair is cause for concern, and you need to be aware of the many ways that a roof can show signs of wear so you can provide proper care and maintenance over time.
Most residential roofing systems feature asphalt shingles with a rough surface. This rough surface is not the shingles themselves, but the granules that go on the shingles during the manufacturing process.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that granules only serve as a cosmetic element in your roofing system. Granules are critical to the overall performance of your roof, and they can help gauge the health of your roofing system over time.
What Are Granules?
Granules are mineral particles that go on the surface of an asphalt shingle. The primary purpose of granules is to protect the asphalt beneath against exposure to the sun.
Roofing materials are in direct sunlight for the entirety of their lives. UV rays can wreak havoc on bare asphalt shingles, causing them to crack, curl, or deteriorate. The granules help to reflect the harmful rays of the sun so that shingles can enjoy a longer and more productive life.
The architectural style of commercial properties can vary from one building to the next. But while commercial buildings might look different from one another, many share a common feature — a flat roof. Flat roofing has been used for many years in commercial settings to help increase the amount of usable space within the building while keeping installation and maintenance costs low.
A flat roofing system depends on reliable drainage to retain its integrity and energy efficiency. Since flat roofs have minimal slopes, water can pool on the surface when proper drainage is not present. This pooling water can cause the roofing membrane to deteriorate, leaving your commercial building susceptible to leaks.
Choose the right drainage system for your flat roof to extend the life of the roofing materials protecting your commercial space.
One of the most basic types of drainage systems you can pair with a flat roof is a series of rain gutters. Gutters are attached to the edges of the roof. Water moves off the surface of the roof and into the gutters. Downspouts and leader pipes then funnel this water safely away from the foundation of your building.
Asphalt shingle roofs last about 20 years. If you haven’t owned your home for very long, you might have a hard time telling how old your roof is. If you know if your roof is old or new, the knowledge can help you decide whether you should be saving money for a new roof. If you’re not sure about the age of your roof, you can learn about a few signs that can indicate the age.
Do you want to make an educated guess about when your roof will need replacement? Examine the outside of the roof, check for building permits, and have your roof checked out by a professional. Follow these tips for more information.
1. Look for Signs of Aging
If properly installed, most roofs will last for many years without exhibiting signs of aging. By the time a roof starts to show signs of age, it is probably already many years old. If your roof is showing wear and tear, this is a good sign you will need to be saving money for a roof replacement in the coming years. Look for the following signs.
Asphalt roofs can last for over three decades with proper maintenance, but eventually, these roofs all begin to show signs of serious aging. Timing your roof replacement based on the signs of wear and tear allows you to get as much life as possible out of the current roof without risking damage to the rest of the structure.
If you notice distinctive waviness or unevenness among the asphalt shingles when looking at your home’s roof, schedule a professional inspection. This kind of distortion of the shingles indicates the roofing materials are near the end of their lifespan.
New roofs can develop a wavy appearance due to wrinkles in the underlayment or a lack of adhesion between the individual tabs. If your roof has looked smooth for years and has only developed an uneven appearance with age, the change is likely due to damage instead.
A collapsed roof is one of the most serious forms of roof damage. In some cases, you may prevent total roof collapse if you recognize the signs and make preventive repairs early enough. Below are some of the signs that may point to a roof collapse in the near future.
Difficulty With Doors and Windows
Too much weight on the roof may affect the doors and windows. Contractors fit roofs and doors precisely and tightly to avoid air leaks that would affect energy efficiency. Thus, a change in the fit of your doors and windows may affect the ease with which they open and close. When a roof sags due to overload, it presses upon the windows and doors and affect their fit. The windows and doors then become difficult to open and close. The doors on the interior walls are particularly vulnerable to damage due to roof overload.
Moss growth can be unsightly and damaging to your roof; moss causes water to get backed-up on your roof, which can lead to water damage. If you see moss growing on roofs in the neighborhood or on your roof, you can take proactive steps to prevent further growth.
Always Trim Nearby Trees
When tree branches grow over your roof, they provide shade for your home, which can help keep the temperature cool. However, all that shade also helps create a perfect environment for moss to thrive and grow. Moss needs a shady and moist environment to grow, and overhanging trees create this environment. Trim back the branches on any trees near your roof. You don’t have to cut down the trees that provide your home with shade; you just need to make sure their branches don’t grow over your roof. A professional tree cutter can help you with this task.