Built to last from extremely durable materials, your home’s roof probably receives scant attention – until there’s a problem.
It’s best not to wait until water pours through the ceiling to educate yourself about roofing essentials. For first-time and long-time homeowners alike, this guide is key to researching a roof replacement and extending its lifespan through proper maintenance.
The right roofing material should be both complementary to your home’s architectural style and appropriately suited to your climate. Selecting the best material is the first step to ensuring a long life and sidestepping costly repairs down the road.
Courtesy of Zillow Digs.
Courtesy of Sennikoff Architects.
Courtesy of Zillow Digs.
Whatever material you choose, you’ll also want to install a few safeguards to avoid potential damage-inducing problems.
One of the most critical factors in ensuring the longevity of a roof is proper ventilation. Without it, heat and moisture can build up under the roofing, causing structural damage or rot. Installing louvers, roof vents, and soffit vents may help prevent these issues.
Another disaster to avoid: leaks. Flashing, a metal sheathing material, will go underneath your roofing of choice at the points where different materials meet, like around a masonry chimney, skylights, or vents. Double-down on leak prevention by making certain that the joints are staggered and materials overlap adequately.
Considering your area’s climate when you’re picking out a new roof won’t be the last time you think about the weather in regard to your structure.
The elements directly affect the performance and lifespan of any roof. Rain water can seep underneath roofing materials and cause the underlying roof deck to rot. Come winter, ice dams along the roof overhang prevent proper drainage into the gutter and can lead to leaks. Even strong winds can lift the edges of roofing materials and actually break off shingles.
If you haven’t already, start a regular inspection – annually and after every major storm – to catch small problems before they turn into big headaches. When surveying, watch out for the following warning signs:
Fortunately, a few damaged shingles or a small leak isn’t necessarily a cause for sleepless nights. A roof that was properly installed within the past 15 or 20 years may simply need some repairs, rather than a full replacement. When in doubt, contact a licensed roofing contractor to get a professional opinion.
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