In roofs, as in cars, we only think about them when there’s a problem and, by that stage, we often need to replace or repair much more than we’d like. But we all understand that proper use and conscientious maintenance can add to the lifespan of these things if we can keep it up. A roof will last much longer, as will a car if we take good care of it and that means one important thing: a roof inspection.
Join us, today, as we bring you seven great reasons for you to invest in a professional inspection for your roof.
The lifespan benchmark for any given multi-ply bitumen low slope roof is 20 to 30 years. This number ratchets down to between 15 and 25 years for single-ply roofs. This is part of the natural aging process that all roofs undergo.
The effects that come with these factors are common and should be factored in as such. Roofs develop openings from the weather and existing, and the bigger these get, the more chance there is that water may penetrate them.
This is a prime example of where regular checkups by a professional can help. Make it clear you want to pay attention to any weathered areas. Then schedule maintenance for any significant defects as soon as possible, to prevent further damage.
Gale force winds, hail, hurricanes, and even a strong enough storm can cause more damage to your roof than you’re expecting. When this happens, the best thing to do is prevent further damage from water penetration by getting the roof inspected.
Damage caused by wind or hail can be minor and may require nothing more than a little maintenance. A serious problem, however, may require roof replacement if it’s severe enough. Tree branches or limbs falling on your roof may cause serious damage. Lifting in a roof, which may end in it being blown right off, typically starts around the perimeter.
Regular inspections are a good way to keep your roof in good condition going into a storm. Tests may help to locate leaks or drainage problems and, of course, vegetation damage.
Vegetation may grow on your roof if your gutters and low areas are not cleaned consistently. Birds often make their nests on roofs, in dark, hard-to-spot areas. They deposit seeds that sprout into plants, as well. Gutters, in particular, are at risk, collecting debris, moisture, and soil, to make for a fertile plant growth environment.
Leaks after heavy rains are a major contributing factor in most inspections. But leaks are only a symptom of a bigger problem, a lot of the time, and it’s one that may have been building over some time. Sometimes, leaks are actually good news. They can clue us into undetected moisture penetration, which could otherwise grow, invisible to the naked eye. Rotten wood, corrosion, and mold can follow, and these are much harder to repair without replacing the components, entirely.
Since the point of ingress for moisture is usually far from obvious, an experienced specialist is crucial in inspecting a leak. Leakage can be a sign of serious roofing issues or minor, more localized problems. Even a roof in good condition may sometimes leak due to minor flashing problems.
Generally speaking, a low slope roof should rarely leak in an open area of the roof itself. Leaks tend, for the most part, to occur where your roof is discontinuous, such as where it rises, joins, or where the joints expand. It may also occur around flashings. A severely damaged roof, meanwhile, could be hard to gauge with the naked eye, not showing any visible evidence of leaks. Over concrete decks, for instance, where water can move away before reaching the concrete’s entry point. This can cause damage due to water saturation within the roof’s insulation, and it can be so severe that the roof needs to be replaced entirely.
There aren’t many properties as important to your roof’s performance as its slope and drainage. When water is left to stand on a surface like a roof, leaks and moisture penetration are several times more likely to occur.
Roof checks should strive to encourage good drainage, as a rule. Debris, leaves, garbage, and foreign objects may cause this kind of buildup, blocking roof drains and creating unwanted dams. Regularly cleaning your roof is a simple step toward eliminating these obstacles, allowing water to drain off. This reduces the possibility of this type of leakage.
Keep in mind, as well: water is heavy, weighing in at around 5 pounds per square foot per inch. Left to sit and weigh down the roof, this same water reduces the performance of your roof materials, shortening the life of the entire assembly. When leaks occur in standing water, your insulation may saturate over a large area. This will most often end in the roof being completely replaced.
Thieves often break into buildings through unlocked roof hatches, skylights or even plain old damaged areas. Regular checks can reveal security issues, helping to reduce the potential for vandalism or robbery.
Homeowners will often pay for repairs that are actually covered under a roof warranty. Leaks, as we’ve discussed, can occur due to any one of a dozen different factors and, of course, only some of these are likely to be covered by a warranty. If a leak is detected, however, a qualified inspection can help the owner make an informed decision as to whether to file a warranty claim.
Roof Inspection: It’s Worth Your Time
It’s easy to forget the roof of your house. After all, you live under it, it’s always there, and you’ve probably got other things to focus on. But the truth is, consistent roof inspection services can help you get the most out of your roof without spending thousands on replacing it.
Being a better homeowner means being as up-to-date with your home as possible. For more great insights into roof repair, maintenance, and replacement, be sure to check out the rest of our awesome blog content.