Owning a home is a big part of the American dream. It’s also a pretty big responsibility. To keep your home in good condition, you have to stay on top of countless regular maintenance tasks. Among these, few are more consequential than maintaining your home’s roof. It’s the part of your home that shields it from the elements. It also plays a key role in maintaining your home’s structural integrity. That means it’s essential to keep your roof in good condition at all times. But as a homeowner, how are you supposed to know when your roof needs maintenance? To answer that, here’s a handy homeowner’s guide to seeing to your roof’s maintenance needs.
Staying on Top of Regular Maintenance
Since your home’s roof is so important, the materials used on and in it aren’t flimsy. So, depending on the type of roof your home has, you can expect it to last between 20 and 50 years before you’ll need to replace it.
At the low end of that spectrum are roofs made using asphalt shingles, which are relatively inexpensive but resilient against the elements. That’s why they’re the most common roofing material you’ll find on homes here in Iowa. However, asphalt shingles can suffer damage over time and will eventually break down enough to force you to install a new roof. On average, an asphalt shingle roof will last about 20 years with proper care.
On the high end of the spectrum are roofs made with slate, copper, or tile. Homeowners prize roofs made with those materials because they offer unmatched durability and a refined and elegant look. However, a roof that uses those materials can cost up to seven times as much as a standard asphalt shingle roof. For the price, you can expect a roof that will last for a minimum of 50 years.
In either case, it’s a good idea to have bi-annual roof inspections done by an experienced roofing company like Young Construction. By doing so, you’ll avoid allowing any problems with your roof to linger long enough to do any serious damage. And you’ll help to maximize the useful lifespan of your roof, which will protect what is a considerable investment in your home.
During an inspection, the roofer will look inside your home for signs of water infiltration. If they find evidence of any mold, mildew, or other signs that water has penetrated your roof, they’ll then proceed to look for the source of the leak. If they don’t see any signs of leakage, they’ll proceed to check your roof’s surface for signs of damage. If they find any damaged shingles, flashing, or other deterioration, they’ll let you know and take steps to fix what they’ve found.
Protecting Your Roof In-between Maintenance Visits
It’s important to realize, though, that you’ll also want to remain vigilant between professional inspections to look for signs that your roof needs maintenance. The good news is that doing so isn’t hard—as long as you know what you’re looking for. The most obvious sign that your roof needs maintenance is if you spot any loose, damaged, or missing shingles.
When you look for shingle damage, keep in mind that your roof’s shingles should look flat and uniform. If you spot any shingles that appear warped or curled, you should have them replaced immediately. As your roof ages, it’s natural to find shingles in that condition from time to time. As long as you don’t leave them that way for long, they shouldn’t represent a threat to the health of your roof.
It’s also a good idea to periodically check for signs of discoloration on your roof. If you notice any dark patches, it could be a sign that your shingles are wet. If the patches persist for longer than a few hours after there’s been rain, you should schedule a roof maintenance appointment. Discoloration like that could mean that water has penetrated your roof. It could also indicate that mold has started growing on parts of your roof. That could point to a drainage issue that could come to threaten your roof’s integrity.
You should also try to inspect the parts of your roof where there are joints or protrusions, like wherever there are chimneys, vents, and pipes. If you notice any damage to the flashing that surrounds them, like cracking or bending, you’ll want to arrange for a roof maintenance appointment right away.
Finally, you should look for any signs of sagging anywhere on your roof. In particular, look for any dips in your roof’s flat surfaces, a bowed roofline, or any bumps or other abnormalities on your roof’s sloped surfaces. If you see anything that seems unusual, you should call for an inspection. In some cases, you may catch such symptoms in time for a roofer to carry out a repair. However, these are signs that your roof is seriously damaged, so if you ignore them for too long, you’ll likely need a new roof, instead.
Roof Maintenance After Strong Storms
You should also take the time to examine your roof in the wake of any strong storms. In addition to looking for the types of damage detailed above, you’ll also want to look for any debris the storm may have deposited on your roof. If, for example, you notice any large tree branches on your roof, you’ll want to schedule a maintenance appointment so one of our expert roofers can inspect the area for damage.
However, you should also look for any buildup of smaller debris on your roof. Even leaves and other detritus can affect the flow of water off of your roof and into your gutter system. When that happens, it makes the odds of your roof developing a leak increase dramatically. So, if you see evidence of such debris, you should call us to remove it at your earliest convenience. When one of our roofers arrives to complete the work, they’ll also check to make certain that your gutters aren’t obstructed, so they’ll continue to direct runoff away from your roof.
Leave It to the Roofing Experts
By now, you’ve probably noticed that we haven’t told you to try and make any minor repairs to your roof on your own. This is because roof repairs require a great deal of skill and experience to execute properly. Even the removal of debris from your roof could result in damage if not done the right way. Your best bet is to leave roof maintenance tasks to the experts here at Young Construction.
We’re a family-owned residential construction company that’s served the Iowa and southern Minnesota areas since 2001. We’re members of the National Roofing Contractors Association, and our team of roofers has the training and experience to handle roof installation, repairs, and maintenance on roofs of all kinds. Plus, we handle siding, gutters, windows, and insulation, too. And if that’s not enough, we’re also an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, making us a part of the 1% of roofers in America that can offer you a 50-year warranty on your roof.
So, when you need roof maintenance for your home in Iowa or southern Minnesota, contact the team at Young Construction right away!