Your roof is the most integral part of your home, which shelters you from the elements. Not only does it impact the overall aesthetic appeal of your house, but it also maintains the internal temperature and protects you from harsh weather by taking the brunt of environmental impact.
However, these damages can lead to costly repairs if you don’t properly maintain your roof. A simple repair costing $150 to $400 can exponentially increase to $7,000 for more extensive services. You’ll need these repairs more often if you live in areas with harsh weather and strong winds. For example, in Pittsburgh, a high alert for powerful gusts over 60 mph can damage your roof. These high-speed winds can rip off your roof’s shingles and weaken its structure. To minimize such damage, consider the following tips.
1. Hire Professionals
You may be considering DIY roof maintenance to save money. However, roofing is the 6th most dangerous job in the U.S. Approximately 50 American roofers die each year while working. It’s a job better left in the hands of professionals. Why risk your life doing something experts can do more efficiently? You can trip, fall, or even slip.
These hazards are even more common in snowy places where ice can accumulate and cause millions of injuries, including 17,000 annual deaths. Suppose you live in Pittsburgh, where the average snowfall is 44.1 inches, which can gather on your roof. If you live in such areas, it would be best to contact a roofing company to clean your roof.
Local roofers will also provide professional advice about which roof suits the environment of your area and help determine what type of repairs you need. However, remember to contact a trustworthy Pittsburgh roofing company by checking their reviews and accreditations to ensure you hire professionals. Take companies like Resnick Roofing, for example. Not only are they BBB-accredited, but they also have a 4.9-star rating on Google reviews. They have skilled workers who guarantee quality services and top-rated warranties that assure you that your roof will be in top shape years later.
2. Clean the Gutters
The accumulation of dead leaves, junk, or excess debris can clog your roof’s gutters and weigh them down. This issue can cause potential leaks that can stain the walls of your home and can even cause the gutter to fall. A clogged drain leads to a leaky roof, which can cause water damage and invite pests or mold into your home.
Simply clearing your gutter once a year can prevent expensive water damage repairs and pest exterminations. For example, getting on a ladder and removing junk from your roof’s gutter costs nothing. On the other hand, if this clogging problem persists, it can cost you approximately $2,000 to $5,000 for water damage repairs and $300 to $600 for pest control.
Another expensive problem you can prevent from cleaning your roof’s gutter is basement flooding, as the lack of working drains causes water to accumulate into the soil next to your home and seep into your basement. This damage is extremely costly and can take around $3,000 to $10,000 to fix. However, you can avoid all these problems, costs, and hassles by periodically clearing your roof’s gutter.
3. Inspect Shingles Each Season
Shingles cover the roofs of most residential buildings and protect them from water damage. However, they can get damaged each season due to extremely hot or cold temperatures and seasonal storms. Excessive shingle damage can also lead to needing a roof replacement. In places like Pittsburgh, with warm summers, cold winters, and long hours of rainfall, you should inspect your shingles every season to ensure they’re not severely damaged. Look out for the following signs:
- Curling shingles
When your roof’s shingles get worn out, they curl along its edges. They lift and create gaps that let moisture seep into your home and disrupt its ventilation system, increasing utility bills. If you observe such signs on your roof, it would be best to replace it to prevent further damage.
- Cracked shingles
Cracked shingles are a common occurrence for changing seasons. They expand during the summer and contract during the winter, leading to extreme wear and tear over time. If your shingles crack, you may not need to completely replace them. Instead, you can apply a sealant to prevent water from seeping into the cracks. Repairing these torn shingles as soon as possible would be best to avoid extensive water damage.
- Missing shingles
Heavy rainfall or high-speed winds can dislodge the shingles from your roof and create empty spaces for water to seep in. Considering that Pittsburgh weather is currently on high alert for scattered showers or storms, you may want to take a look at your roof after these forecasts.
4. Prevent Moss or Algae Growth
Algae and moss can accumulate on your roof’s surface in areas with a lot of moisture or humidity. These organisms can rot your roof as they hold water against its surface and damage the shingles. They’re easily identifiable as they stick out against your roof’s surface, appearing green, brown, or blue. They create an unsightly appearance and also ruin your home’s curb appeal.
You should check for their growth during rainy seasons, as they appear the most during that time. To maintain your roof’s structural integrity, you must prevent moss or algae from accumulating on your roof because they feed off the asphalt’s limestone. However, removing them is a simple procedure. Just wash your roof with a half mixture of water and bleach.
5. Trim the Branches Nearby
If your home is surrounded by trees, consider trimming their branches to prevent them from falling on your roof and causing damage. They should be around six to ten feet away from your home so they can sway easily in the wind without potentially ripping your shingles and touching your rooftop.
Creating space between your roof and the trees can prevent them from dropping debris, leaves, or branches that can clog the gutter. It also keeps wildlife away from your home, as trees attract many insects or vermin that can potentially cause infestations.
Your roof takes all of the damage from the outside to keep your home safe from the inside. It shelters you from storms and extreme temperatures, maintaining a stable environment for you and your loved ones. Since your roof does so much for your home, taking care of it is the least you can do. Using the maintenance tips in this article, you can increase the lifespan of your roof and ensure it can withstand another typhoon.