Most people know their car needs periodic preventative maintenance. Oil gets dirty and needs to be changed. Tires need to be kept to the proper air pressure. These small expenses help prevent larger problems later.
But what about your roof?
“Too often, roofs are ignored until they leak — and often, at that point, they have to be completely replaced.”
Such are the words of William Good, the Executive Vice President of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) in an article on roof maintenance.
In our experience in Arizona, most homeowners don’t think about their roof until something drastic has happened – whether that’s a storm that’s pulled off some shingles, or they notice a leak. But by then, the chance to prevent a big problem has passed you by.
It shouldn’t be that way. There are small things you can do now to prevent big problems later.
Here are 6 of them:
1) Clear your roof of any debris
Arizona monsoons tend to throw tree branches, palm fronds, leaves and other debris onto your roof. Remove these items from the roof. While doing this, you can also:
2) Look for broken and cracked shingles
No matter what type of roofing material you have, you can prevent larger problems, like leaks, by carefully examining your roof and finding any broken or cracked shingles or tiles.
Replace these as soon as possible.
If left alone, these shingles and tiles can be blown off your roof during a storm or on a windy day, leaving your roof vulnerable to the elements and creating a big problem in the future.
3) Replace missing tiles and shingles
If you have missing tiles or shingles, don’t ignore them. Tiles protect the waterproof part of your roof from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Missing tiles and shingles means the sun can eat away at the waterproofing underlayment, deteriorating it to the point where it’s no longer waterproof.
4) Pay special attention to valleys and ridges
Many roofing problems occur where the plane of the roof changes – that is, in the ridges and valleys. Make sure that the shingles in these areas properly overlap and that the underlayment is in good condition without any tears, holes or punctures. It is especially important to keep these areas free of debris.
5) Check seals around vents, pipes, chimneys, and other penetrations in the roof
All homes have some vents and pipes that go through the roof. You might also have a chimney or skylights. These are common areas where leaks happen.
Check to make sure there is metal flashing around each of these areas. The flashing helps prevent leaks as the roof expands and contracts with different weather.
6) Peek in your attic
Looking under your roof can help you find hidden problems. Look at these 2 things:
- Insulation— Look to see if it’s wet or moldy
- Wood underside of your roof— Check for signs of water
Locating a leak this way is difficult. But you’ll at least know about the leak so you can fix it before it causes major damage.
Get Help from a Phoenix Roofing Expert
Does this sound like a lot to do? Or are you worried you might miss something? Then it might be wise to bring in a roofing expert to look at your roof, especially if it’s been awhile since anyone has inspected it.
Lyons Roofing offers free roof inspections for homeowners in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas. Just give us a call or contact us online. We’re happy to help!