Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It protects you, your family, and your possessions from outdoor threats. Not only is it important for comfort and safety, but roofs are also expensive parts of houses. It is important to know what you can do to keep your roof strong and functional.
If you own a home in Pittsburgh, following these 5 maintenance tips will help you take care of your roof.
Check Your Shingles
Shingles, as the surface layer of your roof, are an extremely important aspect of your roofing system. Even a few missing or damaged shingles can allow in wind and water, damaging the rest of the roof and requiring extensive repairs. Tree limbs are the most significant risk to roof shingles. Even if they do not seem to be near the roof, the branches can swing in the wind and continuous beating on the roof will damage the shingles.
It is recommended to check the shingles at the beginning of fall and spring and after any major storms. If you can spot damaged or missing shingles early, you may be able to repair them quickly enough so that the damage does not spread throughout the rest of your roof.
Check for Roof Leaks
Leaks of any size can cause damage not only to your roof, but to the interior of your home. Some small leaks can be difficult to notice until they are large enough to be serious so it is important to keep an eye on any weak spots in your roof. Leaks that seep in through the walls can also damage the entire structure of the home, which could lead to even more expensive repairs if the damage becomes severe enough.
Most leaking roofs are caused by poor workmanship or poor materials. If the roof is not sealed correctly, leaks can develop easily. Be sure to frequently check the roof inside your home by looking for any discoloration or stains, as these could indicate an impending leak.
Check Your Soffit
A soffit is the board beneath the eave of your roof that covers the gap between your home’s siding and the outer edge of the roof. The purpose of a soffit is to help ventilate and keep the roof cool. If the shingles on your roof get too hot, they will begin to cook and become deformed on your roof, reducing your roof’s lifespan by as much as 20%. Soffits can be damaged by water from clogged gutters. Check your soffit periodically, especially after heavy rains and Western Pennsylvania winter storms.
Examine the Fascia
A fascia is the board that acts as a trim for your roof and connects to the rafters and trusses. They are meant to help hold gutters in place and protect the roof and interior of the home from moisture. Clogged gutters, poor shingle overhang, and winter ice dams are common causes for holes or damage to the fascia. Look for cracks, splinters, or any discoloration when you are examining your fascia.
You can help protect your fascia by installing a drip edge, which is a piece of metal that is situated beneath the first layer of shingles and it meant to direct water away from the fascia board.
Get an Inspection
The more reliable strategy for ensuring that your roof is being taken care of and is in good condition is by hiring an expert to inspect your roof. They will be able to easily spot weak spots or potential issues so that you can get ahead of any damage before it becomes serious. They have also been trained to know how to check every area of your roof so their assessment will be thorough and will not miss any issues. If you are having doubts about your own ability to maintain your roof or have concerns that there is a serious problem going on, get an inspection from a roofing expert.
If you do not want to contact an expert and are planning on performing an inspection yourself there some necessities that you must have before you begin. Make sure you buy fall protection equipment including a safety harness, rope and lanyard, and a roof anchor. Whereas expert roofers have extensive experience climbing around on roofs, you most likely have less and should be sure to take all the necessary precautions to prevent a serious injury. You can purchase all this equipment in a fall protection kit, which will provide you with all the safety necessities you need to be able to move more freely on your roof.