You have a symbiotic relationship with your roof; whether your realize it or not, it is a mutually beneficial relationship. It protects you from ice, rain, and snow while you keep it in good repair to extend its useful life. Working together can result in a relationship that lasts up to 20 years. Here's what you need to know to make that possible.
Clean Your Roof
Mold, algae, and mildew can all grow on your roof, particularly if you have a shady area. If you let the growth linger, it can do some serious damage to the shingles beneath. You need to clean your roof. Climb up there with a bucket and a scrub brush, but be careful. Roofs can be slippery when wet. Mold, algae, and mildew are all fairly easy to remove with a little detergent, a drop of bleach, and some elbow grease.
Take Care of Your Roof
Just like you would look after your loved ones, you need to keep an eye on your roof as well. When a tennis ball lands in your gutters, dig it out before it causes a clog. When a tree branch overhangs your roof and rubs the shingles roughly in the wind, trim it to prevent further damage. Shingles are covered in a gravel-like coating when they are manufactured. This helps them survive the brutal weather over the years, from the intense UV rays of the sun to crippling ice storms. Over time, however, the coating wears off, leaving your shingles, roof, and home vulnerable. When branches rub against your shingles, it can advance this timeline and wreak havoc on your shingles.
Warning Signs That Your Roof Is Failing
Asphalt shingle roofs do not last forever. Over time, they simply stop protecting your home from the elements. If you know what the warning signs are, you can have your roof repaired or replaced before it fails.
1. Broken Corners: If you look up at your roofline, the shingles should lie flat. As shingles age, the corners curl up more and more until they break off. While this is a normal sign of aging and there is nothing you can do to prevent it, you need to keep an eye on it so you know when to call in the roofing contractors. They can give you a more accurate idea of how much time you have left.
2. Missing Shingles: The wind can be strong during severe weather, but shingles are not meant to be simply blown off. In fact, they are legally required by the International Building Code to be able to withstand strong winds. Unless you have just survived a hurricane or have a tricky raccoon on your hands, you should not be missing shingles. Again, call the professionals in to take a closer look at your roof if you notice that shingles are missing.
3. Soft Spots: Your roof has several layers. The rafters, or support beams, are covered by plywood, then a roofing felt or protective membrane, depending on the slope of your roof, goes on top and, finally, shingles top it all. When your shingles start to fail, rain works its way through to the plywood, which starts to rot from water damage. As you walk on your roof, if you notice any soft spots, it is an indication that water damage has occurred in that area. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed immediately. If water has damaged the plywood underlayment, there is a good chance that it has entered your attic space as well.
If You See This, Call For a Roof Repair NOW
Lastly, you should check your attic for any signs of water damage a few times a year or after heavy storms. If you see any signs of water damage, damp building material, or even standing water in your attic, call in the roof repair team immediately. According to the EPA, mold can grow in as little as 48 hours. It is often cheaper to deal with a new roof than with a mold remediation team.
If you follow the tips above, you and your roof should have a long, healthy, and happy relationship.