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Why routine maintenance is important for your roof

Out of sight, out of mind is a dangerous attitude to have towards roof maintenance. But this pattern is common amongst homeowners. Furnishing, decorating, and cleaning your home are all important, but without a properly maintained roof, you could be throwing money away.  

Even if you’ve recently replaced your roof, routine roof maintenance is as important as changing the oil on your car—here’s why.

Missing or damaged shingles cause leaks

You may think that a few damaged or missing shingles on your roof are little more than an eyesore. But the longer a shingle leave roof felt or sheathing exposed the greater the chances become of a leak inside your home.

After a heavy storm or snowfall, check your roof. Take account of missing shingles and take action as soon as possible. Some homeowners are comfortable purchasing a shingle and replacing it themselves. If you are not, call a professional roofing service to replace them for you, especially if you are expecting more damaging weather.

Leaks cause interior damage and mold

So what? A few leaks into your attic isn’t going to hurt anything, right? Wrong. A leak that is left untreated will grow and eventually reach the interior ceiling. This will cause bubbling, ruin lighting fixtures, and damage nearby walls.

The more serious problem with a leaking roof is the growth of mold and mildew. Both can spread like wildfire through an HVAC system, affecting air quality and invading carpet, furniture, and clothes.

Mold can present serious health problems, especially to those that already have a sensitivity. It’s expensive to get rid of as well, generally less than it would have cost to repair the leak.

Heavy snowfall can cause weakness and collapse

All roofs are rated to support a certain amount of weight. Heavy snowfall can put your roof and our family in danger of collapse. It’s a good idea to get an older roof inspected before the onslaught of heavy snow to ensure your roof isn’t already compromised.

For most new to midlife roofs, the load bearing capacity is about 20 pounds per square foot. According to IBHS, 10-12 inches of fresh snow equals about 5 pounds per square foot. A roof that has more than 4 feet of fresh snow is at risk of collapse. Packed snow is heavier, weighing the same at 3-5 inches. More than 2 feet of pack snow should be removed. A 1-inch sheet of ice is equivalent to 1 foot of fresh snow.

In winter months, it’s safest to be diligent about clearing snow before it puts your roof at risk. You can buy a snow rake from most home improvement stores. If you’re not comfortable removing large amounts of snow, call a roofing professional.

Your warranty may not cover you

Don’t assume that the manufacturer’s warranty will cover damage of your roof. Most warranties explicitly state that the roof must be properly maintained in order to make a case. If you can’t prove it, you won’t win.

The Bottom Line

Your home’s roof is just as important as the engine of your car. It makes a home run like it should and protects you from disaster. Don’t let a lack of routine roof maintenance progress into a full-blown catastrophe. Keep an eye on your roof and it will cover your back.