Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of keeping out everything from pests to rain and even hail. Yet, your roof is also somewhat vulnerable. At the end of the day, it’s usually just a combination of wood and asphalt shingles with a working life of around 20 years. That leaves you with the open question of what you can do to prevent expensive roof repairs. Keep reading for some key tips to minimize the cost and severity of your roof repairs.
Inspect Your Roof
One of the reasons that minor roof repairs swell into very expensive roof repairs is that people often don’t notice the problems. It’s understandable — if avoidable — mistake. After all, there are remarkably few household tasks that put your roof front and center in your field of view. Most people only see their roof from ground level and at an angle. Not the optimal conditions to notice a problem.
That means you must make a point of inspecting your roof and attic space periodically. At a minimum, you should give your roof a close look at least once a year and preferably twice a year. Spring and autumn are good options because that is when many homeowners undertake other annual or semi-annual home maintenance projects. If you’re not comfortable on a roof, you can usually find a local roofer who will do roof inspections for a modest fee. These inspections are a golden opportunity to catch a small problem before it turns into an expensive problem.
Know What You’re Looking For
Of course, inspections only help if you know what kinds of problems you should be looking for on and around your roof. Right at the top of the list is missing shingles or broken shingles. Missing or broken shingles compromise the integrity of your roof and provide potential paths of entry for water. The good news is that replacing a few broken or missing shingles is a comparatively cheap repair.
You must also keep an eye out for signs of leaking in your attic space. You’ll often see discoloration on the roof’s wood sheathing if there has been a leak. If you find mold and mildew in the attic space, that’s also a sign that there is probably some kind of leak. If you’re not sure, you can bring in a roofer for a second opinion.
Lots of granules accumulated in your gutters. Shingles wear out over time. One of the signs that your shingles are aging out of their useful working life is a lot of granules in your gutters.
Mind Your Gutters
More than one homeowner puts off cleaning their gutters because it’s unpleasant work. Yet, overfull or blocked gutters and downspouts can eventually create roof and foundation problems of their own. As the water overflows the gutter, it can damage the roof’s sheathing wood and fascia. That compromised wood weakens the roof and makes it more prone to damage.
Fortunately, you can take some relatively simple steps to minimize gutter problems. Regular cleanings are one major step you can take. If you’re worried that cleaning the gutter will slip your mind, you also use something like a 5 inch gutter guard. Gutter guards help keep debris like leaves and sticks from clogging your gutters, which prevents the kind of overflow that will eventually damage your roof.
Get Repairs Done Quickly
When you or your roof inspector find issues, don’t put off the repairs. Issues like broken shingles, missing shingles, leaks, and blocked gutters won’t fix themselves. The problems will only get worse over time. As the problems get worse, the repairs get more and more expensive.
Dealing with the problems you find as you find them helps keep the overall repair costs down. After all, fixing a small leak or replacing a few missing shingles will cost you profoundly less money than getting a whole new roof or even a partial replacement.
Major roof problems are a pricey affair. New roofs routinely cost homeowners thousands of dollars. Taking some basic steps like inspecting your roof, knowing what to look for, and maintaining your gutters helps you spot problems while they are still minor. That means you pay for minor repairs, instead of big, expensive ones.