Make Sure You’re Completely “Covered” in Time for April Showers
It’s an age-old phrase – “April Showers Bring May Flowers”. While we all look forward to the rewards of Spring, we sometimes need to guard against the unfortunate after-effects of a harsh winter and prepare for the less than sunny side of the coming months. Heading into what is often considered the rainy season, you may want to start your home maintenance measures at the top – your roof. Follow Highlight Home Restoration’s easy steps for a quick roof inspection, and learn about the most common causes of roof damage.
1) Look UP!
You can do a cursory inspection on your own to look for potential issues before calling in a professional. It’s as simple as looking up, and knowing what to look for. Begin on the inside – head up to the attic and look for discolorations on the roof deck , ridge beam, sheathing and rafters. These discolorations may indicate a possible leak. Mark any areas you find with chalk, so you can find them later. If there are any visible holes in the roof, push a wire to the roof’s surface so you can find them easily when you (or a professional contractor) are on top of the roof. If you suspect you may have a leak, at the next rain – run up to the attic to check for moisture. Remember, whenever you are in the attic around insulation – it’s always wise to wear loose fitting clothing, gloves, eye protection and a face mask. You should also inspect the ceilings in all rooms, especially under the roofline. Don’t forget to check in closets and behind furniture for telltale signs of mold and spots. Spots on the ceiling are possible indications of a roof leak, and it may be time to enlist the help of a professional!
2) Look OUT!
Your next step should be to inspect the roof from the outside. Stand back from your house and assess the condition of the surface, flashing, valleys and eaves. If you have difficulty seeing, try a pair of binoculars. Make sure the ridgeline is horizontal and the rafters are straight. Sagging may indicate a structural problem, which may require a professional. Also look for dark streaks or spots – these could be from algae or mold growth on your roof, a common problem in humid areas. While algae growth is less than attractive, it rarely affects the longevity of your roof. If you DO decide to replace your roof because this issue affects the overall beauty of your home, consider replacing your shingles with an algae resistant product. Also, keep an eye out for buckling in the roof, curling of the shingles or missing shingles. While each of these may be the result of improper installation, if caught early enough they can help you prevent costly damage in the future. A professional roofer is your best answer. Replace shingles or elements of your roof rather than replacing the entire roof. Next, peek around for damaged flashing. Flashing is galvanized metal or aluminum sheets designed to serve as extra protection against roof leaks. It is most often placed where roof lines intersect, around chimneys and skylights, and at vent fans and roof valleys. Flashing is easily replaced and – if caught early enough – could save you from pricey repairs. For the brave of heart, you can inspect your roof up close and personal. Exercise extreme caution when mounting your roof. Climb a ladder that is sturdy and in good repair. Wear shoes with good traction, have someone on the ground to spot you and walk on the roof as little as possible. While up there, check for shingles that are broken, curled or missing. Look for nails showing. These are all indications that the roof needs repair. Inspect flashings around chimneys, plumbing vents and attic vents for rust or broken seals. Also, check gutters and downspouts for rust or damage. Use a screwdriver to scrape areas of wood with noticeable damage. Rotted areas require replacement or repairs. Lastly, observe the surface of your roof closely. A loss of the granular surface from your shingles can reduce their ability to protect the decking. from moisture. Please keep in mind that if your roof has a slippery surface or steep lines, it may be best to leave the “up close and personal” roof inspection to the professionals.
So Now What? If your roof appears to be in good condition and there are no leaks, make sure to re-check it each Spring. However, if you find a leak, something should be done about it as soon as possible. Call in a professional to follow-up your inspection and evaluate the necessary next steps. Most legitimate companies no longer do “leak repairs” or patches. If a roofer fixes a leak on a roof, he may be held liable if the roof leaks later on – even if the leak is in an area he did not work on! At Highlight Home Restoration, we are committed to being here when you need us. That means we make good choices and are committed to only doing work that will last. We don’t take risks and that means you can count on us. If your roof leaks and you can’t fix it yourself, you may need a whole new roof. If you don’t, we’ll tell you.
If you decide you need a new roof, consider quality over price point. It is very difficult to determine the price of a roof replacement without actually seeing the home first. Some companies will give you a low price over the phone and hope to talk you into paying much more once the project begins. Most companies provide free estimates, but make sure that you confirm that fact before they come out to look at your home. Most times, the main determinate of the cost of your roof is the size. This will be significantly greater than the interior footage of the house. This is due to the fact that the slope of the roof adds to the size, and the width of the eaves add even more. The second factor of cost is the type of material that you prefer to use. A tile roof is two to three times the cost of a standard composition roof. Make sure your roofer is not only licensed, but is also experienced, insured and has a large enough crew to handle the removal of the damaged materials and the swift replacement of your roof.
Why do roofs leak? Mother Nature can take a serious toll on the life of your roof. Georgia has seen its fair share of tornados, hail storms, downed trees and high winds. Whenever your home weathers any of these occurrences, follow the steps above to check for damage, and then call a professional before the next storm hits. Other problems can occur because of improper installation and the steady passage of time. The good news in all this is that most asphalt shingle roofs can last as long as 20+ years. Roofs made with organic materials – such as cedar shake – may not last quite as long due to splitting, discoloration or termite damage. Highlight Home Restoration is a division of Highlight Homes, LLC – Atlanta-area builder of custom homes. We are well versed in building homes from the ground up – therefore, we are well prepared to help you tackle every sort of home maintenance issue. Roofing is one of our many specialties. If you feel your home may require roof repair, we invite you to call us at 678-873-9234 to schedule an evaluation. To learn more about Highlight Homes and Highlight Home Restoration, please visit our website at http://www.highlighthomesga.com. All of our contractors are registered, licensed, and fully insured. Don’t get “soaked” by an inexperienced or less than honest contractor, call Highlight Home Restoration TODAY for integrity, affordability and quality craftsmanship. For other helpful home maintenance tips, read our blog “Spring Clean From the Outside In!”
“Do You Need a New Roof?” http://roofing.owenscorning.com/homeowner/thingsyoushouldknow/needaroof.aspx
“How to Inspect Your Roof” http://www.startremodeling.com/inspect_roof.htm