Of all the roofing projects completed in North America, replacements make up 94% of the total volume. Roof replacements are costly, especially if there’s any damage to the structure beneath. One of the best ways to avoid expensive repairs is regular maintenance.
To save money, many homeowners will opt to maintain and repair their roofs without professional help. If you do decide to go it alone, it’s important to make sure the job gets done right. Keep reading to learn common roof maintenance errors and how to avoid them.
1. Neglecting Regular Cleaning and Inspection
Like other areas of your home, roofs need regular cleaning to stay in good condition. Leaves and other debris may accumulate on your roof, especially if there are trees with overhanging branches nearby. Debris can lodge between shingles, so make sure to remove it before it causes any damage.
Removing moss should also be part of your roof maintenance routine. In wet climates, moss can grow into a thick mat that traps rainwater, causing leaks, mold growth, and decay. You can remove moss with a broom or with chemicals for thick growth.
Don’t forget about your gutters when cleaning your roof. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up onto your roof. This can lead to water damage and other significant problems.
2. Skipping Regular Inspections
In addition to regular cleaning, you should also inspect your roof for potential problems. Walk around your roof and look for issues such as cracks, damaged shingles, or mold.
While you may be able to spot some issues with your roof, it’s best to have it inspected by a licensed professional. They will check the condition of your roof and alert you to any issues that you need to address. Having at least one roof inspection every year will help with preventing roof damage.
3. Overlooking Signs of Damage
Cracked or missing shingles are obvious signs of roof damage, but there are other subtle things you need to look out for. Rusted gutters, mold on exterior walls, and granules falling off the roof are signs that there are problems.
If you find signs of damage to your roof, you need to address them right away to prevent damage to the rest of your home.
4. Ignoring Small Leaks
Small leaks might not seem like a big deal, but ignoring them can cause problems. Leaks can lead to mold, mildew growth, and structural damage.
Moisture or discoloration on your ceiling are signs of a leaking roof. If you notice this in your home, bring in a professional with experience in repairing residential roofs. They will help you find the source of the leak and fix it to prevent further issues.
5. Pressure or Power Washing
You may have heard that pressure washing or power washing are the best ways to clean your roof, but they can actually cause damage. They both involve spraying water at high pressure, but power washing uses pressurized steam.
While shingles can withstand heavy rainfall, they can’t hold up to a concentrated stream of water. Both types of washing can damage your shingles and the adhesive holding them together. Also, any dirt you remove is likely to fall back on another section of your roof.
There are plenty of ways to clean your roof without damaging it. If it’s covered with leaves and other dry debris, a leaf blower or a broom to remove it. If there’s dirt or other stains, a simple garden hose will do the trick.
6. Too Many DIY Fixes
One common DIY roof job is fixing worn or damaged shingles. Some homeowners attempt to cover old shingles rather than replace them. This is often a temporary solution, as the old shingles will continue to deteriorate.
Replacing old shingles might seem easy, but if you don’t have the proper skills, there’s a good chance you won’t install them correctly. If you nail shingles down in the wrong spot, you can cause structural damage to your roof. A simple patch job could result in an entire roof replacement, costing you thousands of dollars.
When repairing shingles on your own, you also run the risk of using the wrong materials. Just because a shingle matches the color of your roof doesn’t mean it functions the same way. If you install the wrong shingles, you may find that the problem you were trying to fix doesn’t go away.
You might be tempted to repair your roof on your own to save money, but doing the job incorrectly can cost you more in the long term. It’s best to hire a professional to do it right the first time and avoid costly mistakes.
7. Misdiagnosing Roof Problems
When you don’t have the proper training or skills, it’s easy to misdiagnose roof problems. You might think you’ve fixed a problem only to find out nothing has changed. By making the wrong fix, the actual issue can get worse and cause further damage.
One common roof problem that is often misdiagnosed is curling shingles. Most people will replace curling shingles, but the shingles aren’t the problem. You need to find out the underlying cause to fix the problem, which you might not be able to do without the help of a professional.
Avoid Roof Maintenance Errors
Maintenance is crucial for keeping your roof in good condition. Working with professionals will help you avoid common roof maintenance errors. This will save you money over the lifespan of your roof.
If you need residential roofing services, we’re here to help. Mid-State Construction & Roofing is the #1 roofing contractor in the Effingham, IL area. Contact us today for your free assessment.