Care and Maintenance of Your Roof

Maintenance of Your Roof

Maintenance of Your Roof
Maintenance Roof
Most homeowners don’t think much about their roofs until there is a problem. It’s understandable because the roof is not that easily seen thus if there is a problem it can go undetected for quite awhile. However, you don’t want to wait for problems such as leaking to occur because they are always more expensive to repair. It is better to do some prevention and care to avoid future problems on your roof.

You should do a roof inspection at least once annually. An even better practice is to inspect your roof after severe weather. However, a general annual inspection is best done when the weather is dry and warm because if you find something you can have it fixed before the harsh weather season.

General Roof Care

Overhanging trees are another problem. The most important thing you can do when it comes to trees near your house is to keep the limbs trimmed back and away from the roof. When the branches reach the roof, they are abrasive–especially in areas with high winds. Their branches also make a bridge for rats, possums, and other vermin to walk from the trees and hide in the roof space.

Trees that overhang drop their leaves and eventually those leaves form leaf mulch if left for an extended period of time. Leaf mulch is a problem for metal roofing if it is left to accumulate. Accumulated mulch retains water thus causing rusting and staining on this type of roof.

Mulching leaves rusting metal roofing I told you about previously. Here’s one for the books. There was a job I was on at one time where a an entire section of roof had to be replaced just because that section gave way and left a big hole–a skylight if you will. The culprit was a black polyester backyard spa cover that was on the owner’s roof for several years. Underneath it, the sweat caused the roof area to rust away.

To keep your roof clean, use a garden hose and spray it down. While you are spraying, you want to take note of the downpipes. You should see the water coming out the bottom end of the pipe. If it doesn’t then you know there is an obstruction that must be removed.

Once your roof has been sprayed down and all debris cleared, any problem areas should reveal themselves. For example, if you know that you have a leaky gutter, by cleaning it, you can pinpoint the areas that need repair.

Resealing various roof areas is sometimes necessary. It is important to use the correct sealer in roofing application such as making joints in today’s roofing flashings. For zincalume-based metal roofing products, you want to use non-acidic cure silicone. Never use acidic cure silicone, glass silicone, or wet area silicone on roofs made of steel.

When re-sealing joints that are leaky, you must first remove the old silicone. Never try to do a quick job and put new silicone on top of the old. The tools to use for removal of old silicone are a wire brush and a scraper.

Ladder Safety

Of course to get up on a roof, you are going to be using a ladder. Although ladders are simple to use, they are potentially dangerous and you should be well-versed on their safe use. If you have a new ladder, more than likely there will be several labels on it that give safety instructions, disclaimers, and allowed load. However, if you get an older ladder, it may not have these labels.

There are also cat ladders available that you would need for a steep roof once you are on it. You will be able to tell because you will fight sliding while walking on the steep roof.

When on the Roof

When you get on the roof you will of course be walking on it. While this may seem simple, there are safety precautions you should take as well as taking steps to avoid further damage if that is the condition your roof is in.

Take metal roof tile for instance. These can be damaged if you walk on metal roof tiles that are not supported. Typically these are in the space between the battens where the latter do not support them. Some types of metal roofs such as those made from corrugated iron have overlapping joints therefore are at double thickness. With these types of roofs, you can stand between the battens or purlins if you need to but only if absolutely necessary. The double thickness gives at the joint gives some support.

Other safety measures to keep in mind are:

  1. always walk where there are roof supports underneath.
  2. never jump to one roof surface from another.
  3. never jump into a box gutter. Jumping from one rooftop to another can cause damage to the roofing material. Metal roofs were previously mentioned but the same applies to metal roofing with flatter pitches.

Gutters and the Like

Other roof areas are box gutters, downpipes, gutters, and roof valleys. The most profound problem with these areas is that they are not kept clean and therefore they cannot do the job they were intended to do.

It isn’t just leaves that cause problems in these drainage areas. There can be beer bottles, tennis balls, and broken tree branches that clog them as well. The biggest problem is when roof valleys get clogged with debris. Roof valleys are the main rain water drainage areas. If a gutter gets clogged, it might make stains whereas if a valley gets clogged it could cause a large back flow of rain water to enter your house.

Adding Extras on Your Roof

Satellite dishes and TV aerial antennas are examples of what is meant by “extras”. Problems have been known to arise after installation of one of these. This is because the installer knows how to put in your equipment but may not know how to protect your roof.

Before the installer leaves, you should always inspect the roof to make sure no damage was done. If there was damage and you spot it, the installer’s company is obligated to pay for the damages. However, it’s quite difficult to prove the installer was at fault if you don’t do an inspection and he goes on his way.

The supporting structure underneath the roofing is where aerials and satellites need to be affixed. They should never be mounted to the roofing only. Furthermore, this is only for small dishes. The big ones need other reinforcements to strengthen the mounting structure.

One other thing to consider is when drilling through metal roofing. The drilling leaves swarf which are fine metal particles and filings. This swarf should be swept away from the roof’s surface because they are susceptible to rust also. This would be like sprinkling rust powder on your metal roof and the end result is that your roof will also get contaminated with the oxidation.

Roofs made of terracotta tiles or cement should be drilled very carefully because they can crack. Sections that get cracked need to be replaced because you essentially have a hole in the roof.

Something should be in the gap between the metal mounting fixtures and the surface of the roof. This is because with metal roofs, incompatible metals touching will cause galvanic corrosion. On cement tile, without the spacers to separate the mounts from the surface, cracking can occur. A typical spacer used in is the rubber/EPDM gasket.

The high point of the profile, or crest, should be chosen when fixing bolts, clips, and screws through the roof. Oftentimes other tradesmen such as plumbers will take the low point of something like cement tile and put a hole through it. This is mostly for convenience but should not be done.

Rooftop Water Tanks

Mains pressure water tanks sit atop roofs and have pressure relief valves that need maintenance periodically. They are intended to release the pressure from hot water that builds up.

They work on their own and require no thought however there is the remote risk of the valve sticking which could lead to a split tank. So, while you are on the roof, take a look at the valve. Ensure that it is not sticking by manually tugging it a few times and releasing so that it will re-seat.

Also check that it is sealing like it should. If it is leaking, it’s better to just have the valve replaced altogether. Valves are inexpensive whereas water tanks are not.

Care of Rooftop Solar Panel Systems

If you have a solar panel system and collection tubes on your rooftop then you need to look after those as well. These components tend to collect dust and need a cleaning with plain water. With regular cleaning of these components, they will last a long time and you will get the most from your investment.

Hire a Professional or DIY?

While DIY can save you money when it comes to roof repair or maintenance, it is important to not tackle these tasks if you feel that you don’t have the experience or know-how to do so. Hire a professional roofer.

If you do decide to hire a professional roofer, it is good to get some general knowledge about what is involved in this trade. That general knowledge will help you choose plus check the work of the roofer you hire.

Next article Previous Articles
There are no comments yet :
Add a comment
Comment url
Related Post:
Home Tips,Homedesign,Tips and Information