The Homeowners Survival Guide to Roof Repair
Our roof is probably the most important part of any home, and yet many homeowners put off repairing it or even reviewing it for problems. If you are like many home owners I have met in the Houston area, you take that roof for granted. While wet climates like Seattle may have problems with moss on the roof that requires constant attention, we act as if our roofs are going to last forever. Even with metal roofing Houston homeowners need to make some basic repairs on a regular basis if they want them to last. Here are a few tips to keep that roof in tip top shape all year round.
Because it doesn’t rain as much here, we tend to have long spells where we are unaware of a leak until the next big storm. Don’t wait until then to find that leak, check your roof on a regular basis. The easiest way to do this is with an ordinary garden hose. Run the hose on the problem spots of any roof, such as the little valleys that are created by time and heat and along the flashing by the chimney.
If you have done a good job of collecting all the dead leaves and other debris that collects in the gutters, you will have managed to side step one of the biggest reasons for roof trouble. By running that hose along the roof, you can flush out any random leaves that may have been hanging in the gutters as well as see if any damp spots show up from small leaks that go undetected in the summer months.
In the winter the biggest damage may come from ice buildup on the roof. This is particularly true of north facing sides that get little sun and heat in the winter. The weight of the ice after a big storm can cause damage so whenever it is possible have that ice removed. Some cities actually offer services of people who will go up on your roof and shovel off snow and ice so it doesn’t accumulate on the roof.
Look for Dry Rot
One of the biggest contributors to roof damage is dry rot. If you are not sure how to spot it, the smartest thing would be to hire a home inspector to do an inspection of the roof and attic areas. When dry rot begins to collect in the upper parts of the house it can lead to some serious damage. It may be a bit of an unexpected cost to hire an inspector, but it will pay for itself in the money it will save you by preventing a roof collapse or worse.
Take Your Time
If you do decide to do your own roof repairs, the best advice anyone can give is to take your time with it. It never pays to hurry any kind of home repair project and a roof job can be particularly dangerous. Take safety precautions, have others nearby to spot you and never rush the job. In the end, you will be glad you did.