A roof maintenance checklist and tips from the roof repair experts at Houseace!
It isn’t uncommon to loathe the idea of climbing up a ladder to carry out some roof maintenance or clean out your gutters, but persistently avoiding it can cost you greatly in the long run. Your roof and gutters are there to effectively protect your home from the elements, and properly maintaining them can keep them stronger and more effective for much longer.
Proper roof maintenance requires not only staying on top of repairs, but going one step further by regularly inspecting it for early signs of damage and keeping it clean and free of debris. Prevention is better than cure, and smaller maintenance tasks carried out regularly can help to avoid the need for carrying out much larger scale ones down the track. Unexpected roof repairs can be very costly.
Should I do roof maintenance myself or hire a professional?
When it comes to routine maintenance checks, it really does depend upon your personal capabilities, as safety must come first. If you are physically able to climb a ladder and get onto the roof with ease and minimal risk, then it may be a reasonable option for you to carry out inspections yourself. This will also depend upon the style of roof when it comes to the likelihood of falling – it’s important to be realistic and prioritise your safety.
That said, an inexperienced person could inadvertently break a tile or otherwise miss some of the more subtle signs of early damage. Professionals have the experience and equipment necessary to carry out a thorough investigation safely.
Whether you opt to bring in the professionals or conduct roof and gutter inspections yourself, let’s take a look at what is involved. Here is a checklist covering all of the important factors to consider when inspecting and maintaining your roof and guttering.
How often should I do a roof maintenance inspection?
Ideally, you should aim to carry out a thorough inspection of your roof and gutters twice a year – once in the springtime, and again in autumn, in preparation for winter. Additionally, make sure that you check things over after a significant event such as a storm or fallen tree etc.
Before you even head outside, there are things that you can check for routinely inside the property. The interior of your home can give away some telling signs of issues with your roof.
Patches of water on the walls
Patches of water or other dark spots on the internal walls could be caused by a leak, especially if they run down from the ceiling. The worst case scenario would be severe enough damage to the roof letting water in to run down through the internal walls.
Leak patches on the ceiling
Before a roof-related leak reaches the walls, you may notice wet or dark patches appearing on the ceilings. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the leak is directly above the patches, however, as water can seep into the house and gather in certain spots depending upon the construction of the house.
When a leak goes untreated for too long, water left sitting on any wooden structure can start to cause it to rot, which can lead to significant damage regarding the structural integrity of the building.
Again, if water damage is left untreated for long enough, mould and mildew may begin to form which can be hazardous to the health of household members and harder to remove the longer it is left.
As discussed, you may need to call in a professional for this inspection, but there are still some things you could keep an eye out for with a sturdy ladder and a pair of binoculars if it is safe enough to do so. That said, a thorough investigation should be carried out at least once a year in addition to this.
Here’s what to look for when it comes to inspecting the roof itself.
Missing or broken roof tiles can happen over time or suddenly, particularly after a bad storm. Roof maintenance is therefore vital after bad weather or a storm. Roof tiles must be replaced straight away to avoid leaks. Some tiles may only be cracked, but this will only worsen with time if not replaced. Any tiles that are not damaged but are curling are deteriorating and also need replacing asap.
If your roof is made of metal, then of course you must carry out roof maintenance regularly for any signs of rust. Minor rust spots can usually be easily remedied but significant rust may require a roof replacement.
If any of your roof is made of wood and is showing signs of rot, it’s time to replace the part that is rotting. Rot does spread gradually, so if you catch it in time, you can fix it relatively easily before you have a whole roof replacement on your hands.
Chimneys are prone to damage as they protrude out into the elements further. If you see any damage, fix it quickly to avoid it becoming a much larger problem. Make sure that flashings are undamaged and sealants are still effective in their condition.
Make sure that you include any added installations to your overall maintenance checks. Extras like solar panels, satellites etc. can all put a strain on the roof and/or damage the tiles underneath, so be sure to include them in your checks. Check any air conditioning pipes for leaks, too.
Gutters may seem minor in comparison to the roof structure, but significant enough damage to them can be surprisingly problematic for the roof maintenance as a whole. Here’s what to check for.
No matter how well installed, gutters can loose screws or nails from time to time, and that results in holes through which water could leak into your roof, so check regularly that the fixings are all in order. If there are enough missing, it could even compromise how effectively they channel water away from the roof.
Other damage could result in holes forming along your gutters so check them over generally.
It’s common for gutters to be made from metal, and they can therefore be prone to eventually rusting. It’s important to engage a professional to fix any rust spots before they significantly weaken the structure.
The point of a gutter is to direct the flow of water away from the roof and house, and with this flow comes a variety of debris, mostly leaves and twigs etc. Over time, this debris can build up, especially after stormy weather that adds to the volume of debris quickly. Backed up gutters are not only ineffective, but they can subsequently cause damage to your roof if left unaddressed, so regularly give them a clear out.
Need professional help with roof maintenance or roof repairs in Sydney, Melbourne and beyond?
It can save you a lot of time and money when you know exactly what to look out for and include a checklist as part of your regular roof and gutter maintenance routine. Again prevention is better than cure, and this goes for safety, too, so if you are in any way unsure, call in a professional to help you.
If you need help with some roof repairs or roof maintenance in Sydney, Melbourne or beyond, then get a free online quote from us here at Houseace! Or for any other renovation-related enquiries, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 304 367. We specialise in home renovations, no matter how big or small the project and would love to help you!
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