Roof Prevention & Maintenance

by on September 25, 2011

Roof Prevention & Maintenance

Looking after the roof of our house is the first and possibly most important step to caring for the long-term life of any house. The most important reason for regular roof maintenance is to protect the owner’s investment. Because if roofs left unchecked then the cracks in roofs can lead to damage in the roof and throughout the building, with the most serious and costly scenario being a total replacement of the roof and ceiling.

A properly executed maintenance program will add years to the life of the roof by detecting minor problems before they become major, as well as providing better protection for, and avoiding interruption of, the internal functions of the building. A roof is exposed to all manner of chemical and physical stress. The long term effects of these forces are called “Normal Aging”. In reality, small isolated problems caused through abuse, stress concentration, inadequate ventilation, error, or other factors result in a shortened lifespan of the roofing system. Minor roof maintenance work is a task which:

? can be completed in a matter of minutes, not hours;
? is infrequent;
? only needs one or two people;
? does not involve difficult work (eg heavy or awkward loads); and
? only involves a small area.

Small problems or defects, if not detected and repaired, inevitably become major problems affecting the performance of the whole roof system. Roofs represent approximately 5 to 7% of capital building costs – but roofs cover 100% of the building and its contents.

So what gives when the roof—the spine—is leaking? And when it rains, can this faulty “backbone” still be considered a reliable shield of the home’s “vital organs”?
Roof leaks are obviously a big problem in any house but knowing the correlation between melting snow and roof leaks can help you to prevent one of the major problems that many houses face. When snow melts and runs down the roof it often refreezes as it reaches the edge of the roof and the gutter. You’ve probably stood back in awe looking at these ice dams that form, but these can cause havoc with the integrity of your roof. However, they are relatively easy to prevent and doing so will undoubtedly save you money and heartache in the future.


High winds can cause leakage around flashings and valleys. Few roofs are designed for such acts of nature. You should also be wary of solar panels, air conditioners and antenna tie-down bolts. Bolts through roofs are bad news! Chimney shrouds/hoods can also be a source of leakage.
Unfortunately, poor construction is becoming more of a problem. Leaks on seven-year-old shake and tile roofs can originate during construction but not become a problem until the roof gets older and looser. As a roof ages, water can go places it could never reach before.
Making sure that a leaking roof is prevented or fixed should be a top priority for all contractors and homeowners. A leaking roof can evolve into a disaster which can quickly ruin your home if not handled properly, so you must take every step to combat or prevent the problem. Gardner-Gibson offers roof coating and repair products that can effectively protect almost any type of roof under any circumstance.
Roof leaks can arise not only in old houses, but also in new ones. Very often leaks appear in those areas where roof materials and roofing products connect to walls or some other parts of building that are not part of the roof. Metal flashings can prevent this problem. Different metal flashings are available on the market today. They are made from copper, tin, galvanized steel, lead, rubber and aluminium.
Do’s and Don’ts of Roof Maintenance

? Be aware that wise maintenance will prolong the life of any roof — even the best of them.
? Perform inspections at least twice a year, preferably at the end of winter and right after summer, when roofs have passed through the periods of severest stress.
? Conduct additional inspections immediately after unusual occurrences such as extremely heavy rains, high winds, hail, nearby fires, explosions, etc.
? Check the building exterior for settlement or movement. Cracks in the wall are a warning of possible cracks in the roofing and flashing. Are overhangs, cornices, facias and edging in good condition? Are gutters and downspouts satisfactory? Breaks in roof edge elements can cause leaks and also let wind get under the roofing membrane and cause blow-offs. Damaged or clogged gutters, roof drains, and downspouts can cause water back up on the roof.
? Be certain that equipment servicemen going on the roof are warned against penetrating or dropping tools on the roof. They should be accompanied by your trained maintenance man to ensure no damage to the roof assembly occurs.
? Assure that

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