Roofs are without a doubt one of the most important structural elements of any home, and that’s primarily because they have a lot of work to do! Throughout the year your roof is faced with fluctuating temperatures and different combinations of weather, from fierce sunlight and torrential rain to blustery winds and even snow. That’s why it needs some TLC once in a while!
Here are 5 roof maintenance tips that will help increase the longevity of your roof, and ultimately reduce the need for costly repairs in the future.
Tip #1 – Inspect and Evaluate Your Roof
Probably the biggest part of maintaining your roof is knowing your roof, which is why it’s important to inspect and evaluate it regularly. For many parts of Australia, spring is the transition from the dry season to the wet season, and a great time to perform roof maintenance because you will have a few months ahead to complete any repair work before the next spell of wet (and possibly bad) weather.
Your roof’s surface is the first area that needs to be examined as part of your overall maintenance plan. Issues you find here will depend on the material that has been used to construct your roof, whether it’s tiles (which may need to be replaced if they’re chipped or broken), concrete (which should still have an intact waterproof membrane) or metal (which is partial to corrosion).
Guttering is the second area that should have a thorough inspection, as although spring can be a drier period than summer, debris and dead leaves can still gather on the roof’s surface, and when a large downpour does occur, built up residue can cause significant issues.
Knowing the age and status of your roof can also assist you to make an educated decision if damage occurs. A brand new roof that’s leaking may simply have a gutter issue, whereas an old roof that’s leaking may be harbouring a much more serious issue.
Tip #2 – Clear Your Gutters and Downpipes
Uncleared gutters and downpipes are one of the most common causes of roof leaks, and therefore need to be inspected at least twice a year. Clogged gutters in particular can do a lot of harm because water accumulating in your gutters can weight on the roof, and too much water can seep into the roofing structure.
This part of the process of looking after your roof can be a DIY job, especially if you have a single storey home and own a sturdy ladder. (If you own a two-storey home, it’s always advisable to hire a professional as they will have safety equipment and know how to work cautiously at heights).
The only other supplies you really need are a bucket, rubber gloves and a brush. Work your way around the house removing debris from small sections, and then use a brush to clean the dirt from the bottom of your gutters.
If you have a lot of trees on your property, you may need to trim them regularly and clean your gutters more often as trees often shed leaves that can end up in your gutters. If they become trapped, particularly in wet conditions, they can start to rot which can significantly cut short the life of your roof.
Tip #3 – Clean Your Roof Safely
Another important part of the roof repair process is cleaning your roof, and it’s often best to call in a professional who can safely do the job for you. However, if you are attempting a DIY roof cleaning project, you need to be confident that you can do it with the utmost safety, including investing in equipment like a safety harness.
A sturdy ladder is crucial – it needs to be as stable as possible, and it’s also a good idea to have a helper who can assist you to stabilise the ladder when you are getting on and off it. You should wear non-slip boots and wear rubber gloves, and plan ahead including starting at one end of the roof and walking backwards, so you’re not walking on wet and therefore slippery spots.
Metal roofs can be cleaned with a mild soapy solution and a soft brush or sponge to gently remove dirt. Don’t apply too much pressure as it could harm the surface of the roof, and gently rinse clean when you’re done.
When cleaning cement or terracotta tiled roofs, you should wash tiles down with plain water and then apply an environmentally friendly anti-fungal solution to remove moss and/or algae. Wait a few days, and then use a pressure washer to rinse.
Tip #4 – Deal with Damage
A range of factors can damage a roof and an important part of the roof maintenance process is being vigilant about checking your roof for signs of damage. Animals and insects can be an issue – wasps and birds can build nests under eaves, and cause a huge mess if left unattended.
Fallen branches and wild storms (including with hail) can cause costly damage, including leaks and rusty or damaged gutters and downpipes, and the harsh Australian sun can cause untold deterioration to shingles and tiles.
Tip #5 – Call in the professionals before the problem gets out of hand
Following a range of roof maintenance tips is all well and good, however sometimes it’s best to call in the professionals before a minor issue becomes a major one. Roofing and guttering specialists like us know the finer details of roofing structures and what causes roof damage.
We have the right tools to replace missing or broken tiles or shingles, know how to effectively prevent water leakage, can performance maintenance on your roof’s paint job, and offer advice on reflective technologies that can reduce your home’s energy consumption.
And most importantly, we know how to carry out roof maintenance safely, and that’s a great thing for you and your family’s peace of mind!
Need a professional to assess your roof? Contact the experts at Strongguard today on (07) 3623 4422.