Home Decor Tips
5 Quick DIY Ways to Protect Your Roof
Keeping your roof in tip-top shape will help you avoid expensive bills down the line. When you see a home with extensive roof damage, it is usually a sign that the homeowner did not do any routine maintenance over an extended period.
A roof leak, which is a simple issue to fix, can extend into major repairs over one year if the leak is not fixed. Here we share with you a couple of ways you can maintain and upgrade your roof, so you avoid expensive repairs in the long run.
Do remember to keep safety first. Never attempt to do roof works when it is raining or snowing, or the roof is sleek with moisture. Wait for ideal conditions to attempt any of the steps below.
1. Look Out for Dry Rot
Dry rot is caused by invasive fungi. The fungi thrive where there are dampness and darkness. If left unchecked, dry rot can cause major structural damage to a roof. Checking for dry rot begins with checking for any leaks in the roof.
Leaks are often followed closely by dry rot. To check if the wood in an area has dry rot, simply apply a screwdriver to the area. If it penetrates the wood, then this is a sure sign of dry rot. While in many cases you will not be able to do anything yourself about it, it will give you a chance to notify the roofing company in good time.
With timely intervention, dry rot can be fixed affordably. Any delays, however, may result in major repairs.
2. Check for Leaks
Most roofing problems are caused by moisture penetration. This is usually in the form of a leak. To maintain your roof in good repair, always check for leaks first. If you have an attic, this is easy. Just head up to the attic with a torch and see if you can spot any water stains.
When a leak is starting, it will normally not be an active leak with dripping water. Instead, there will be telltale streaks. If you have a different kind of roof like a vaulted roof, for instance, you may need to go up to the roof.
Some of the hotspots to check for leaks are anywhere a structure penetrates the roof. This could be plumbing, chimneys, roof vents, etc. Start by checking uphill from these structures to isolate any leaks.
3. Clear the Gutters
Clearing your roof gutters is another effective way of upgrading and maintaining your roof. The buildup of foliage and other debris in your gutter, downspout strainers and downspouts can represent a risk for the integrity of your roof.
This debris, when left unchecked, can cause water retention which can then cause rotting of roofing structures. The weight of the debris can also strain the entire gutter system which in turn puts a strain on other roofing structures including shingles.
Clearing gutters and downspout strainers are easy. Simply put a ladder against the wall of your home, climb up and scoop out all the debris with your hand or a trowel or scoop. Finish off by washing the gutters towards the downspout.
4. Keep Ice Buildup at Bay
Ice buildup is a fact of life in areas where it snows. While they are unavoidable, they can be reduced. During snowy weather, make a point to clear all ice and snow from your roof immediately after a snow event.
You can use a roof rake for this. Also, clear out all ice and snow from your gutters. A byproduct of ice buildup is ice dams. These can cause major leaking on your roof if left unattended.
As the major cause of ice dams is a warm roof, make sure no heat is escaping to the roof from within your home’s heating system. For existing ice dams, chip away at the ice to provide channels for any meltwater to run down the roof and into the gutter.
5. Maintain Roof Structures
All roofing structures are a potential source of problems. These are chimneys, skylights, roof vents, plumbing, gutters, and downspouts, etc. Keeping an eye on the seams and joints can save you issues later.
Upgrade your roof by refinishing these structures regularly using roofing caulk and/ or replacing screws and other fasteners. As these structures can be affected by a combination of factors including dry rot, leaking, and debris, you will need to put in place a regular maintenance schedule that covers all these bases
Maintaining and upgrading your roof will help you avoid costly repairs down the road. These simple DIY steps can be undertaken without any roofing or building experience. However, do not attempt any major repairs without the assistance of a professional roofing company.