Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against water damage, which can put a real dent in your finances. A damaged or worn-out roof can lead to extensive leak damage to your home’s attic, ceilings, and even the walls and floors.
It’s easy to see why, according to the Insurance Information Institute, the average water damage claim is a wallet-crushing $7,000. The North American Roofing Association recommends inspecting your roof at least twice a year to prevent these costly consequences.
Whether you inspect your roof yourself or call in an expert, here are 6 key things to look for to keep your roof in tip-top shape.
Your home’s gutters help your roof do its job. If the gutters are clogged, though, the backup can cause a leak in your roof or water in your basement. Clean and inspect your home’s gutters at least twice a year; more often if you have trees next to your home that may shed leaves into the gutters.
Trees too close to your home can not only fill your home’s rain gutters with leaves–trees can also cause direct damage to your roof. Check any trees near your home to make sure that none of the branches are touching the roof, where they can rub the roof and create holes or loose shingles.
Partial shade from overhanging branches can also create an ideal environment for green algae or moss, and moss can damage shingles and cause them to lift away from the roof.
Check your roof’s shingles for any signs of wear or damage. Make sure the shingles are free of moss and algae.
Make sure none of the shingles are loose, and that all of the shingles are lying flat. Check the roof for any pitting, warping, gapping seams or corrosion.
If you have asphalt shingles, check for “bald spots” where shingles have lost their protective granule coat.
Clean Up with Wet & Forget
If your roof is stained with ugly black algae or has patches of damaging moss, Wet & Forget will get rid of the growths without damaging your roof or gutters. Caustic chemicals such as bleach can corrode metal flashings and downspouts, doing more harm than good to your roof.
For large roof surfaces we recommend using the Wet & Forget Hose End product. Simply attach the product to your hose and fully saturate the area with the solution.
To treat your roof with the Wet & Forget Concentrate, make a solution of 1 part Wet & Forget and 5 parts water in a pump-up garden sprayer. Saturate the stained area with the solution, allowing 4 to 5 hours for the area to dry before the chance of rain.
Be careful: growths on your roof can be very slippery.
While any part of your roof can develop a leak, certain areas are more vulnerable to leaking than others. According to the North American Roofing Association, damaged or faulty flashings are the most common cause of roof problems.
Check your roof’s flashings for any signs of corrosion, splitting, tenting or gapping, as these may lead to a future leak’reo. Also pay close attention to smaller interruptions in your roof’s membrane, such as around vent pipes.
Remove any loose material such as tree branches or leaves from your roof, and check the area under the debris for shingle damage. Loose materials can trap moisture against your roof and cause damage to the shingles.
If your roof has asphalt shingles, check your gutters and the area under the downspouts for excessive amounts of shingle granules, which can mean your shingles are worn or damaged.
Remember: your safety is most important. If you don’t feel safe checking the roof yourself, call in an expert.