What can lead to improper maintenance of the roof besides improper installation?

hole in shingles

The photo shows a result of improper self-repair of the roof coating by the owner. Through this opening, which is the size of a golf ball, water from rain and melting snow easily penetrated the interior during the wet season.

Self-repairing of the roof shingles

Attempts to repair the roof on your own can lead to disastrous results as you can see in the picture above. This not only looks ugly, but also shortens the service life of the roof, as more and more cracks are formed due to improper care.

Is preventive maintenance necessary to extend the entire lifespan of the roofing shingles?

Needles, leaves and moss on the roof

In order for the roof to serve the entire expected period, it needs timely maintenance. Let’s analyze some manufacturers’ recommendations in regard to two main types of roofs.

Timely care of shingles is necessary. Presence of needles, leaves and moss on the roof cuts the lifespan of the shingles in half. Moisture gets trapped under debris and causes shingles to disintegrate.

Therefore, in order for the shingles to last the entire expected period, it is necessary to perform a visual inspection twice a year (before and after winter) and properly clean it. Following roof components need to be inspected: pipe boots, metal flashings, structural integrity of sealants, shingles condition, roof vents, etc.

Tips for cleaning the roof:

  1. Use a brush with medium-hard bristles for cleaning from moss, needles. Medium hardness brush is necessary to prevent premature granular loss.
  2. Use leaf blower; but only from the top down. This means that all dirt can be blown off only from the top of the roof in the downward direction. If you do it the other way around from the bottom up, then there is a high probability that shingles can go off.

In the case of a metal roof, it is also recommended to clean it from needles, moss and leaves. However, for this type of the roof the procedure is not so critical, as for composition shingles. Metal roofing is less susceptible to wear. It’s more durable to elements and harsh conditions of the weather.

A metal roof also requires a visual inspection, but a much less frequent one. The most important elements to check are pipe boots, the same as with shingles. For the roof with exposed fasteners system extra components have to be checked such as screws. Screws are one of the most important elements that require inspection and timely replacement. Over a period of time rubber grommets get brittle and worned out and allow water penetration into the roof deck.

What are the main types of roof damage that can be identified in a particular season and how can timely and preventive care can help in advance?

Parts of shingles are susceptible to drying out during hot seasons, which leads to their cracking and breaking

In summer, during the heat, the oils contained in the structure of the shingle begin to dry out. Parts of the shingles that become brittle will start to crack and eventually break off. There is no protection against this effect. The only way is to ask the specialists once every 5 years to soak the roof with special oil. Homeowners will not be able to get this oil on their own, so in hot seasons, customers cannot do anything on their own.

Due to the cracks on the roof, it can be eventually taken down by strong winds and storms, and in this case it is almost impossible to do anything on your own.

In autumn, when the last leaves have fallen, it is necessary to clean the roof from leaves, needles and other trash.

It is very important to check metal flashings, especially metal vents and drains. Flashings have to be properly installed and secured. On shingle roofs due to the temperature differences flashings and metal items can experience warping. All metal elements that are nailed down over time will have nails that begin to twist out and rise up. Because of this, metal corners and vents are lifted up and moisture can get under them.

Nails on the roof that are lifted up

Check the integrity of sealants in the places of bonding with metal surfaces. Lack of the necessary amount or its complete absence will lead to leaks. Over time weathering will cause sealants to crumble due to extreme temperature conditions on the roof.

Damaged sealant on the roof

After winter it is advised to verify that there are no cracks on the shingles and all elements of the roof are in its right place. If you discover any problems, you should contact the specialists.

Particular weather conditions in Spokane. How can frequent rains, high humidity and strong winds affect the roof?

Strong gale-force winds can severely damage the roof

In Northwest region, strong gale-force winds from 50 to 100 mph blow quite often. There were 5 storms in 2021.

During storms, the wind can destroy both shingle and metal roofs, especially if the roof was installed improperly, or the roof is at the end of its life lifespan.

In the photo above, the homeowner had installed additional layer of the shingles. This is not recommended for multiple reasons. One of the reasons is additional layer of shingles increases dead load on the roof trusses and overall house structure. Also, additional layers of shingle material decreases lifespan of newly installed roof. It caused by trapping moisture between existing layers which results in premature roofing failure.

Some recommendations for roof maintenance.

There are very simple recommendations that do not require special knowledge from the homeowner. The main things are attention and vigilance.

Basic recommendations for all types of roofs:

  1. Visual inspection. Even if it is not possible to climb onto the roof, you should at least do the inspection from the ground. Check the roof for cracks, the presence of chips, debris, moss. Also, make sure that all visible elements fit tightly to the surfaces and secure.
  2. Timely cleaning of the roof from debris. As already mentioned above, a brush with medium-hard bristles or a wind blower in the direction from top to bottom are the best suited for cleaning.

In cases when the customer does not have the opportunity to carry out inspection, we recommend contacting trusted roofing contractor, as timely detection of the problem will help to quickly find a suitable and least expensive solution.

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