Whether you opt for wood shingles and shakes, asphalt shingles, or metal covers, you must do your roof right. Although most people think about leaks, the roof is the house’s primary heat loss spot.
To minimize that heat loss (and, in return, minimize your utilities), it’s important to install the right roof and keep it well-maintained. Read on to learn about roof types, installation, care, and maintenance.
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Common Roof Types
There are probably dozens of roof types, but the most popular ones are clay tiles, wood shingles, asphalt, and metal covers.
Entirely fireproof as they’re made from clay, these tiles give the standard red-roof look. However, they’re the heaviest of all the tiles and very expensive too.
Wood shingles are the exact opposite of clay tiles – they’re quite susceptible to fire damage, and Additionally, they’re not entirely waterproof. Although wooden shingles have a degree of water tolerance, they’ll drink the water up if they stay soaking for too long.
This can lead to mold buildup, says Ventura roofing services, a roofing company from California. Since it’s well-known how dangerous mold can be, wooden shingles aren’t the best choice for a house in an area with heavy rainfall.
Asphalt shingles are also waterproof and weather-resistant and the cheapest and most budget-friendly option. However, unlike clay tiles, they’re not long-lasting and don’t make good insulators, so heat dissipation is greater than with other materials.
Metal covers are the most fire-resistant out of all roof materials and the longest-lasting materials. However, both the materials and the installation are very expensive, and you must keep that in mind when deciding.
Roofs should be inspected twice a year to spot any leaks early on. Preferably, this dangerous job should be done by a professional. After all, it involves walking on the roof, but an amateur can even conduct that if they’re careful.
When inspecting the roof, the most important thing is to check out the flashing and the field. The flashing is a material (usually very thin) that prevents water from breaking through the roof. Flashing is especially vulnerable on curbs, drains, penetrations, and around skylights.
The roof field can start degrading at any point, and this, however, is usually the result of a lack of maintenance.
While you definitely don’t need professional roof maintenance every six months, having your roof checked out by a professional once every two years would be great.
When you’re checking it on your own, first look for shingles out of place. Although unlikely, an object could have fallen on your roof, and it could break a shingle or knock it out of place – this is more possible in windier areas, especially in areas with tornados.
To find leaks, you’re going to have to look from the inside, not the outside. Leaks usually leave stains – this is easily noticeable if you have a bright wall on the inside. If you have an attic, a leak will cause a bad odor as a result of mildew.
Fixing the leak is usually easy for roofing professionals, but fixing the damage done by the leak could prove more difficult – this is why regular inspections are necessary. If you let water drip through the roof, eventually, it’s going to destroy that portion of the inside wall, and you’ll go through hell to fix it.
Roof Care and Maintenance
So, how do you prolong your roof’s life expectancy and minimize damages?
Firstly, you have to wash your roof often. There’s probably going to be a big buildup of trash on the roof every few months – leaves, branches, and even street trash can be carried up to the roof by air.
Washing it all down is a simple two-person job – get up a ladder and spray it with a hose.
Cleaning the gutter is another important job – a large portion of that trash will stay trapped in the gutter, preventing water from flowing freely. This can damage your gutter, so it’s best to clean it once a year.
You can minimize roof trash and gutter trash by cutting all tree branches above the roof – the biggest portion of leaves and twigs come from those branches.
Moss loves to grow on wooden shingles, especially in cold and wet areas, so you have to treat your roof for moss too. Although it’s harmless, moss will definitely take away from the roof’s beauty.