Top 10 Must-Know Roofing Tips
Is your roof having an issue that you want to fix on your own? Perhaps you want to hire a roofing professional but do not know precisely what you are searching for. We have compiled the top tips relating to your roof in this blog post, so you get all the essential information in one place.
1. Your Safety is the Most Important
Is your roof leaking? You’re probably in a hurry to find that leak on your own, but that’s never the correct approach. The last thing that you should do is to meddle on a roof, especially when it is raining. If it is covered in snow or ice, don’t try to look for the problem since it can cause more issues. Worse, you could end up in a hospital if you slip.
You want to do it right when there is a leak. But there is no quick fix for this issue, so we urge you to leave the job to the professionals. Or, if you want to repair on your own, wait for the green light from Mother Nature. It may take a while, but your safety is more important than fixing a dripping roof.
2. Take the Necessary Precautions
Being on the roof is not the safest place to be in your house. You will most likely be in an uncomfortable and unsafe position. You can quickly get into an accident if you’re not careful. Remember that even professional roofers can slip. Safe Work Australia has recorded 6900 hospitalisations of experienced construction workers due to falls from height from 2006-09. And 22% of them fell from a roof.
That is why you must wear protective gear, such as rubber sole shoes, which will help prevent slipping. As much as possible, you should not work on your roof if you are not wearing a harness. It’s also useful to have a buddy with you when you are trying to fix a leak or even cleaning your roof.
3. Clean Your Roof Properly
Your roof may not be among those parts of the house that you would normally think to clean. However, it also needs some TLC every once in a while. The good news is that the cleaning process is not too complicated. You can simply take your garden hose with you before you climb up the roof. Then, you can begin spraying in different locations.
The cleaning tactic above is quite effective when you are searching for a leak. Make sure that you spray water in the area where you suspect the leak is coming from. That way, you will know for certain which exact section requires a repair.
We do not recommend that you start cleaning your roof during wintertime, though. It is not safe for you and the roof itself. Running water on your roof while it is freezing can damage your roofing system.
4. Don’t Forget about the Gutters
It is pretty common for homeowners to forget about the gutters when they clean their roofs. If you have a clogged gutter, it may be the reason why you are experiencing a leak. If you have not cleaned your gutter in a long while, it may be the best time to do so. After all, the gutters collect rainwater, causing it to build up. If that water stays in that area, it will eventually lead to leaks and probably even worse issues.
You can read our guide on how to clean gutters here.
5. Prevent Dry Rot
A common misconception about dry rot is that water is the culprit. In reality, it does not have anything to do with water damage. Dry rot is actually due to a lack of ventilation in the roof. It is one of the many problems that you can face during the summer, which is why a roof inspection should be in order.
If your roof requires repair at the centre or near it, you probably have deteriorating plywood. Roofs sag in, which then causes the shingles to become brittle. Over time, these shingles will crack, which will result in leaks.
The best way to prevent dry rot is to install a ridge vent, which can be complex unless there is a professional helping you out. A soffit vent goes with a ridge vent and will have holes drilled. That way, cool air enters through the bottom, pushing the hot air out of the house.
6. Avoid Any Ice Build-up
Dry rot is not your only problem. When it gets cold, ice can easily clog the roof membrane, along with the gutters and shingles. It becomes a huge issue because the accumulated ice will back up once it reaches the line where the heat comes from your house. The result is that you will find some interior dripping.
Once again, proper ventilation is the key. Depending on the shape of the roof, your location, and the style of your house, you may have to ask a professional to install a drip edge. Rain and ice shields will also help prevent the occurrence of ice build-up tremendously.
7. Insulate the Right Way
You probably already know the proper insulation helps lower your energy consumption. However, it is not the only benefit of a correctly insulated home. Good airflow and ventilation can be easily achieved. And as mentioned above, ventilation is vital in preventing dry rot.
Insulation also protects your home from any heat gain or loss. There are many ways to insulate your home, including installing a gap-free insulation layer on the attic floor. You can also use a vapour retarder right under the insulation, which is close to the ceiling. This method helps stop moisture from going up the attic.
8. Trim Trees
The surrounding trees can increase the appeal of your property. However, troublesome trees have to be cut. These trees are those with leaning branches that reach and scratch roof materials. Believe it or not, many homeowners overlook these branches. Therefore, they leave the trees untrimmed, which can lead to punctured shingles and a damaged roof.
The good news here is that the solution is easy. You only have to trim back those branches that hit the roof. If there are broken twigs and fallen leaves, make sure that you remove them on your roof and gutters, as well.
9. Roof Assessment is a Must
If you are planning to purchase a house, one of the first things you must do is have a professional evaluation of the roof. A lot of homebuyers check the living spaces, storage room, and even the garage. But they typically forget the roof, which is an integral part of the house.
Make sure that you have the roof checked before the closing date. Do not wait for the house to be officially yours before a professional inspects it. You never know what lurks up there, which can cost you a lot of money for repairs down the road. This tip also applies if you plan to sell your house. Ensure that a certified roofer has looked at the roof before you sell it. If the roof is in good condition, you could be entitled to a slight price increase.
10. Hire a Pro
Some repairs go beyond your DIY skills. Don’t try to fix something that you may not have any clue about since it could lead to more issues and costly repairs. Instead, pick a roofing professional that you can trust. It may be helpful to know whether you need a roofer, contractor, or plumber. Roofers can do repairs, just like the other professionals, but many of them may not be licenced. A contractor holds a government-given licence, so you know you are working with a real professional.
Meanwhile, a plumber will work on the gutters and flashings. For a more in-depth look at which roofing expert you need, please read our blog post on this topic.
Perth Roofing & Gutters can make your search much easier. Whether you need a professional to fix a leak or replace your old roof, we’re here for you. Contact us now to schedule a roofing service for your home or business.