While ownership of a home can provide you with a sense of security after years of living in rental properties, it also means that you are responsible for upkeep and repairs that were previously the domain of a landlord. One of the structures you need to keep in excellent condition is your roof. However, people tend to take the presence of the roof for granted until repairs are needed. Many also have misconceptions about roof maintenance.
If you do not want to be in the same boat as homeowners who neglect their roofs and end up spending exorbitant amounts of money to fix problems that could have been avoided, do not fall prey to the following misconceptions about roof maintenance.
You Only Need to Call a Roofing Contractor When You Have a Leak
Make no mistake about it, roof leaks are serious business and can be signs of extensive damage. However, you should not wait until you see evidence of a leak to fix issues that lead to water infiltration. You need to keep an eye out for the following early symptoms of water damage:
- Puddles and wet spots on your roof that do not seem to dry
- Loose mortar joints around the roof
- Cracks in tiles
- Defective flashing
- Missing shingles
- Clogged downspouts
- Dents in the roof after a hail storm
That last thing you want is for the leak to expand during the next storm and cause damage to your hardwood flooring, carpet, insulation, ceilings, and other structures.
Do Not Need to Worry About Roof Repairs Until It Is Time to Get the Entire Structure Replaced
There is a reason why experts recommend that you inspect your roof twice a year, during the fall and spring. Think of your roof like you think about your car. In order to keep your car running properly, you take it to your mechanic for regular maintenance and safety checks. Since you do not let car problems linger until they develop into major issues, do not drag your feet on getting minor roofing defects repaired.
While you should leave extensive inspections to professionals, the National Roofing Contractors Association provides consumers with a useful checklist for an initial inspection. The preliminary inspection will enable you to become familiar with your roof and learn how to detect issues early.
If you are unsure about whether something you notice is damage or not, do not hesitate to call your roofer and ask questions. Being proactive may save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
DIY Roof Repair Is the Way to Go
Thinking about the cost of roof repairs can send you into a tailspin of worry if you are on a limited budget or simply do not want to invest in long-term roof maintenance. However, do not take it upon yourself to be a DIY roofer to take care of serious issues hail damage or large leaks. Cleaning your gutters is one thing, but replacing numerous shingles after a severe storm is a dangerous activity.
First, think about your safety. The average homeowner will not have the commercial safety equipment necessary to prevent falls. Professional roofers use stable platforms, aerial lifts, scaffolding, and personal fall-arrest equipment to enhance their safety during roof repairs.
Second, you need to have the proper equipment and materials to make repairs. You do not want to depend on cheap materials from your local hardware store and make repairs with inadequate equipment.
Third, you want to make sure that any repairs you make meet local building code standards. Furthermore, some work, like re-roofing, may require you to acquire a permit. You will need to provide detailed information about your contractor, a cost estimate, extensive details about the materials to be used, and the specifications of your home.