After the rough autumn storms, do you think your roof is ready for the cold winter months? Your roof is your shield against the elements, so you need to make sure it’s at its best before the seasons change.
Residents of Greenville, SC, know to expect the unexpected. Although snow only shows up occasionally, the temperatures will surely drop below freezing when you’re least expecting a chill.
Ice, snow, and heavy rain are the bane of roofs, and the only way to know for sure that your roof is ready for whatever’s coming next is with a roof inspection.
Roof inspections give you and your contractor a look at potential problems. Once the review is complete, your contractor should perform a roof tune-up to prep your roof for the upcoming winter months.
What Is a Roof Tune-up?
A roof tune-up is no different than a tune-up for your car. It is a form of preventive maintenance designed to extend the life of your roof. Without a bird’s-eye view of your roof, there is no way to know what’s going on up there. There may be broken or cracked shingles, dips, or moss growing, and you wouldn’t even know.
Finding the minor problems now can reduce roof repairs and put off the need for a new roof installation by years. The first part of a regular roof tune-up is a roof inspection.
What Does a Roof Inspection Entail?
A roof inspection is a visual and hands-on inspection of the roof and its components. It’s vital for the integrity of your roof that you find small imperfections and areas displaying minimal damage before the cold hits.
Colder weather seeps into small cracks and permeates through the home, which can make the problem worse. Things that a good contractor looks for during a roof inspection include:
The Ground View of Your Roof
Looking at your roof from the ground can give some strong indicators of its condition. Your roof should be flat and clean, so any dips, moss, or missing shingles tell the contractor that work needs to be done. Other items of interest from the initial visual ground inspection include:
- Overhanging trees
- Debris on the roof
- Damaged gutters
- Damaged chimney
- Overall roof framework
This first view of the roof helps provide crucial indicators to the roofing contractor. If anything is found during the initial visual, it helps the contractor focus on key areas when they get onto the roof for the next inspection phase.
The Details of Your Flashing and Caulking
Flashing is the thin metal surrounding the roof’s externals, like roof vents, plumbing vents, and chimneys. The flashing is nailed onto the roof and caulked to prevent leaks. Loose flashing or improperly sealed caulking will allow water and cold air into your home.
Once water enters the home, it follows the path of least resistance, which means it can follow electrical wiring or wooden beams all through your home.
This permeability is why it can be so hard to determine the origination of a leak. You may see water spots on the ceiling of a first-story bedroom, but the leak may have originated from a loose shingle at the peak of the roof.
The Condition of Your Roof Valleys
Roof valleys are formed where two slopes meet. They allow water to be collected and driven to the gutters in an organized fashion.
However, improperly maintained roof valleys can quickly lead to roof repairs. Debris caught in a roof valley will cause water to back up under the shingles, which will eventually cause water damage to the underlay membrane protecting your home.
The Integrity of Your Roof’s Shingles
Shingles are the first line of defense protecting your home.
Shingles can easily be repaired or replaced by a roofing contractor, but if several are missing from a specific area or the shingles are missing too many granules from their surfaces, you may have to consider a new roof installation.
The State of Roof Debris
Debris can cause dams where water, snow, and ice can create problematic conditions for your roof. Proper roof inspections won’t only look at pre-existing debris but also possible debris scenarios.
Overhanging trees and improperly maintained gutter guards are typical sources of ongoing debris issues.
The Status of Your Gutters
Loose or hanging gutters are a problem for your roof and can also be hazardous for people walking on the ground. Gutters and gutter guards should be cleaned before entering the winter months. Gutter repair is necessary if the gutters are not secure.
Loose gutters can pull away from the building and damage your roof structurally. Overly-full gutters become dams and cause overflow up under your shingles. Clogged downspouts can damage the roof, siding, landscaping, and even the gutters themselves.
Gutter repair is not expensive and should be performed immediately to prevent further damage to your home and pocketbook.
The Stability of Your Chimney
Most chimney problems will happen around the flashing, but occasionally pieces of brick may have broken off during one of our Greenville, SC, storms. Most roofing contractors can’t repair the chimney, but they will know a contractor who can.
Chimney issues are an important part of the pre-winter inspection. Chimneys usually reach the bottom floor or basement, so any leak has the potential to travel through all levels of the home.
Inspect the Inside of the Home
One of the best ways to determine whether your roof is already problematic is to look inside the home. Most likely, you’d have noticed water spots on the ceiling in the bedrooms and living room, but what about the closets?
Go through the areas in the home where you may not frequently look up to make sure there is no damage.
The attic is the number one place to find potential damage. During the day, you can go in and take a look around. If you see any sunlight coming through the ceiling, then your roof definitely leaks.
It’s still a good idea to have a roofing contractor go through the attic for you. The sunlight is not the only signifier of a leak. Other signs include:
- Wetness around the chimney
- Damp insulation
A qualified contractor can locate any problem signs quickly and determine the root cause.
Benefits of Receiving a Roof Tune-up Before Winter
Winters can be harsh. The salt spray from the storms during the autumn months in Greenville, SC, remains hidden in every nook and cranny of your roof.
Salt is a corrosive material, and although most of it is washed away by normal rainy weather, the rest is sitting there slowly eating away at the nails, flashing, and other areas of your roof. A tune-up won’t remove the salt, but it will help find the areas hit the hardest.
One of the benefits of a pre-winter tune-up is the ability to find all of the things that may be wrong and fix them before they become serious. Some of the other benefits include:
Increasing Your Roof’s Longevity
A roof can last 50 to 100 years, depending on the material and if the installation was done proficiently. However, like anything else, the lifespan is dependent on how well your roof is maintained. Find a trusted professional to perform the tune-up so you can rest easy knowing your family is safe.
Providing a Healthier Interior Environment
Excess moisture trapped in a dark space can breed mold and mildew. If these fungi get into the walls or your air ventilation system, they can cause respiratory problems.
Saving You Money
Performing a roofing tune-up now, even if you need roofing repairs, is much less expensive than a possible full roof installation later.
Water damage to the roof can require a professional roofing contractor to do more than remove and replace all of the shingles on your home. If the roof starts to dip or sag, then there are integrity issues. If the roof structure gets damaged, a new roof may be in your future.
Reducing Your Utility Bills
Moisture entering the home can cause a lot of damage, but heat loss is another factor to consider. For every little hole that’s found and repaired, a little more heat is conserved.
Over the winter season, it can get quite expensive heating the outside of your home.
Increasing Your Peace of Mind
Knowing the roof above your family’s head is in good working order is a great feeling. The ability to not even consider your roof is great, as long as the reason is that you know it’s safe.
Part of the peace comes from having a trustworthy, proficient, and professional team on call whenever you need them to address issues with your roof.
Where to Find Professional Roofers Near Me?
Greenville, SC, can have some harsh weather, and it can be a bit scary sometimes not knowing if your roof can hold up to the pounding. But residents of Greenville don’t have to worry. Beemer KangaRoof® knows roofing. A fourth-generation roofing company, we understand how to battle the storms and winters in South Carolina.
We offer roof replacement, repairs, maintenance, and anything else roofing-related. Call us today for a free roof inspection and find out why we’re the number one roofing company in Greenville, Anderson, Marietta, Pickens, and their surrounding areas.