One of the most costly parts of a house to replace is the roof. Depending of the roofing materials used, it can run as high as several thousand dollars. A high dollar expense such as this is not pleasant when it involves a rental property. Fortunately, there are proactive steps that can be taken by a property maintenance crew that will extend the life of a roof and divert a huge cash outlay.
The Roof is Connected to the Entire Building
The roof is one of the most important elements in protecting the rest of the building from weather damage. It acts like a shield for everything beneath and is connected to every other part of the building.
Reducing Interior Humidity
A roof that does not supply adequate ventilation forces moisture to remain trapped in the walls and this can lead to a serious mold and toxicity issue. Installing roof vents is an immediate solution to the high humidity, and is far less costly that ripping out and replace mold-infested walls.
Cooling the Attic Space
Ventilation is also important for drawing heated air from the attic space. Consider the effect of the blazing sun on the roof. The temperature inside the attic will be at least 10 degrees higher than it is outside. The problem escalates due to hot air rising from the lower rooms. Hot air trapped in the attic puts a strain on the central air conditioning. It is forced to work overtime to sustain a comfortable environment. Your energy costs go up as well as the cost to maintain your central AC.
Checking for Leaks
Despite the abundant sunny days we enjoy in our part of the country, a few rainy days are all it takes to set off a chain reaction in your property when the roof is leaky. The trouble with water is than it only requires a very small opening to trickle into the attic and through the wall cavities. Sitting water wreaks havoc on wooden structures. It can rot out sections the roof deck and framing in a matter of months. If you notice water stains on the ceiling the problem is progressing rapidly. Have the roof inspected a couple times per year, especially with infrared scanning.
Maintaining the Roofing Materials
The composition of asphalt shingles makes it susceptible to UV rays and eventually it breaks down, leaving tiny pinholes where rainwater can enter. Shingles that are brittle or curling up at the edges should be replaced. You can actually replace up to a third of the shingles before you need to consider a full roof replacement. Keep the roof clear of organic debris that becomes acidic as it decomposes. Likewise, prune tree branches over the roof that rub on the shingles and wear away the asphalt granules.
Stone, concrete or clay tiles are endure hot weather far more effectively than roofing shingles. They require less maintenance, but must be checked for loose sections that could be blown off during high winds.
Inspect Roof Joints and Flashing
You have a potential risk for problems anywhere a section of roof joins to another, or the roof has been penetrated to allow for vents and pipes. The metal flashing must be free of corrosion to function properly. Roofing compound or sealant cannot resist the effects of the sun for more than a few years. It pulls away from the flashing, leaving gaps where water and small critters can get in.
Get the Best Value from Roof Repairs
Taking care of the roof is an important part of property maintenance. In the long run, it makes better sense financially to do the small repairs now. A well-maintained roof can last up to 25 years.