Homeowners spend between 1% and 4% of their home’s value on annual maintenance and repairs, which increases each year as the house ages. For a home worth $200,000, that is an average of $2,000 in repairs per year. Roof repairs and siding repairs can be very expensive, but homeowners can take action in order to reduce costs and prevent damages or replacements. Here are some suggestions to keep your roof looking great.
The best time to check your roof for wear and tear is when cleaning your gutters, which should be done twice a year, usually during the spring and fall. Gutters that are not properly drained will lead to siding repairs and gutter repairs and can cause wet basements as well. Water damage usually costs an average of $2,386 to repair, and removing standing water costs about $2,688. Clogged gutters also cause water to wick into roof sheathing or even rafters, and rot them. Make sure your roof’s gutters are properly sloped and tightly secured in order for proper drainage.
You can begin your roof checkup with some simple cleaning techniques. Sweep or blow off sticks, leaves, and other debris to avoid damaging shingles. It is important to trim any tree branches to avoid roof damage and prevent pests such as squirrels or raccoons from gnawing at your roof and siding. Note that vinyl siding is the easiest and least expensive siding to repair or replace if damages do occur, and are rated for winds up to 110 mph. Also take care to not let copious amounts of snow pile up on your roof, which can be easily removed with a snow rake. Too much snow can collapse your roof, resulting in costly roofing repairs.
There are a few obvious signs that you may need major roof repairs. For shingled roofs, a few missing shingles aren’t difficult or expensive to replace. Check for shingles that are broken or curling, or if numerous shingles are missing. Keep an eye out for fungus, algae, and clumps of moss. Installing zinc or lead control strips is an environmentally friendly way to inhibit the growth of future moss. Inspect metal areas for rust; treatments include wire brushing, priming, and painting the metal. Remove all old caulk from flashings that aren’t solid, and clean the area before resealing. Areas where step flashing should be installed are a common source of leaks, so inspect dormers, roof to wall transitions, and older sealants.
Any signs of roof leakage should be taken care of immediately. Look for dark spots on your ceiling, or mold or dampness in your attic, including algae strains on interior plywood, soaked insulation despite a lack of rain, and black rings or rust around nails, an early sign of moisture condensation in your attic.
Although roof maintenance is often not a top priority for homeowners, small problems can quickly grow into big problems with a high price tag- major roof repairs or replacements are some of the costliest of home repairs. Be sure to follow this guide in order to prevent roof damage and keep your roof in top shape.