Some homeowners think roof inspections are an unnecessary expense. However, contrary to popular belief, routine roof inspections and maintenance can save you money in the long run.
The problem is a lot of homeowners fail to take into account the costs of neglecting to maintain their roof. For instance, if water manages to infiltrate your roof and the leak isn’t immediately fixed, excess moisture can lower your insulation’s R-value (the figure used to measure how well insulation can prevent heat transfer). This in turn can increase your heating and cooling costs. Not to mention relatively minor roofing damage can easily affect other parts of your home, turning what should have been relatively straightforward repairs into a more extensive overhaul of your roof.
Done-Right Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., your trusted roofer, elaborates further on how routine inspections can help you save money below:
Prompt Roof Repairs
As long as there aren’t any leaks, your roof should be alright, right? Well, not necessarily. The problem with moisture damage is that it takes time for certain types of roofing damage to appear. And by the time they do emerge, it’s already too late to mitigate roofing damage. Remember: the sooner underlying roofing issues are detected and roof repair is conducted, the lower the risk that roofing damage will affect other parts of your home.
Insurance Policy That Remains Valid
To keep your insurance coverage intact, you need to routinely maintain your roof. That’s because infrequent (or incorrect) roof maintenance can void your insurance policy. Remember: insurers will only pay for damage caused by storms, not damage caused by any negligence on the homeowner’s part.
How Often Should You Have Your Roof Inspected?
As a general rule, you should schedule a residential roof inspection at least twice a year and after a storm or extreme weather event. That’s because no matter how durable your roof is, it’s likely to have suffered some form of damage during a storm.
Important note: unauthorized roof repairs can lower your insurance payout. That’s why you should avoid attempting to fix leaks, no matter how minor they may seem.
What about commercial roofs? Thanks to their low slope, commercial roofs are more leak-prone. (Water tends to pond on the surface of flat roofs). That’s why you may need to schedule more frequent inspections for your flat roofing system.
What Are the Warning Signs of Roof Damage You Should Keep an Eye Out for?
Through routine inspections, contractors can detect and fix underlying roofing issues before they affect the other parts of your home. However, it’s important that homeowners have at least a basic understanding of the warning signs of roof damage. The sooner they can spot the warning signs of roof damage and schedule roof repair work, the better.
Here’s an overview of the common warning signs to keep an eye out for:
- Mold – Mold can form inside your home if there’s a leak in your roof. That’s because it thrives in damp environments. Mold is a problem because it can easily affect other parts of your home if mold-damaged components are not immediately replaced. Not to mention mold spores can cause allergies to flare up and aggravate respiratory conditions. If you notice a musty smell inside your home or dark spots on your ceiling, contact your residential and metal roofing contractor as soon as possible.
- Ceiling stains and damp walls – Ceiling stains and damp walls are signs water has managed to make its way to your ceiling and walls.
Important note: the location of the ceiling walls isn’t necessarily where the source of the leak is located. That’s because water follows the path of least resistance, so the exact location of the leak source may be farther away from the location of the ceiling stains.
Why DIY Inspections Are Usually a Bad Idea
What if you inspect your roof yourself to save money? DIY inspections and repairs aren’t recommended because they almost always end up costing homeowners more in the long run. That’s because it takes years of training to spot the subtle warning signs of roof damage. As for DIY repairs, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to make basic—but costly—mistakes. There’s also the issue of DIY repairs potentially voiding your roof’s warranty. Given all these risks, it arguably doesn’t make practical—or financial—sense for homeowners to do DIY roof inspections and repairs.
Why It’s Important to Vet Your Roofers
To make sure your roofer doesn’t miss any signs of damage, always vet them before hiring them. Here are some quick vetting tips:
- Limit your search to contractors near your area – Focusing your search on local contractors can quickly narrow down your options. Hiring local roofers also has other advantages. For instance, since they are more familiar with the local climate and building codes, they can make better recommendations.
- Ask them how long they have been in business – The number of years a roofer has been working in the industry gives you a good idea of their level of expertise.
How to Tell if It’s Time to Replace Your Roof
Keep in mind that roof maintenance can only do so much. All roofing materials have an estimated lifespan, and at a certain point, they will need to be replaced. How can you tell if it’s time for a residential or metal roofing replacement? By keeping an eye out for the warning signs of wear and tear.
Here’s an overview:
- Bald, exposed patches on your asphalt roof – Manufacturers embed granules in the top layer of asphalt shingles to protect them from ultraviolet rays and premature aging. It’s normal for asphalt shingles to lose granules over the course of their lifespan. However, if the granule loss becomes so extensive that bald, exposed patches start appearing on your asphalt roof, you will need to replace your roof as soon as possible. Without UV-resistant granules, it’s only a matter of time until cracks start to appear on your roof’s bald, exposed patches.
- Blisters on roofing shingles – Blisters form when the excess moisture trapped in your shingles evaporates. Shingle blisters are a cause for concern because they will expose your roof to the elements when they pop. That’s why it’s important to replace roofing shingles with blisters as soon as possible.
Choosing the Right Roofing Material
Keep in mind that no matter how durable your new roof is, it won’t last long if it isn’t suited to the local climate. That’s why it’s important to choose a roof replacement that can handle temperate climates. Remember: there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach in home improvement projects, and residential and flat roofing replacement projects are no exception.
Here are some of the most widely used roofing materials:
- Asphalt shingles – There are several reasons why asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in North America. They’re cost-effective, fire-resistant, durable and come in a wide variety of colors.
- Metal roof – Metal roofing panels are also a great choice if you’re going green. They’re completely recyclable and help lower the strain on your HVAC system by reflecting heat. Metal roofing panels are also known for their durability. With proper care and maintenance, a metal roofing system can last over 50 years.
To learn more about your roofing options, consult an experienced roofer.
Done-Right Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd., a contractor with nearly three decades of experience, offers a wide range of professional roofing services. To get a free estimate, call us at (905) 875-2888 or fill out this form.