When it comes to your home, there are few things that are as essential and important as your roof. Without a sound and effective roof, your entire home is subject to various kinds of damage, eventually leading to expensive, time-consuming, and stressful repairs work.
Avoiding Roof Damage
The best way to avoid these repairs is by regular inspection to identify damage. Typically, experts suggest that a thorough inspection be completed twice a year. By performing these spot checks, small problems can be fixed before they become large, expensive ones.
Remember, when completing a roof inspection, it is not enough to simply view the roof from the outside. Many times a roof will look sturdy and undamaged from the outside when it is actually in need of repair. Be alert to visual cues from the outside of problems (mold, holes, other damage, etc.), but don’t entirely rely on them. Problems can exist even if everything looks sound.
Also, do everything you can to minimize the wear and tear on your roof.
- Regularly clean and check your gutters to ensure they are free of debris and attached properly to the roof line.
- Trim large trees near the roof. This minimizes anything falling into the gutters, and it reduces the chance of branches (or whole trees) hitting the roof and causing damage.
- Ensure all vents from the kitchen, dryer, bathroom, and anywhere else are properly installed and entirely outside of the home.
What Should I Look For?
First and foremost, a biannual roof inspection should involve an exterior and interior portion, as well as a quick walk around the perimeter of the house.
From the exterior, look for
- obvious holes in the roof.
- cracked, curling, or blistering roof material.
- missing or damaged shingles.
- missing or damaged flashing.
- any signs of rot or deterioration.
- algae or moss growth, which may look like nothing more than dark green stains on the roof.
- shingle granules in the gutter, which could point to shingle deterioration.
From the interior, look for
- obvious leaks or water damage.
- evidence of water damage such as trails or dark spots.
- a sagging roof deck.
- any section where light from the outside is visible.
Around the house, look for
- ants, termites, or other wood-destroying organisms. (These can be an indicator of deteriorated wood.)
I Found Damage. What Should I Do?
If you have preformed the inspection and found damage or suspect you found damage, it is best to contact a local Jacksonville roofing contractor. Unless you have experience in the Jacksonville roofing industry, do-it-yourself repair jobs are risky. If the issue is not properly resolved, the damage will continue to get worse and so will the eventual bill.
Repair or Replace?
A common question among homeowners who have discovered damage is whether to repair the roof or entirely replace it. The answer is, of course, dependent upon the specific type and extent of damage, but knowing the type of roof can also help guide the decision.
The most common types of roof material include:
- cedar or other wood
Cedar roofs are subject in large part to the weather, falling apart or splitting when it is too dry and molding when it is too wet. Typically, a cedar roof will last about twenty years.
Tile roofs have a much longer shelf life: upwards of 100 years. However, broken tiles must be regularly replaced and by a specialist.
Concrete roofs should not need replacing, but any cracks or damage do need to be addressed by a professional.
If the damage is extensive enough to warrant a replacement roof, take all factors of your particular climate and location into consideration before selecting a new roof material. Will you be experiencing large amounts of snow, ice, rain, wind, or excessive heat? A professional Jacksonville roofing contractor can help you make the best decision for your budget, schedule, and location.
If you’re in the Jacksonville area, there are numerous Jacksonville roofers from which to choose. Picking the best one, however, can be overwhelming.
The best way to approach picking the right contractor is by talking to numerous providers. Compare at least three quotes from local Jacksonville roofers, and use this to determine a general cost of damage repair.
Once you’ve determined cost, pick a candidate based on previous client testimonials, word of mouth, and personal impressions. With a bit of care and time, you are sure to find the ideal Jacksonville roofers – ones who are experienced, financially reasonable, and trustworthy.
Maintaining your roof is of the utmost importance, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to detect and fix problems as they occur. With a bit of diligence and the right Jacksonville roofers, you can avoid and/or fix the leaks, mold, and overall instability that plague less conscientious homeowners.