The roof is an essential part of a building envelope, protecting the interior spaces of a shelter from the ravages of the elements, which is why it is important to maintain rooves in the best possible condition. A roof, covering the entire building structure, must be watertight to stop rain from getting in and needs to be capable of withstanding the various extremes of weather that occur throughout the seasons. Proper roof maintenance is an ongoing process, requiring regular inspections and occasional repair work, although following some simple steps can avert future problems.
Conduct regular roof inspections.
In order to keep your roof in good condition it is necessary, either by entering the loft space or by ascending a ladder, to check for any issues that may be affecting it. Regular inspections, conducted on a biannual basis, of both the external and internal components of a roof help identify any problems with the upper portion of the building envelope and allows the opportunity to mend any parts that are damaged. Early recognition of roof troubles, such as punctures or surface erosion, gives property owners time to fix minor issues before they turn into major problems.
Get rid of moss and lichen.
Moss, a primitive form of plant-life that uses spores to reproduce, can colonise a large part of the roof surface if it is allowed to spread and its water-retentive properties may result in moisture damage to roof coverings. Lichen, a symbiotic colony of fungal and algal cells, can cause similar harm to roof surfaces as moss and has a reputation for damaging shingles. Commercial products are available for removing algae, moss and lichen from roof surfaces although dilutions of dishwashing liquid or household bleach in water are also reputed to work.
Remove leaves from roof surface and gutters.
Leaves, needles and seeds have a tendency to fall onto roofs where they stick to tiles and shingles or accumulate in gutters. The problem of falling leaves is at its most pronounced during Autumn when deciduous trees, such as oaks and elms, shed their foliage as Winter approaches although this is a problem that can occur throughout the year. If leaves are allowed to gather on the roof surface they will decompose, acting as a medium for fungal growth or the establishment of weeds, and may trap moisture which can cause water damage both inside and outside of the building.
Keep gutters clear of debris.
Proper maintenance of gutters and downpipes, carried out at least once or twice a year, is integral to keeping your roof in good condition and can extend the life of rainwater discharge systems. Common causes of gutter blockage include wind-borne dust, feathers, bird droppings, leaves, needles, seeds, dead animals as well as weed and moss growth while other factors causing gutter problems include cracks and punctures through which rainwater can leak. Clearing gutters of debris prevents rainwater overflow, sagging and fascia damage while fixing holes averts leakage problems.
Beware of overhanging branches.
Overhanging branches, aside from dropping leaves and twigs onto the roof, pose a very real threat of breaking under their own weight or snapping off in heavy winds. A falling branch, a common event during intense storms, can cause considerable damage to a roof and has the potential to kill or injure anybody unfortunate enough to be in one of the upper-story rooms at the time. To avoid disasters caused by overhanging branches it is important to inspect trees for rot, to prune away excess twigs and leaves that might be adding weight or to remove the branch entirely.
For more roofing information, visit: Mac Home Improvements