TLC for your Roof, Chimney and Gutters
This is the first in a multi-part series on exterior home care. If you are a homeowner in the greater Merrimack, Bedford or Amherst NH area, or anywhere in New England for that matter, this information is for you! This week we are going to discuss roof maintenance and care.
The roof plays a big role in the structure of a home in order to make it such a cozy place! The roof endures some of the most extreme climate changes and protects the rest of the structure (and us) from sun, rain, wind, heavy snow (especially with our New England storms), ice, falling branches, cold temperatures and the list goes on and on. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind,” however this is one of the most important parts of your home, as it does indeed make a substantial impact on the health and well-being of your home. Why is this important? Exterior deficiencies can lead to major structural and interior problems. This can be an expensive aspect to repair or replace depending on the condition. By regularly checking and maintaining the roof, it will help extend the life of the roof.
Getting ready to sell your home? Give it a little extra curb-appeal by having your roof cleaned. It will take care of most staining, as well as improve your home’s eye-appeal. Please note, we do NOT recommend DIY roof cleaning – DO NOT pressure wash your roof! Contact a qualified professional for roof cleaning services.
In fact, the condition of the roof can affect your health too! How is this? Over time moss, algae, and mildew will accumulate on the roof.
The longer the moss and algae stay on the shingles, they will begin to break the shingle materials down, eventually reaching the wood surface if left unattended. Once the moisture penetrates into the wood it’s a breeding ground for mold, putting people and pets at risk for exposure.
Another area in which roof and shingle damage can occur is from trees that hang over the house. Not only can branches and limbs fall and damage the roof, these trees and/or branches decrease the sunlight on the roof, not allowing moisture on the shingles to dry thoroughly.
I know most of us don’t like talking about snow but we also have to be careful with trees hanging over the house during this season. If we have tree limbs touching or laying on the house with heavy snow and the melting process starts, melting snow will drip on to the shingles. Without the proper sun exposure, the moisture can sit there, freeze, create ice dams and may even absorb into the wood structure underneath, causing much bigger headaches!
Another ‘fun fact’ is that insects will use these tree limbs to get where they think need to go, which includes on to your roof! OK, so insects are not really ‘fun’, however some insects will make their home underneath the singles, accelerating shingle wear, rot, and decay. Certainly a necessary reason why you need to keep trees and branches trimmed well away from the house!
“Research suggests that 50 percent of homeowners replace their roof because they look old or simple ugly. However, half of those roof replacements were not needed and instead could have had a thorough roof cleaning to restore…” (http://www.candkroofing.com) The goal is to develop a plan to keep your roof in tip-top shape. It can be dangerous getting on your roof, so if you do, please be advised and take precautions to be safe! And, just to keep our attorneys happy – We assume NO responsibility for any injuries sustained if you decide to climb up on your roof, your neighbors roof, or anyone else’s roof! Otherwise, we recommend hiring a professional to give you suggestions on home maintenance. A home inspector isn’t just for sellers or buyers – we are a good resource for the up-keep and maintenance of your special home! Give Premier Home Inspection Services a call today so we can help create a maintenance plan for you to properly care for your roof before it’s too late.
Stay Tuned for Part 2, Chimney TLC
Here are a few links from our friends across southern NH that provide roof cleaning services.
In need of a local roofing contractor? Try Adam Vaillancourt (http://www.adamvroofing.com/). His crew replaced our roof this spring and did a fantastic job!