How to Combat Roof Damage
Between El Nino cycles and other recent climate changes, weather from coast to coast has been more extreme and unpredictable than usual. From scorching summers to severe storm systems to late spring snowfalls, our yards and homes have taken a beating from the elements across the entire country. The primary shield between you and the stormy skies is your roof, and there are steps you can take to prevent damage and keep your roof in great shape for many years to come. The following actions with help improve the longevity of your roof and hopefully prevent the need for a replacement, which can run thousands of dollars.
Snow and Ice Removal
You may be surprised to learn how much snow and ice actually weighs. It takes about ten inches of new snow to add up to five pounds per square foot of your roof, but it only takes three to five inches of packed snow to reach the 5-pound mark. Only a single inch of ice equals five pounds. This means that if you live in a place where snow and ice accumulate throughout the winter, you could easily reach the “danger zone” of roof stress. Weight on the roof should not exceed twenty pounds, and if it does, you should take steps to remove it immediately. The safest method of getting rid of snow and ice on your roof is by using a specialized rake, which can be purchased at most hardware stores. These have extended arms that allow you to remove the snow without putting yourself in danger by climbing the roof in slippery conditions.
Keep Nearby Branches Trimmed
One of the easiest ways in which you can prevent roof damage is to make sure all old and dying branches are trimmed and taken care of. You can make regular inspections around your property yourself, to investigate and catalogue all trees that might be approaching the need for thinning out. It is also recommended to hire an arborist if you have a very wooded yard. A professional will know exactly what to look for and can determine if any trees are dangerously close to losing branches that could be blown onto your roof during a storm. A strong wind can throw heavy objects at your roof at a surprisingly high velocity, and cause significant damage to the shingles.
Check Your Insulation and Ventilation
This may not be the first thing homeowners think of when evaluating the structural integrity of their roof, but insulation and ventilation go a long way to help regulate the temperature of the roof. An extreme difference in temperature between the roof and the outside air can cause thermal shock or lead to a buildup of condensation that can lead to mold, decay or even rot. Proper temperature regulation that can be achieved through insulation and ventilation can prevent your roof from expanding or contracting too rapidly, which leads to leaks and other problems.
A little preventative maintenance here and there can save you a bundle of money in the long run. Keeping up with a home can be a daunting task, but if you ward off the major problems before they even have time to develop, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable home that can weather any storm.