Major roof repairs or roof replacement is a costly undertaking. Even minor repairs like replacing a few tiles can set you back hundreds of dollars.
As far as possible, you want to avoid paying for those costly roof repairs.
Passive maintenance, or preventative roof maintenance, is the act of taking care of your roof so that, where possible, you avoid letting a situation arise where you need to dip into savings and fork out a load of otherwise unnecessary cash to fix your roof.
In this piece, we’ll examine the importance of passive maintenance for your home, looking at the specifics and benefits of ongoing roof care.
What is Passive or Preventative Roof Maintenance?
You’ve probably heard the phrase a stitch in time saves nine, or the common saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Passive maintenance takes its cue from this notion. It is better and more cost-effective in the long run to practice regular roof maintenance, taking care of your roof to avoid a more significant issue arising due to a lack of care.
Over time, your roof is subject to wear and tear, which can be incredibly damaging. This damage can extend beyond the roofing materials to structural damage within the home. That’s why spotting any issues early is imperative to protecting your broader structure.
There are various components to effective roof maintenance. Let’s run through your roof maintenance checklist.
1. Inspect Regularly
You should perform regular inspections to detect any signs of damage early on, allowing you to take corrective action as soon as possible before a problem worsens. Think of this like spotting the symptoms of poor health earlier so you can get the right medicine. You should inspect the roof at least twice yearly, preferably before and after the rainy season. Examine the area for cracked or missing tiles, rusted metal, or any other signs of damage. Be on the lookout on the interior ceiling for any leaks or water stains. Water is the enemy of a healthy roof, causing potential long-term damage, so you must check for any signs of internal leaks.
2. Clean Gutters
Clogged gutters and downpipes can cause water to overflow and get into your roof cavity or roof space, damaging the roof’s surface and the building’s foundation. To avoid this, you should clean out gutters and downpipes often, especially if you notice they’re clogged after a storm.
This is something to look out for if you have trees overhanging your roof and, obviously, when they lose their leaves in autumn (many of those leaves will end up in your gutters!)
If you can, use a ladder and take a bucket up to your roof to remove leaves, twigs, and any other debris from gutters and downpipes. You can also use a hose to flush away the grime and keep your gutters clean.
3. Get Trimming
If you have overhanging branches from bushes or trees on your roof, these can cause damage to your roof surface. If you live in a part of Australia with regular storms, they can crash against your roof and cause tiles to crack or come loose. In general, as mentioned above, any overhanging branches generally lead to more debris falling onto your roof surface. If able, trim those overhanging branches to keep your roof clear. If unable, you could always hire help to avoid roofing mishaps related to your nearby trees.
4. Watch the Moss Levels
In damp or shaded areas, moss, mildew, and lichen can grow on your roof. You want to avoid mould growth because, over time, moss buildup can damage your roof and lead to leaks inside the home.
If you notice a buildup of moss, mildew, or any mouldy spots, use a soft-bristled brush or a pressure washer on a low setting to remove it without damaging your roof’s surface.
5. Check the Flashing
Flashing is crucial in your roof’s all-important defence system against water. It’s a thin metal strip installed around the roof’s edges to create a watertight seal. Over time, flashing can become loose, cracked, or damaged due to exposure to the elements or other factors, letting water seep into your home. Avoiding water is critical, hence why you need to inspect it. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, a specialist roofing contractor may be able to help you identify if there’s any issue with your flashing.
6. Fix any issues promptly
If you encounter any issues during your inspection, like broken tiles, loose shingles, rusted metal, or evidence of leaks, you should remedy them immediately. Leaving them and delaying a fix can cause further damage and lead to more costly repairs or even a total roof replacement. Don’t kick the can down the road when it comes to fixing your roof.
What Are the Benefits of Passive Maintenance?
We’ve already established the primary purpose for regularly looking after your roof.
Identifying any issues early and paying for minor repairs can save you a lot of money in the long run by preventing more substantial repairs.
Those minor repairs are much kinder on your finances than a costly roof replacement.
However, this isn’t the only benefit of passive, preventative maintenance.
1. Protecting the value of your home
A pristine roof applies a nice finishing touch to the aesthetics of your home. If you’re considering selling your home soon, a well-maintained, healthy-looking roof can protect the value of your home.That’s because a clean, debris-free roof presents both a nice exterior and a structurally sound home.
2. Keeping utility costs down
In Australia, a roof’s ventilation system must work well to keep houses cool during the hot summer. A working ventilation system will keep your utility bills as low as intended. During regular roof maintenance, a professional roofer can inspect the ventilation system and recommend any upgrades or repairs to improve its effectiveness. If there’s a leak in the roof, this will lead to increased humidity, making your heating and cooling system work harder. Fixing a leak will not only be beneficial to your roof’s longevity, but it will also be kinder to your monthly bill.
3. Maintaining warranty
Having a warranty on your roof is a welcome safety net should anything unfortunate happen to your roof. However, some manufacturers can void warranties if you don’t regularly inspect your roof. To avoid this, complete yearly inspections and request documentation from a building professional. This preventative step proves that you’ve been doing your due diligence.
Take the Time for Passive Maintenance
Passive roof maintenance is essential for ensuring the longevity, safety, and energy efficiency of your roof. By taking a proactive approach to roof maintenance, you can identify and address any issues before they progress to more challenging situations. Those ‘challenging situations’ can become very costly indeed. Regular inspections, cleaning, and repairs can help extend the life of your roof so that you avoid the significant undertaking of replacing your roof.
That’s why investing in passive roof maintenance is a wise decision.