One of the most typical causes of roof damage is storms or extreme weather. Strong winds, ice, heavy rain, sleet, hail, and even the sun, can take their toll on your roof.
Often small problems that have been neglected, or not spotted, will become much bigger when the weather turns bad. Since 1980, there have been 341 events involving extreme weather that have led to more than $1 billion worth of damage each time. The total cost of these weather disasters is over $2.475 trillion. This is just in the US alone.
Unfortunately, as many homeowners have found out, they are not always covered for roof repairs. Maintaining the roof is the exclusive responsibility of the homeowner. If an insurance assessor decides that you have neglected to maintain your roof, then they may refuse to pay for damage incurred during a storm.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the sole reason why you should never neglect your roof.
How often should you check your roof for problems?
Roofing contractors such as Magnum Construction usually recommend twice-yearly roof inspections. Having your roof fully inspected every six months can mean that problems are detected before they get too big, or before additional damage has occurred.
You can of course inspect your roof yourself, but it could be wiser, and certainly safer, to leave some external inspections to a professional roofer. Checking your attic yourself though is perfectly safe, and you can spot other roofing problems outside without actually climbing onto the roof itself.
What should you be examining with your roof inspection?
Some roof repairs can be very expensive, and even the smaller jobs could cost a few hundred dollars potentially. However, while you need to budget for maintenance and home improvements, if you choose to neglect them to save money, it might cost you more later on.
Over time your roof will take a battering from the weather. This can lead to shingles losing their granules or lifting. Heavy winds can cause shingles to come away completely from the roof, and heavy hail might even crack roofing tiles.
Other things to look for are:
- Gaps that let light through
- Corroded flashing
- Moss building up
- Blocked gutters
- Blocked vents
- Warped or damaged fascias and soffits
Rust spots on flashing can lead to holes that let moisture in. Also, checking that flashing hasn’t come loose is vital, as this too can allow water to seep through into the attic. Light shining through anywhere in the attic will need to be attended to as water will be able to come through these gaps. This will lead to mildew or mold and eventually could cause serious issues with the roof itself.
What happens if you neglect your roof?
The simple answer to this is, if you neglect maintenance, you could eventually face a complete roof replacement and all the considerations this involves. Including several thousands of dollars.
But, in the meantime, neglecting roof inspections and repairs will mean that flashing could let water in, leaks can get bigger, and you may even end up with pests causing damage.
You could be inviting pests into the home
Roofs and attics are popular places for pests, and any hole will let them in. Even bird nests from pigeons can lead to corroded awnings and gutters. Clearing gutters is another important part of roof maintenance, as blocked ones attract pests, and birds love building nests in them.
Your home will cost more to heat and cool
If you have damage to your roof then it will be less energy-efficient. Hot and cool air will escape, and this will inevitably lead to higher utility bills. Plus, those holes and roof damage will see moisture coming into the attic.
You could damage your home and your health
If you have dampness in your attic from leaks you will see mold and mildew form. This is something that can creep up on a homeowner if they aren’t keeping an eye on their roof and attic. Mold isn’t just bad for your home, mold affects people’s health and creates allergens.
Your home will drop in value
When you try and sell your home, the buyer will carry out an inspection. Any roof damage will be noted, and this is likely to result in you either dropping the price, losing your buyer, or having delays while you carry out costly repairs.
Your roof could collapse
While this is the more extreme end of neglect, roofing failure is very possible if rot sets in and the structure is compromised. An inspection will spot problems with leaks and rotting before it gets this bad though.
There are several reasons why you should regularly inspect and maintain your roof. These range from protecting your gutters from corrosion or blockages to preventing the complete structural failure of the roof.
Fortunately, most roofing problems can be fixed without the need for a complete replacement. Preventative maintenance can help save thousands of bucks that might be caused by neglect.