5R Roofing saves thousands of dollars over the long run. Small repairs or defects caught during a routine inspection prevent major problems.
Building personnel should walk the roof at least twice yearly, preferably in the fall and spring. A roof system historical file should be maintained. That should include the original plans, specifications, warranties, and thorough documentation of maintenance and repairs.
The flashing is a vital part of the roof system that protects vulnerable areas like chimneys, vent pipes, dormers, and valleys. It is made of water-proof aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel. It is shaped to fit around each penetration, sealing the joint and preventing water from getting into the house. It is a good idea to check it regularly to ensure it is secure and well-caulked. Leaking is a common problem with flashings, but it can often be a simple fix as long as the flashing is properly installed in the first place. However, if the flashing has been damaged, an expert roofing service must have it repaired promptly to ensure the leaks are stopped before they get out of hand.
A professional inspector knows how to identify the problems that can occur with the flashing, including corrosion. Corrosion is usually a sign that the flashing is deteriorating and must be replaced soon to prevent moisture intrusion into the home. Other warning signs include discoloration on the walls near where the flashing meets, leaking around windows and doors caused by missing flashing sections, and increased exterior noise due to air entering through gaps in the flashings.
In addition to examining the flashing, a professional inspection should also read the field of the roof for any cracks, deterioration, and general wear and tear. A professional will also be able to identify potential areas where leaks may be originating and will be able to recommend the best course of action for repairing them.
During a regular maintenance visit, the roof will be inspected to look for any cracks in the surface and deterioration of the shingles and other components and to clean out drains and gutters. The maintenance crew will also prune any branches touching the roof that may need to be trimmed back, and all areas of the top will be re-flashed where necessary. In addition, the crew will re-caulk any areas that need it and re-secure any loose or missing shingles.
Clean gutters remove water from the home’s structure, foundation, and siding. Gutter cleaning isn’t the glamorous of home maintenance tasks, but it helps prevent costly damage and keeps the house looking nicer.
Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow from the roof and into the walls or ceiling, creating mold, mildew, rot, and other problems. It’s best to clean the gutters twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall, or both if you live in a rainy area.
First, set up a ladder a few feet away from the house to clean the gutters so you can comfortably reach each section. Wear work gloves and safety glasses, and make sure the ladder is secure. Start at one end of the roof and use a gutter scoop or hand trowel to remove the leaves and debris. Continue until the entire gutter is empty, and then move the ladder over a few feet and repeat. After all of the waste is removed, turn on a garden hose at a medium flow and use it to flush out the gutters. Please start at the end of the channel opposite the downspout and work toward it to ensure that all of the gunk is being pushed down and away from your home.
If the gutters are stained, a solution of white vinegar, cream of tartar, and water can be used to scrub them. That will also help break up stains and deodorize the gutters.
While some homeowners prefer to climb on the roof to clean the gutters, it must be safer and more practical. Staying on the ladder and following good ladder safety practices is better, especially when leaning out over the roof’s edge. It may be safer to climb on the top using a specialized gutter guard system with heating elements, which can melt snow and ice dams and keep them from blocking your gutters. Gutter guards are also available with a retractable arm that extends from the top of the channel to clear the eaves when needed.
Tree limbs that hang too close to the roof can damage the shingles during a storm. In addition, the branches can fall onto your home, creating a hazard to people and pets. Regular trimming can prevent this and keep the shingles from weakening.
Following proper pruning techniques when removing branches is important, even if you are not a professional arborist. For example, before cutting, you should locate the branch collar – a raised area of bark where the branch meets the trunk. This spot may be hard to find on some trees, but you can generally recognize it by its shape. You should never cut through the collar if removing a large branch. Instead, you should see off a stub two to four inches long. That will protect the trunk and encourage the growth of a callus around the wound, which helps to prevent rot.
Other important pruning procedures include removing diseased or dead limbs and thinning the crown. Thinner branches provide more resistance to wind damage and reduce the risk of limbs falling during storms. However, it’s important not to remove more than one-fourth of the canopy at a time, as this could put unnecessary stress on the tree.
When thinning a crown, you should remove crossing or rubbing branches and limbs growing at an odd angle from the trunk. That will help the tree grow more evenly and prevent limbs from becoming too large and breaking off. It’s also a good idea to remove suckers, weak and weedy-looking growths that form at the base of a tree. These steal energy from the more desirable limbs and can also attract pests.
You should also remove the lateral branches that hang low, as these can scrape your roof in strong winds. Finally, you should maintain a two- to three-foot clearance between your house and the top of the nearest tree. That will minimize the risk of damage from falling limbs and increase the enjoyment of your yard.
Caulking is a crucial element of roof maintenance. A good caulking job will prevent moisture penetration, leading to problems, including mold and rot. It will also improve the energy efficiency of your commercial property. If you notice signs of caulking deterioration, removing and replacing the old caulk before it causes further damage is important.
The most common sign of caulking deterioration is the formation of cracks and gaps. It is also important to look for missing beads and areas where the caulking has started to peel.
To remove the old caulk, first prepare the surface. Clean the area using a non-chlorinated cleaner and a non-flammable solvent such as denatured alcohol. Put the alcohol on a rag and rub over the caulk. The solvent will loosen the caulk and remove it easily without damaging the roof. Once the old caulk is removed, the area should be thoroughly cleaned to ensure any residues are removed, and the surface is ready to implant new sealant.
When you are ready to install the new caulking, ensure the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are working on a metal roof, it is best to use a stainless steel blade tool to avoid tearing the metal membrane.
The new caulking should be applied in a bead about the width of your finger. That will help to provide a more even and attractive finish. After using the dot, you should smooth and level it with a tool or finger. That will help ensure the new caulking is not too thick or too thin.
Inspecting the flashing is another important part of the roof maintenance process. Your roofer will check for areas where the flashing has been damaged and is properly sealed. They will also look for signs of corrosion or rust that may indicate that the flashing is eroding and needs to be replaced. They will also inspect the flashing around any vents or pipes to ensure they are properly sealed.