A Roof Over Head: Roof Maintenance and Protection

roof-maintenance

Many people see a roof as a form of protection, yet fail to protect the roof itself! Most people don’t consider roof maintenance as a bare necessity, but a little love and care for your roof can translate into long-term benefits for you and your home.

What Kind Of Roof Do You Have?
Roofs come in many shapes and sizes. In New England, many homes are covered with asphalt-shingled roofs. The shingles (long square or rectangular sheets of thinly made asphalt) are layered on top of one another and are either nailed or glued to a roof surface. Often times, a layer of tar is used to help bond the shingles together (giving the roof a uniformed look while protecting it against the elements). Rubber and metal roofs are often constructed with single or multiple sheets of the respective material, and can be adhered or bolted to the roof surface. In some places tiled roofs (clay or slate) can also be seen. These stone and clay tiles are layered just like shingles to add protection for the roof. And while each roof has its own particular needs, one thing is consistent; exposure to the elements wreaks havoc on your roof.

What Causes Damage?
1) Sun
In Massachusetts, with asphalt-shingled roofs in particular, the number one cause for roof wear is sun damage. Some people might argue that in the northeast, we don’t get enough sun to warrant t-shirt weather for more than a month or two, but your roof tells a completely different story. On average, Massachusetts gets between 4 and 8 hours of sunlight per day (depending on the season). The visible light and heat that comes from the Sun on a daily basis is enough to heat the surface of a roof by 20 degrees above current temperature, depending on its exposure. This continuous sun exposure is literally cooking your shingles (imagine going tanning for 8 hours)! The constant heating and cooling from the sun and evening nights causes roof shingles to wear.

2) Hail

Hail, an uncommon phenomenon where balls of ice fall from the sky with a vengeance, is also a cause for costly roof repair in certain areas Hail on the Roofof the state. While slate and clay tiled roofs might have a bit of added protection due to their solid exteriors, asphalt and rubber roofs are not as fortunate. In Massachusetts hailstones can range in size from centimeters to inches in diameter. One of the worst hail storms recorded in the state had hailstones 2 inches wide (Imagine getting pelted with a series of golf balls) and can travel 90+ miles per hour! The damage caused by hail stones to a roof are catastrophic. In some cases, hailstones can damage shingles to the point where it can penetrate a roof’s surface.

3) Rain

Rain damage is a silent assassin for many roofs. A roof is designed to be the “umbrella” for your home, keeping the rain from coming in. But, that means your roof is left out in the rain. For shingled roofs, the slightest opening can allow water to seep in. Now, while the dripping sound of water into your kitchen might be annoying, the real damage occurs when the water seeps beneath the shingles. This water will slowly wear away the seal formed by the shingles, causing them to lift from the roof and making them susceptible to the elements.

4) Improper Installation

Unfortunately, this can be tough to catch. If a roof is not installed properly, regardless of the   quality of the roof, it is susceptible to the elements.

So what can you do to protect this roof of yours? Prevention, Inspection, and Repair.

 

Roof Maintenance/Protection Best Practices

Many roof issues can be solved or at least mitigated by an ounce of protection ahead of time. For sun damage, adding protection from a layer of paint, or better yet, solar panels can help to reflect the sun’s strong rays, adding some protection to your home. The only real protection against hail is to provide a cover for your roof. Solar panels are a great way go. Some solar panels are rated for hail traveling up to 120 Miles per hour! And, many solar programs can install the solar panels on your home for little to no upfront initial cost!

If clean energy is not your thing, however, the next best thing you can do for your roof is to have it inspected. Routine inspection is the best way to prevent further damage. The same way you take a car in for a tune up, you homeguides-articles-thumbs-roof-inspection.jpg.600x275_q85_crop should have  your  roof  checked out  at  least twice a    year (before and  after harsh  seasonal  changes from  winter to spring, and summer to fall). This will allow you to take preventative measures against the weather. If you take your car in for routine maintenance, doesn’t your roof deserve the same? You wouldn’t want to wait until your roof started to make noise before checking it out- that’s for sure!

Protect and Prevent

Summing it all up, the two most important things to understand about roof maintenance are protection and prevention. Many challenges with roofs, especially in New England are a result of weather. Although factors such as roof repair and improper installation can contribute to a roofs susceptibility to damage , the elements are the ones that deliver the heaviest blow. Measures such as weather- proofing, UV Coating, installing solar panels, and having routine inspection can dramatically help to protect your roof from damage and potentially increase the life of your roof. The inspection is the best way to find the target areas that need to be protected the most.

Sometimes, we wait until we hear something wrong before we get it checked out: we wait until we hear a funny noise before getting the car inspected, or wait until we have a cough before we schedule a doctor’s visit. Don’t wait for your roof to tell you that something’s wrong! Your roof is meant to be the “strong and silent type,” and by the time it “speaks up” it may be too late. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. And although you may not hear it, not saying anything is your roof’s way of thanking you.

Article Written By: Lumyr D. ~ Sales Consultant, Rayah Solar

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