Owning a home brings a lot of joy, but the responsibilities can be pretty scary for first time homeowners. One of the big responsibilities is making sure that the roof over your head is in good shape and properly maintained. It might seem like a lot of work, but here are 5 simple steps you can take to make sure you get the most life out of your roof.
- Get it inspected – Home inspectors rarely actually climb onto a roof during the pre-sale inspection. Before you buy a house, make sure to have a licensed roofing contractor inspect the roof and look for any upgrades or repairs that need to be addressed. A professional roofing contractor might notice something the home inspector missed that could affect the value of the home. If you have already bought the house, an inspection will inform you of issues you can take care of before they become big problems down the line.
- Make sure you’re working with a reputable contractor – The roof is an extremely important part of your house. You want to make sure you work with the best professionals who guarantee their work. Make sure to get the license number of your contractor and ensure that they have a good reputation. You also want to check for any designations the contractor might have. Manufacturer designations are especially valuable because they require that a contractor meets a strict set of requirements and capabilities. For example, only 3% of roofing contractors are certified as GAF Master Elite®
- Know your options – There is a wide variety of roofing options available, but they won’t all work for your situation. The style of your home, your price range, and the climate all play a big role in helping you decide which roofing material to pick. If you live in a particularly sunny area, you might be interested in shingles that are more energy efficient. If you live in an area that is prone to strong storms, you might want shingles that are impact resistant and can withstand strong winds. You also want to make sure to pick a style that looks good with your home. A good looking, effective roof has a major impact on the resale value of your home.
- Know where to look for trouble – Chimneys and skylights look great, but they are potential trouble spots for your roof. The flashing around them can become loose and allow water in. Clogged or damaged gutters can also cause damage to your roof. Look carefully though; what you might think is a skylight leak could just be a drip from condensation on the skylight’s cool surface.
- Learn about regular maintenance – Just like taking care of your car, you want to make sure your roof gets regular maintenance. There are simple things you can do like clearing out your gutters twice a year, making sure the downspouts are free of debris, and removing overhanging limbs that could fall and damage your roof. You also want to look for loose or missing shingles, and dark spots which might indicate a leak. Regular inspections with a licensed contractor can help you spot and address minor issues before they become expensive emergencies.