Roof Facts

Maintenance

A roof system's life can be extended by a good maintenance plan.

A routine inspection in conjunction with bi-annual gutter cleaning can avoid costly problems in the future. Inclement weather can adversely affect a roof's performance. Rain, wind and snow and ice can cause damage that is not easily detected. Over the long term, moisture and deterioration can lead to problems with shingles, flashing and leaders and gutters.

Prune trees that come in contact with the roof. Branches touching a roof can gouge roofing materials when the branches are blown by the wind. Falling branches from overhanging trees can damage, or even puncture roofing materials. Leaves on a roof system's surface retain moisture and cause rot and leaves in the gutters block drainage.

One of the most critical factors in a roof system's durability is proper ventilation. Without it, heat and moisture build up in an attic area and combine to cause rafters and sheathing to rot, shingles to buckle, and insulation to lose its effectiveness. Therefore, it is important never to block off sources of roof ventilation, such as louvers, ridge vents or soffit vents, even in winter. Proper attic ventilation will help prevent structural damage caused by moisture, increase roofing material life, reduce energy consumption and enhance the comfort level of the rooms below the attic.

Choosing a Roofer

Buying a new roof system is an important investment. Before you spend your money, ask a few simple questions.

  • Is the company licensed? Bonded?
  • Are the workers insured?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Are they members of the National Roofing Contractors Association?

Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many fly-by-night contractors' below-cost bids seem attractive, but these contractors often are uninsured and perform substandard work. Remember, price is only one of the criteria for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism, experience and quality workmanship also should weigh heavily in your decision.

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