NIJAC serves quite the wide variety of agricultural, industrial and commercial clients throughout the United States. Our focus on metal roofing makes our team the one to count on for metal roof replacement and metal roof installation, as well as grain silo coating, grain silo repair and grain silo location.
But while our work frequently takes us to properties with simply massive roofs, we haven’t lost sight of the needs of homeowners and smaller commercial property owners. No matter your roof’s size, you depend on it to keep your home warm and dry, as well as to repel all the damage which America’s various climates threaten on a daily basis.
Here are just a few tips you can follow in order to maintain your roof!
Clean Your Gutters
The gutters lining your roof serve an important purpose: They divert rainwater and meltwater away from your property so they cannot seep into your foundation, flood your basement, or allow mold and mildew to colonize your frame.
Your gutters’ importance to your roof cannot be overstated. They channel water away before it can form ice dams, as well as saturate and rot the underlying decking. It can easily cost over $15,000 to repair the damage clogged gutters can do to a single-family home!
Fortunately, clogged gutters are among the easiest headaches to prevent. Simply set up a ladder (or hire a professional who knows how to handle ladders safely) and manually scrape all that debris out of there. An inexpensive drill-mounted auger is recommended for scouring out downspouts.
Trim Your Trees
The trees surrounding your home provide pleasant natural aesthetics, as well as quarters for pretty songbirds. While branches hanging over your home may create a certain romantic appeal, the risk they pose is never worth it.
No tree is stout enough to withstand sustained wind speeds of 90 mph. An unhealthy tree will topple or start releasing its branches under much lower wind speeds, as well as when it’s buried under heavy snowfall. A limb weighing several hundred pounds will do obvious things to any section of roof it hits, but even a smaller branch may damage any shingles it strikes. Furthermore, overhanging tree branches make it easier for squirrels and other unwelcome critters to invade your home.
Some homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover damage caused by tree branches which formerly posed a very obvious threat of falling. But you’d rather not deal with the nuisance of contacting your insurance provider anyway, which is why arboreal landscaping is a must for any property owner or manager.
Remove the Snow
Snow weighs about 20 pounds per cubic foot, give or take depending on its moisture content. Fresh snow typically poses no problems to a newer roof, but just two feet of dense, packed snow can exert too much weight for even the sturdiest roof to support. Worse yet, a single inch of ice weighs approximately as much as an entire foot of fresh snow!
Ensuring that your roof is in good condition is not enough to weather the winter. It is essential that you invest in a good roof rake, and it is also advised that you install de-icing cables wherever snow and ice are most likely to accumulate on your roof in significant quantities.
Inspect Your Shingles
Your shingles have the inestimably important job of keeping water out of your house. Pity that they’re under such constant attack while they’re at it! Shingles can become damaged as the result of exposure to strong winds, bright sunlight, inadequate ventilation, surrounding vegetation and several other environmental factors.
Keep a close eye on your shingles. Check for missing pieces following every windstorm, and closely inspect your roof for cracks and divots whenever hail has finished falling. Also check your gutters for asphalt granules, as these indicate that your shingles are no longer intact enough to function correctly.
Also be on the lookout for moss and mold! Though these lifeforms may seem innocuous, their root and hyphae systems can quickly curl and loosen shingles. Moss and mold may also mark areas where the shingles are absorbing and retaining moisture, which poses its own unique threats to your roof and the entire house beneath it.
Check for Leaks
Inspecting the roof itself is often not enough to tell whether it is failing to do its job. It is essential to check for signs of water damage within your home, as these also indicate potentially serious leaks.
Look for discoloration on the ceiling and its surrounding walls, as well as cracking, flaking or bubbling on the paint or drywall. But not all signs of roof leaks are visible. A musty, damp smell may mean that water is accumulating within your frame, and the sound of dripping behind the walls nearly always signals that water is infiltrating the roof.
Check Your Insulation
Proper roof insulation won’t just make a dramatic impact on your heating bill. It also reduces the amount of heat that can pass through your roof’s asphalt shingles, which will appreciably increase their lifespan.
Furthermore, adequate insulation will prohibit your home’s heat from melting any snow or ice that have accumulated on your roof. This will in turn prevent ice damming, which is one of the leading causes of damaged shingles and water infiltration in cold climates!
While a local contractor offers the best solution for your own home’s roof, NIJAC of Sioux Falls, South Dakota serves the Midwest and the rest of the continental U.S. for all their larger metal roof and silo repair needs. Please contact us today for an inspection and estimate!