Are you looking to purchase your first home or have you recently taken the plunge and bought a house? As a first-time home buyer, you’ve just inherited a number of responsibilities, notably maintaining your home to protect the huge investment you just put forth. In addition to keeping up with the landscaping replacing burned-out lightbulbs, and other simple maintenance tasks, you also need to protect and maintain the roof over your head so it can function optimally for years to come. If you’re not sure how to do this, here are some valuable tips that will help you become a better and more prepared homeowner for the future.
Get To Know Your Roofing System
If you want to effectively maintain your roof, you need to know what it’s made of. How are the various pieces, materials, and components put together? What is their function? Knowing these things can help you identify issues quicker if they arise, and can let you know if you need to schedule a repair as soon as possible. Here are some of the parts of your roofing system:
- Outer layer: This is the part of your roof you see when looking at your home from the outside. This layer consists of the shingles or tiles on your roof, and is the first level of protection your roof has against the elements. It also plays a huge role in your home’s curb appeal.
- Decking: This is the plywood foundation that the shingles or tiles are fastened to in order to create your roof.
- Timber: This is the wooden structure that composes the frame of your roof, including the joists, rafters, crossbeams, and more.
- Eaves: These are the parts of your roof that overhang beyond the edges of your exterior walls.
- Fascia: These are the boards which are attached to the edges of the eaves on your home, giving them a nice, clean appearance.
- Gutters: These are small metal or plastic troughs attached to the fascia which collect water that rolls off your roof and carries it away from the foundation of your home. They require regular cleaning.
If you’ve grown up in the icy winters of Colorado, you likely know what an ice dam is and why it can be such a huge threat and burden on homeowners. If you’re just moving to the area, particularly from a warmer climate, you may not be aware of this threat. In both cases, you need to know how to take care of this problem before it causes tremendous damage to your home.
An ice dam is a giant block of ice that forms usually toward the edges of your roof (near the eaves) as a result of snow and ice melting further up (where the roof is warmer) and re-freezing again at a lower, colder point. Ice dams can penetrate and lift roofing materials, exposing the soft, vulnerable underlayment beneath, creating leaks, causing mold, and weakening the entire structure of your roof, which means your home is at serious risk for major damage. They can also slide and become dislodged from the roof above, which means there’s a tremendous risk of the dam falling and injuring someone or damaging property.
Preventing ice dams doesn’t have to be difficult. While some people choose to use salt or some other form of a snow-melting material on their roof to try to curtail the issue, you might find that the most reliable method is to make sure your attic is well-insulated and ventilated to allow for an even temperature. This means the snow and ice will either melt uniformly or remain frozen, preventing it from flowing and freezing into a solid block. Preventing warm air from getting into your attic through proper insulation is the most consistent way to avoid this problem.
Just because the roof over your head is fine now doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Over time, the continual exposure to the elements will wear on anything left outside, and your roof is no exception. This means you should have your roof inspected fairly regularly—every few years if it’s new, increasing to every year as it ages and starts to develop more issues. An inspection can help you identify and repair problems before they become major issues, which can prolong the life of your roof for many additional years.Need a roof repair or inspection? Trust the GAF Master Elite® professionals at Divine Roofing, Inc. to get the job done right! Call us today at (719) 497-1005 to schedule a service or receive an estimate.