Most materials today claim to be lifetime warranty or maintenance free but for the most part, by and large this is not true and you must still pay attention to and maintain those items to ensure they truly do last their expected useful lifespan.
I’ve put together a few items below that I think a homeowner should be aware to keep your home safe and beautiful. My list is mainly in regards to the roof but we strongly recommend compiling a list of items throughout the home. This goes for both interior and exterior:
* Pipe flashing seals
* Wall flashings
* Nail pops
* Exposed nails
* Clogged gutters
* Tress growing on to roof
* Debris on roof
Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these to see how you can spot and resolve a problem before it becomes an expensive headache.
Pipe flashing seals
Pipe flashings are the small wrappings that surround the pipes coming through the roof. These are found on nearly all residential homes. The seal itself is made of a neoprene rubber. While the neoprene rubber is strong and durable, just like any rubber exposed to the sun, it will still deteriorate over time. Just because a new roof is sold as a lifetime roof, doesn’t mean these flashings should not be checked every 3-5 years. Pipe flashings are one of the most common items to fail on a roof yet they are also one of the easiest to fix by taking a new seal and bonding it directly over top of the old one or replacing the entire flashing if it cannot be re sealed.
Wall flashings keep water from intruding where the roofing meets any walls on the home. Most walls are either brick or some form of siding. More commonly on brick, a metal flashing is used by cutting it into the brick and sealing the top edge. This sealant usually holds strong for 10-15 years but can begin to break down with age or improper installation. This breakdown can be caught early by a visual inspection. The old sealant can easily be re sealed using high quality exterior grade sealant.
Every once in awhile, nails may begin to pop out of the roof decking. This can be from improper installation, nails being left exposed or un sealed or possibly excess heat being trapped in attic. You may notice that some of the shingles are slightly lifted up or that the nails may have popped all the way through. If it’s popped through, you can either seal it from the outside or replace the shingle. If it has not popped through, simply pull the tab up and properly hammer in a nail and lay the shingle back down applying new sealant to hold the shingle in place.
In some cases nails have to be left exposed. In other cases nails are left exposed that should not be left. If a nail must be left exposed such as the nails on the last piece of a ridge cap, they should have a high quality exterior grade sealant applied over them to protect them from rusting. While resistant to rust, roofing nails will eventually rust if left exposed for a long period of time which can cause them to break down or back out. Applying sealant is easy and can save you from unnecessary and costly damage.
Gutters are your only line of defense from water shedding from the roof. They allow the water to properly be channeled in an effort to stop property erosion and deterioration. Clogged gutters can cause damage to the roofing, soffits, fascia and interior of not checked. Common things that can clog gutters are leaves and the granules from the shingles. If done frequently, cleaning gutters can be as simple as using a blower or running a hose down them. Gutter screens will also cut down on maintenance time greatly but they still will need to be maintained.
Trees growing onto the roof
It’s wonderful to have trees around your home. They can add to curb appeal and benefit the earth. Sometimes however, trees can grow too close to the roof causing damage. Branches touching the shingles can abrade the surface of the roofing causing extensive damage. They also can drop excessive leaves and branches causing further damage.
Debris on the roof
Certain areas on a roof are more prone to collecting debris then other such as valleys. Once debris collects, it can act as a damn allowing water to flow other directions besides down hill leading to water intrusion. They can also promote the growth of mold or mildew further shortening the life of the roof. Debris can be cleaned with a blower or lightly swept off the roof. We don’t ever recommend using a pressure washer on a roof.
These are just a few tips to help protect your greatest asset. There are several other items to pay attention to such as leaks on the interior, excessive granule loss and waviness in the decking. These are dead give away a something is wrong and should be addressed immediately.