What homeowner really wants to think about roof maintenance? Few, if any. More than 70% of current homeowners report that they would prefer roofing made from materials that do not need a lot of maintenance or any maintenance at all. When asked further, 88% of homeowners say that the number one thing they look for when making roofing decisions, they want their roofs to be durable. About 83% say they want it to last a long time. At the end of the day, however, homeowners do need to think about roofing maintenance.
The next question is, what can you do on your own and what do you need a professional roofer to do?
- You can go general maintenance. At least on an annual basis, you should go around your home and clean your ventilation system of all the dust, dirt and debris that may have accumulated. Do the same for your vents. You should also do a yearly (at least) cleaning of your gutters. You can call a professional to do that if you want but blocked gutters can really be damaging to your roof and the rest of your home. Your foundation can be vulnerable when the gutters are clogged and do not effectively keep water around the base of your home.
- You can check your roof regularly. If it is safe to get to your roof, you can do that. Anyone can walk around their home and do a visual check of the state of their roof. Even if you do not see major problems, you can fix smaller ones to prevent them from becoming big ones that might require more extensive roof repair. If you have an attic, you can walk around for signs of leaks. A lot of this is common sense.
- Start with good materials. Shingle roofing with asphalt will last about two decades. Metal roofing requires a lot less maintenance and can last a lot longer. Steel roofing also offers some other benefits. It is made from mostly recycled materials and is completely recyclable at the end of the roof’s life. They also reduce the homeowner’s energy bills by keeping the home cooler during the summer months as it reflects the heat from the sum (asphalt and shingle roofs trap it).
- There are times when you need a roofing professional. When you do your visual inspection of your roof, there are some warning signs that should send you to a roofing contractor. Some warning signs are buckled or curled shingles, streaking stains and rusted flashings. If there are large areas of your roof that are missing shingles, call a roofing professional. If you find mold or moss in your attic, you need the help of a professional. If you notice that your energy bills are going up for no reason, that could indicate a problem with your roof.
Keep in mind, people do notice your roof. It is one of the first things people notice when they look at a person’s home. A nice, good looking roof does have an impact on your home’s curb appeal. When people look at a house, 40% of what they are seeing is the roof. You will sell your home faster if you have a roof that is in good condition.
When you go to find a roofing company, you will have a lot of options. There are more than 50,000 businesses around the nation devoted to roofing, siding and sheet metal products. Talk to your friends and families for roofing companies they have used and see if you can get recommendations for roofing contractors in your area. Other places you can look are online. Many localities and cities have set up Facebook groups and communities specifically to promote local business and services. You may be able to find a roofing company that way. Check Yelp!
When you do find several roofing companies that you are considering hiring, check their references and that they have the proper licenses and insurance. Ask them but verify whatever they tell you. If they have references or testimonials you can check, go ahead and do that. Look around your town and you will be able to find a roofing contractor.