The roof is one of any building’s most important assets. Although many may disagree, or not even consider the roof whenever deciding what’s most important in your home or business, a roof helps make everything possible. Common roofing problems that arise from lack of maintenance can surface at the most inopportune times. If you have ever had to deal with a total roof failure during bad weather, or just a small leak that is in the worst place possible, you realize how important it is that your roof be in good condition.
Not only does your roof help keep everyone inside dry, but it is also essential to help prevent mold growth, improve energy efficiency, enhance the structural integrity of your building and provide a pleasant aesthetic and finished look to any structure. That being said, it is one of the most neglected structures on any building. Most building and homeowners stick to a fairly regular schedule of HVAC and other system maintenance, but take the roofs that provide daily protection for granted. It is very common for roof maintenance to be reactive only, meaning that most of us will wait until there is a leak or an obvious reason before doing any type of roof maintenance at all. Although this can fix the immediate problem, there are a variety of serious issues that can result from an aging, unmaintained roof.
Why Reactive Roof Maintenance Doesn’t Work
Although reactive roof maintenance may appear to be addressing the issues as they occur, it is not a very good long-term strategy for your roofing. Whenever you engage in reactive maintenance only, you run the risk of having an old, poorly maintained roof that has more issues than you are aware of. This can potentially result in dangerous situations and costly repairs.
Common Roofing Problems that can be Avoided
- Leaking – A leak can be incredibly inconvenient to everyone involved. When a leak is noticed, however, much of the damage has already been done. Before you ever see the water inside your building, there are many roofing components that must already be completely saturated. This means that it could be days, weeks or months before a leak is actually noticed and addressed.
- Structural damage – In addition to the obvious puddles and water spots, leaks can damage the structure of your roof and home itself. If a leak is not found quickly, it can result in long-term structural damage that can cost you a lot more to fix.
- Moisture – In addition to damaged and deteriorating roof decking, moisture can cause your insulation to become saturated, effectively eliminating any R-value that it may have originally had. The added water weight can increase the load on your roof structure, cause rust in fasteners and components and promote the growth of mold and other microorganisms. All of these factors contribute to the reduced structural integrity of your home, as well as a diminished level of indoor air quality due to the excess moisture and mold.
- Exterior siding damage – One of the first places that you will visibly notice the effects of an un-maintained roof are in the exterior of your home or building. Moisture retention, structural issues and increased weight due to the added water lead to damaged stucco, brick, concrete wood and any other exterior building components. Whenever this damage is apparent, you can expect extensive repairs and replacement.
The best way to prevent the common roofing problems that result from lack of maintenance on your roof is to enact a preventative maintenance program. This type of program begins with regular, thorough inspections that are designed to discover, document and repair any current or potential damage before it becomes a serious issue. Although there is a cost associated with this, preventative maintenance is highly preferred to reactive maintenance. Repair and replacement costs of serious roofing issues are typically much more extensive than if you stick to a regular preventative schedule.
When was the last time you had your roof inspected?