As a business owner, you have a lot to keep track of every day. One of the last things that might be on your mind is the roof over your head. However, taking the time to inspect and maintain the roofs of your structures can save you money—and protect the property inside those structures.
You can pay anywhere from a few thousand dollars to north of $30,000 for a new roof, depending on the size and types of materials used. Even when you think about how much your roof protects, that’s a decent hit to the pocketbook. And while you’ll likely have to replace a roof at some point for your business or home, you can delay the inevitable with proper maintenance and general good practices.
Pay attention to your roof
Make inspecting your roof part of your regular duties. You don’t always have to lug out a ladder and make the climb to have a look. Sometimes all it takes is using binoculars from the ground.
Once you’re in the habit of checking out the status of your roof, here are some things to be on the lookout for and address to prolong the life of your roof:
- Watch your shingles: Replace any missing or damaged shingles as needed and keep them free of dirt and debris.
- Remove lichen or moss: Moss traps water, which is never a good thing on a roof. You may be able to sweep it off, or if there’s a lot of it, you might need to kill off the moss first. Ask a professional for advice and assistance.
- Replace sealant: Inspect the areas of your roof where sealant is used and remove and replace as needed.
- Inspect for rust: If your roof contains any metallic pieces, regularly check them for rust and corrosion. Remove, prime, paint, or replace as needed.
- Look for loose flashing: Flashing is the material used over the joints and wall construction on your roof. If the flashing is cracked or loose, water can seep in.
- Keep an eye on your chimney: If you notice cracked or missing mortar, fix or replace it as soon as a possible. You don’t want loose bricks breaking free.
- Schedule inspections: Have a professional inspect your roof on a regular basis, at least every few years.
A good time to check the status of your roof—over and above your regularly scheduled inspections—is after a storm. High winds especially can damage shingles and other parts of your roof.
Clean your gutters
Gutters are great for directing water away from your structures. But they can also be great at catching leaves, branches, and other assorted debris from trees.
You might not think that poses a problem for your roof, but if water has no place to go due to clogged downspouts or obstructions, it can travel into the roof sheathing and cause rot.
Clean your gutters every fall and spring. Gutter guards work well, but even then, you should make sure at least twice a year they’re doing their job.
While flushing water down gutters can be an effective way to clean them, don’t use a power washer. Too much force can damage gutters and roof shingles.
Keep debris away and off your roof
Gutters aren’t the only areas where debris can collect on a roof. Flat areas or valleys are the perfect spots for wayward leaves and branches to congregate.
Remove leaves and debris from roof valleys as you spot then. That debris can trap moisture, break down the compositions of your shingles, and provide a starting point for weed growth.
Trim overhanging branches from trees and bushes around your structures. This will help prevent debris collection on your roof and keep those branches from rubbing against the roof, gutters, siding, and windows.
In winter, prevent ice dam formation with proper insulation, and take steps to remove snow three to four feet from your gutters using a roof rake.
Your roof is a valuable investment. Take good care of it to save yourself money in the long run. If you have further questions about roof maintenance, a Hortica agent is ready to help.
Learn more about protecting your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.
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