There a many things that can contribute to a roofs deterioration and ultimate failure. From neglect, sloppy work, and cheap materials to natural elements such as age, storms, environment and normal wear and tear.
For a roof to last as long as possible, it’s important for homeowners to educate themselves and do what needs to be done.
Knowing what you can control and what you cannot can not only help your roof reach it’s expected lifetime but in many cases, exceed it. Yes, even if your roof is rated for 20 – 30 years, with proper maintenance and care your roof can outlast it’s expected life by years, even decades!
The following are the 3 most common causes of roof failure that can be prevented.
1) Lack of maintenance
Neglecting one’s roof occurs for a variety of reasons from financial difficulties to business continuity. Regardless of the reason, the end result usually ends the same. A small issue begins and without being detected it turns into a major repair or even a complete roof replacement. In other cases simply having the gutters cleaned would have prevented thousands in damage.
Regular maintenance and addressing problems when they are noticed between maintenance is the best way to make sure your roof lasts as long as it can. Homeowners should have yearly professional inspections while businesses should have them twice a year. Keep your gutters and the roof clear of debris, while having small problems repaired as you go.
2) Improper repairs
Those guys that stop buy in their little trucks offering incredible deals to repair or replace your roof sounds great at first, until you experience the problems resulting from unkinwn or cheap services. Using materials not intended for application on specific roof types, for example, can cause permanent damage to a roof. You can actually make a small problem worse though improper repairs. Following the manufacturers instructions for proper use and taking note of products with a shelf life can go a long way in ensuring your investment is protected.
If you aren’t experienced in roof repairs, it’s better to leave it to the professionals. “Macgyver-ing” as solution may seem like a good idea but in too many cases it makes the problem worse. When hiring a professional be sure to do your homework and be sure the people you hire will do the job right.
3) Poor installation and unsatisfactory workmanship
Fly-by-night and other cheap roofers and unscrupulous roofing companies can charge much less than legitimate companies by using sub-par and other cheap materials never meant to be used on a roof. A faulty installation dramatically increases the likelihood of problems and reduces it’s life expectancy. Poor workmanship isn’t always evident when the job is completed, but becomes obvious as the years go by as problems occur and the life of the roof is substantially reduced.
Educating yourself and researching the roofers or roofing company you use is your best weapon against being a victim of poor workmanship. Never hire a roof contractor until you are fully confident in their knowledge and skills.