Your new roof is a hefty but important investment. Whether it’s on your dream home or a new corporate building, your roof is what keeps the outside world – outside. Letting the integrity of your roof weaken, means higher energy bills and expensive yet avoidable repairs. In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about how to maintain your new roof!
Read on if you want to ensure your roof lasts a lifetime and doesn’t drain your bank account in the process.
Roofing Materials and Why They Matter
Roofing materials are an important part of any home or business. They protect the building from water damage, provide insulation and guard against fire. There are many different types of roofing materials available on the market today. Some common options include asphalt shingles, slate tiles, metal roofs, and clay tiles. Each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks that make them more or less suitable for specific applications.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of various types of roofing, and why you might consider them when learning how to maintain your new roof.
The Pros: Asphalt Shingles are the most common option on the market in North America. They are known for being affordable and relatively easy to install and repair, and can hold up for long periods of time in normal conditions. They also have a lot of color options which makes them a popular choice for residential roofing.
The Cons: They aren’t the most durable option on the market, and will not hold up well to severe conditions or damages. Replacing a shingle or two is easy, but you won’t be so lucky in a severe storm. They aren’t the strongest material available and are prone to getting holes or caving in if large debris hits. If too many shingles are compromised, it could mean a complete rebuild of the entire roof.
The Pros: All the same benefits of the shingles, but with added durability, It’s also a bit lighter than other options, which makes installation quicker, and saves you money on labor.
The Cons: While slightly more durable than shingles, this option shares many of the same problems. Since it is rolled on, it suffers in its overall structure and longevity. It’s also not the most attractive option available. Because of this, it’s recommended more for commercial buildings with larger, flatter surfaces and a more industrial look.
The Pros: There are various types of metal options available, with different looks and price points. The most common choice is Steel which is also the most affordable metal option. You can choose from rolled flat sheets, durable thick custom cuts, and even corrugated looks. These have the best longevity and durability, lasting up to 50 years with relatively low maintenance. Simply cleaning the roof, getting bi-annual inspections, and occasionally having a protective coating resprayed are enough to make them last several decades.
The Cons: Metal Roofing can be very costly, both in materials and initial labor. As metal options tend to come in larger sheets or panels, unlike with shingle roofing, metal will need to be custom fit and cut to match the shapes of your existing roof, which means a bit more labor is needed to get the job done. But it is still a great investment, especially for commercial buildings.
Flat Roofing (Polymer or Foams):
The Pros: Flat roofing is a great option for commercial buildings that have various equipment that lives on the rooftop. Flat roofing allows for easy installation of materials via liquid pour of foam spray. Because these materials don’t start out as solids, they can easily work around any obstacles such as skylights and large HVAC units, as they fill the available surface.
The Cons: Flat roofs in general pose a risk of pooling water and debris, as they don’t have the benefits of angular roofs, which means the material used has can wear down much quicker than other options. Although most flat roof applications are relatively strong polymer, rubber-like materials, they aren’t designed to last forever and are especially vulnerable to extreme weather and large debris. The other big downside is they offer more ideal conditions for various pests to make their home.
Why Roof Maintenance is so Important
A quality roof is integral to any home or commercial property. It is a major contributor to the structural integrity of the building, protects you from the outside elements, and keeps you warm in the winter.
But it’s not just crucial for your home; it’s crucial for your wallet.
The roof is the most expensive part of any home, so it only makes sense to protect that investment! As time goes on, roofs need to be replaced more often because they age and wear down. So having a good maintenance plan in place, can help slow that process down and keep you from needing to reinvest sometimes for more than 40 or 50 years. If you’re thinking about how to maintain your new roof, a little periodic TLC can go a long way.
Common Roofing Concerns
There are a lot of unexpected things that can happen to our roofs over a lifetime, that are completely out of our control. But many of the most common problems that cost home and business owners, are highly avoidable with just a little maintenance.
Let’s cover some of these concerns below.
Pests are a common concern for both residential and commercial buildings because they can cause relatively serious damage to the roof of if not taken care of quickly and properly. It’s both highly avoidable, and yet often overlooked.
Rodents and Birds can find their way onto your roof, and if it hasn’t had proper pest control devices put in place, it could become their new home. Most people may not think of it as a major concern, but believe it or not, these critters can carry thousands of serious diseases and make your home or building a breeding ground for nasty bacteria. On top of the potential health risks, the fecal matter from pests like Pigeons is highly acidic and can actually corrode hard surfaces like asphalt, concrete, and even some metals.
If left untreated, pigeon nests can accumulate hundreds of pounds of fecal matter and other debris, which can eat through even the toughest materials, weakening the integrity of your roof.
Think you’ve got a pigeon problem? Check out this article on How to Get Rid Of Pigeons For Good
Not performing a proper Pest Exclusion of a nesting area, can result in younger pests returning to rebuild their home. We highly recommend hiring someone to provide regular pest control and monitoring for your roof. Don’t fix costly problems later, prevent them now!
Weather and Seasonal Debris
It’s no secret that here in California we have some of the nicest weather one could ask for, but it doesn’t mean we should ignore our roofs after the occasional storm or as we change seasons.
Allowing leaves, branches, and various other debris to sit on your shingles, metal roofing, or flat rooftop can cause serious issues down the road. No matter which roofing material you choose, keeping the surfaces clean is a necessary task to ensure its longevity. In most cases, this is something a residential homeowner can manage themselves, or by hiring a local landscaper. A simple spray down and cleaning of gutters typically does a good enough job for regular maintenance between more serious inspections.
For commercial buildings, it can be a bit more difficult and certainly more dangerous to clean the roof yourself. It’s best to schedule roof maintenance with professionals in consistent intervals to ensure everything is in good, clean, working order. This is an affordable service and tends to become a speedy process as the upkeep carries over.
After any major storms, it’s a good idea to try and get a look at your roof to see if there were any notable damages or if there are any pools of water forming. Especially on polymer flat roofs, pools of water can be a real problem. Standing water becomes a serious attractant for pests and a perfect place for mosquitos to breed.
But worst of all, these seemingly harmless puddles can damage the surface, and find its way into small cracks, forming leaks that get worse over time. If you notice any pools or debris on your roof after a storm, you may want to have a pro come double-check for you.
With 4 generations of experience behind us, we can make sure you get the most longevity out of your new roof. Check out some of our maintenance and repair options here: https://generalroof.com/general-roofing-company-repairs-maintenance/