How long a roof will last is dependent on several controllable factors. The lifespan of a house-top can be extended or reduced depending on the way it is maintained by the homeowner; however, it is a fact that no matter how well it is cared for, at some point the material will deteriorate and risk structure failure. Common signs of structural roof problems include: the presence of granulation; broken shingles; and slipping or cracked shingles. All of this if not detected at an early stage could allow water to penetrate the structure and cause severe damage and premature failure of the entire roof. This top covering of the house is very susceptible to leaking; therefore, homeowners should always practice preventive maintenance and prevent any leaks from starting.
Any damage to the integrity of the structure itself can cause susceptibility to water leakage and decay. It is vital to thoroughly inspect the house-top before any major damage occurs. Start the inspection by first checking the interior ceilings for signs of water penetration; this may come in the form of a coffee-colored stain on the ceiling or surrounding walls. Continue the inspection outside by going onto the house-top to check for any indication of structural damage. Look for missing, cracked or loose shingles, granulation, and debris accumulation.
After conducting a thorough assessment of this top part of the house and discovering there is a problem with the structure that may require repairs, a homeowner needs to make a decision about the next step. It must be decided if an expert from a roof company is needed to perform the job or if they can make the repairs on their own. It is fairly easy for a homeowner to make minor repairs provided they have adequate knowledge regarding how to perform any required repairs.
Once water staining has been observed, a leak should be suspected. The first action homeowners should take is to locate the point of water penetration. After locating this spot, a nail should be hammered into the area of the leak. The homeowner should then go outside to look for the area on the roof that needs to be repaired. If the seepage has been caused by loose flashing around a chimney or vent, all that needs to happen is to tighten the flashing with rust-resistant screws. If the cause of the leak is due to damaged shingles, the damaged shingle must be removed and replaced with a new one, ensuring that the replacement tab is larger than the damaged tab. The homeowner must remember to put roofing cement over all nail heads to secure a tight seal.
Sometimes a problem may be caused by the accumulation of debris on the roof or because of an algae infestation. Dark staining on the roof caused by algae can be removed simply by making a bleach solution and spraying it onto the affected area. The solution needs to soak on the area where it has been applied for 15 to 30 minutes before using a soft bristle brush to scrub off the wet section of the roof. Then, the area should be thoroughly rinsed with clear water. Remove pine needles, leaves and twigs from any area that might cause water to back up. Be sure that down-spouts are properly working.