Roofs play an important part in keeping us safe from the elements. But even so, roofs are often neglected and are often remembered when something goes wrong. Out of sight out of mind, right?
But remember, as a landlord, you cannot simply afford to ignore rental roof maintenance. For landlords, roof maintenance is key to keeping their rental properties safe and habitable.
Besides safety and potential habitability issues, failure to take care of the roof often leads to problems. For one, it may mean costly repairs. Poor roof maintenance can also lead to infestations by pests and animals. Rodents, raccoons, and other small animals will pass through the holes in the roof and infest your home.
Another problem you may encounter with a poorly maintained roof is mold growth. Roof leaks will lead to moisture buildup, which will cause mold to grow in your attic.
What Causes Roof Damage?
Damage from hail
Extreme weather conditions
Lack of property maintenance
In this article, you are going to learn 6 tips on how you can maintain your rental roof.
1. Regularly inspect your roof.
Carrying out regular roof inspections will help you notice problems early before they become serious and costly to repair. The following are some things to keep in mind when inspecting your rental roof.
Failing roof Shingles: Check for shingles that are old, missing, or damaged. Failing shingles, besides looking unpleasing, can also let water seep through.
Curled or Buckled Shingles: Misshapen shingles can compromise your roof’s integrity. If a third of the roof shingles are curling, consider replacing the entire roof.
Presence of algae, Moss, or Piles: These are a sign of trouble. They are not only unpleasing to look at, but they can also compromise your roof’s ability to function properly. Moss in particular can soak up rainwater and cause the wooden parts to decay.
Improperly Functioning Gutters: If your roof is composed of asphalt shingles, then you may want to be in the lookout for grains of shingles. Excessive shedding of grains can be a sign of trouble.
Ideally, you should have your roofs inspected twice every year.
2. Keep your gutters free from any debris.
Your roof gutters are just as important as your roof. Gutters do a great job of directing rainwater away from the foundation of your home. Improperly functioning gutters can cause a number of issues.
Damaged gutters can cause pooling of water near the foundation resulting in foundation problems. Over time, your foundation may begin to crack, sink, or even heave.
Now, fixing a damaged foundation doesn’t come cheap. According to HomeAdvisor, most homeowners will pay around $3,301 to repair foundation issues.
3. Check for damaged flashing.
Roof flashing helps protect a home from water damage. The goal of roof flashing is to close joints in walls and areas of the roof. Commonly, vents, skylights, and valleys are and should be surrounded by flashing.
So, if you notice cracks on the flashing, ask for help from a professional roofing expert.
4. Don’t let too much snow to sit on your roof.
Too much snow can cause roof damage, especially if ice dams form. Ice dams occur when snow on the roof starts to melt and then refreeze along the roof’s edge. The barricade that forms is what is referred to as an ice dam.
The barricade prevents drainage of both the snow and water from the roof. Over time, this can cause water to seep through the roof and onto the attic and insulation. Left unattended, this can cause structural damage to your roof.
5. Trim overgrown tree branches.
Trees can also endanger our roofs. Overgrown branches can lead to shingle damage. Furthermore, falling limbs can put you and your family at risk of getting knocked down.
The ideal time to prune trees is when the tree is dormant. This, therefore, means during the winter.
6. Look for plant growths.
Moss and plant growth on roofs is quite common. While it can look charming, it can actually lead to structural problems. The root system of plants will quickly destroy the roof membrane and the insulation beneath.
What’s even worse, they can also lead to mold growth. And when mold grows, it can quickly spread to the rest of the home.
This can cause a myriad of health problems.
DIY Versus Hiring a Roofing Professional
If you spot any of the aforementioned issues, call for professional help as soon as possible. Postponing a problem will only lead to more problems and costly fixes. When hiring, insist on hiring professionals that are trained, licensed, and have years of experience fixing roofs.
Roof maintenance is key to running a successful rental property. As a landlord, you have the responsibility of ensuring your tenants live in a safe and habitable dwelling.