Preventative maintenance is always better than waiting for a problem to arise and having to fix it in a panic. If you ignore the “check engine” light in your car for too long, you could end up stranded on the side of the road. If you do the same to your roof, you could be awake at 2:00 am during a storm begging for an emergency leak repair. Even after the clouds pass, you’ll be left with property damage, angry tenants, and a big bill from your roofer.
Contrary to popular belief, water is NOT the #1 cause of roof damage. Extreme weather is a culprit, but the sun does far more roof damage in the long run. In the summer months, the impacts of extreme heat and UV rays make your roof vulnerable before moisture becomes a problem. Similarly, fallen leaves and debris from a lack of regular maintenance can compromise the integrity of your roof.
Just like with your car, you can stop many roof problems from happening with preventative care – but only if you know what to look for. The rainy season in Southern California can run as early as October and last through April showers in the spring. Completing the following checklist in advance of rain will not only save you money in the long run, but it is a quick and easy way to give you peace of mind for when the next storm strikes. Roof touch-ups can often be done in a single day and at a nominal expense, especially compared to fixing serious damage if you allow it to happen.
Check Roof Penetrations
Like most good things in life, you have to watch out for unintended consequences. Air conditioning duct work, skylights, chimneys, and satellite dishes all need to penetrate the roof to be installed. Those penetrations are far more susceptible to leaking compared to the “field” where the roofing material is uninterrupted. Any roof opening MUST be monitored carefully. Luckily, preventative touch-ups to the seals are easy, affordable, and effective.
Fix Physical Damage
Cracked seals? Worn down shingles? Broken tiles? Rain only needs one point of entry to compromise the protection your roof is giving you. Physical roof damage is the most obvious red flag that is somehow still ignored too often. Replacing a few broken tiles now can save you from having to spend thousands of dollars on repairing your building after heavy rainfall.
Look for Ponding Water
When it does rain, a quick peek at the roof could reveal major red flags. For flat and low slope roofs, the accumulation (“ponding”) of water can reveal which areas of your roof need attention. While some ponding water remaining for 12-48 hours after it rains can be normal, significant ponding more than 48 hours after a storm is a major red flag. Even if it has not rained for months, you can still check for signs of ponding, as indicated by black or brown discoloration on your roof. Even worse, if you see staining on the ceiling inside, you already have a problem and need to call a specialist immediately.
Ensure Water Can Flow
When there is rain, it needs to flow freely without interruption. Clogged gutters, drains, and downspouts mean two things: not only will the backed-up water sit and soak in to cause damage, but it can overflow and go upstream where it should not. Simply clearing away leaves and debris can stop the build-up of water and save you thousands of dollars. If the fallen leaves and branches become unmanageable, you may need to trim back overgrown trees.
Keep Maintenance Records
Logging oil changes and service for your car removes doubt and instills confidence for both you and potential buyers in the future. Just like your car, your property benefits from setting a maintenance plan and keeping detailed records. Every time someone steps on your roof, you must log it; otherwise, the results of your hard work by following the steps above are not being maximized. By documenting maintenance, service calls, and suspected wear patterns, you can prove how well you take care of your roof. You’ll be empowered when talking to roofing contractors, and your bank account will thank you for it.
Of course, safety should always be your #1 priority. If you’re unable to safely get on your roof, cannot view it from a ladder, or just want an expert there from the start, call a Royal Roofing Company specialist today for a free roof inspection.
Royal Roofing Company has stayed in continuous business for nearly 40 years in Southern California under the same license. They maintain the highest level of business integrity, as proven by their 38-year CSLB license that stands without a single violation, citation, or disciplinary action. For more resources or to schedule your free estimate, visit https://royalroofing.com/roofing-101/, call their office at 562-928-1200, or reach out to Steve directly at 213-305-0277 and [email protected]. Mention “Roofing 101” to your Royal Roofing Company specialist to receive an exclusive 10% discount on your roof up to -$1,000.