A new roof is the first line of defense for the home, standing up to extreme weather, the heat of direct sunlight, pouring rain and more. With this in mind, many homeowners make the incorrect assumption that there is nothing they can do that will result in damage to such a robust structure. Unfortunately, this assumption results in 3 common mistakes on the roof.
- Walking around the roof – Homeowners get up on their roofs for a variety of reasons assuming that the materials can handle their weight. While tile, concrete, and clay shingles can last for decades in all kinds of conditions, the one weakness these relatively brittle materials share is that they are not designed to support the weight of people walking around on them. Cracked and broken tiles can start a process of deterioration that can result in leaks over time. Flat asphalt shingles do a better job of handling weight, but the friction resulting from shoes on their surfaces can wear off the granules that provide protection to the shingles.
- Shoveling the roof to remove snow – Homeowners may be tempted to get up on the roof to remove snow with a shovel, especially if they are worried about load bearing or the formation of an ice dam. This decision can result in several problems including damage to the shingles, skylights, and other extensions from the roof. Damage caused by using a snow shovel on the roof may result in the voiding of warranties and may not be covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy, meaning that all damages will have to be paid out of pocket by the homeowner.
- Installing a satellite dish – Roofs often provide an ideal location for the installation of a satellite dish, with an unobstructed line of sight to the southern sky for reception. A common mistake made by professional installers as well as homeowners is the bolting of the apparatus through the shingles as well as the underlying deck. While installing the dish in this manner may result in a leak with the first rainfall, in many instances it won’t lead to a roof leak immediately. In these situations the expansion and contraction of the deck and the roofing materials slowly degrade the materials around the bolts, which can allow water to start seeping through the deck. As expansion and contraction continue, the presence of higher amounts of water can speed the process of deterioration, resulting in a progressively bigger leak.
When it comes to working on your roof, calling in the professionals is often the best choice for safety as well as the protection of property. When it comes to rooftop satellite installations, even the pro’s can make a mistake, so be sure to assess alternate locations. If the dish has to go on the roof, let the installer know that screwing the base of the dish into the deck isn’t an acceptable option.