Residential roofs are often taken for granted starting with the first day after the installation, due in large part to some long-standing myths about maintenance, repairs and the way that roofing systems work. Unfortunately, following these myths can result in more frequent and costly repairs while also shortening the service life of the roof. These myths include:
1) Durable materials like tile do not require maintenance – While it’s true that this material can last for hundreds of years, neglecting a tile roof can still result in problems that lead to leaks and/or detract from its appearance. Tile roofs have two primary trouble areas; they can be broken when walked upon and vegetation that traps moisture can foster the growth of moss and algae. One of the common ways that clay tiles are broken is when satellite dishes and HVAC systems are installed by people who aren’t aware that tiles are not designed to support a human’s weight. Debris that remains on the roof for extended periods can lead to the discoloration of tiles as moss and algae bloom in trapped moisture. Both of these issues can be mitigated with regular inspections and maintenance steps that replace broken tiles and remove roof debris on a regular basis.
2) An efficient drainage system is nice but not mandatory –This myth is probably based on the idea that water is going to drain off of a sloped roof, regardless of whether there is drainage or not. While that is true in many cases, an efficient drainage system can prevent runoff from flooding low areas around the house, eliminate “waterfalls” at the bottom of roof valleys and ensure that water is directed to public drainage systems. For homes that have drainage systems in place, it is also essential to clear gutters and downspouts to ensure that runoff, especially during heavy rainstorms, is removed as quickly as possible. Clogged gutters and downspouts can create all kinds of havoc, including the backing up of water under the shingles, waterfalls in areas where pooled runoff escapes and accumulations in areas that can threaten the house. Contrary to the myth, efficient drainage is a critical component of every roofing system.
3) The conditions in the attic have nothing to do with the roof – While it is commonplace to think that there is no relation between the two, high temperatures in the attic can have negative effects on the roof in both the summer and the winter. In the summer, temperatures reaching up to 160 degrees can punish the underside of roofing materials. In the winter, heat radiating up from the attic can melt snow accumulations and start the formation of ice dams on the eaves. By regulating temperatures in the attic with ventilation and insulation, you can minimize the effects of radiating heat while also saving money on your energy bills.
As the primary defense against the elements, the roof on your home endures heat, cold, rain and wind. By ignoring these myths, you can ensure that your roofing systems delivers maximum protection, requires little in the way of repairs and lasts for the long term.