Roof Maintenance Checklist
Is your roof giving you peak performance?
Knowing your roof's makeup and condition can help prevent problems before they occur. Here are some ways to help you protect your roof so it can continue to protect you.
Proper attic insulation and ventilation can save your roof from warping, decrease your energy costs and reduce the amount of moisture in your home. It also prevents snow and ice from melting and refreezing, which can cause water damage to your roof and home.
Before installing new shingles, have your contractor ensure you have a solid roof deck so it will not move or deteriorate.
Make sure proper flashing is installed, particularly around vents and chimneys to help prevent interior water damage.
Keep your gutters free from debris. Make sure their outer edges are lower than the roof's slope line to allow snow and ice to slide clear.
Roof repairs and replacement
Signs of an aging roof that may need work include:
- Curling along the bottom edge, particularly during cold weather.
- Surface cracking resulting in increasingly brittle shingles.
- Blisters, which could indicate a manufacturer defect or poor ventilation.
It's important to hire the right roofing contractor. Here are some questions to ask during your search:
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you bonded and insured, including workers' compensation and general liability?
- Do you have the appropriate licenses in your community?
- Can you provide names and phone numbers of customers I can call for a reference?
- Do you have a satisfactory record with your local Better Business Bureau?
- Are you willing to put all agreements, promises and understandings in writing?
Remember, the cost to replace a roof varies according to the market, roofing materials, the roofing contractor, the steepness of the roof, the area to be covered and other factors.
Additionally, the life expectancy of a roof varies according to factors such as age, exposure to the elements and roof type.
Here a some general guidelines to help you determine the best type of roofing material for your home.
- Architectural Asphalt Composition Shingles
- Architectural asphalt composition shingles typically have a longer life expectancy than three-tab asphalt composition shingles and are more expensive. Look for shingles rated impact resistant with a UL2218 class three or four rating as they provide better protection from hail and may be eligible for the Impact Resistant Roof Discount.
- Three-Tab Asphalt Composition Shingles
- Three-tab asphalt composition shingles are less expensive than architectural asphalt composition shingles and typically have a shorter life expectancy. Look for shingles rated impact resistant with a UL2218 class three or four rating as they provide better protection from hail and may be eligible for the Impact Resistant Roof Discount.
- Metal Panels
- Metal panels are attractive, lightweight and have a long life expectancy. They are more expensive than asphalt composition shingles and highly susceptible to denting from hail and other sources. Look for metal roofing products that have passed the FM 4473 or UL2218 tests as a class three or four; they may be eligible for the Impact Resistant Roof Discount.
- Wood Shakes
- Wood shakes are attractive and more expensive than asphalt composition shingles. They are highly susceptible to hail damage and often prohibited by local fire codes.
- Slate is attractive and has a long life expectancy. It is more expensive than asphalt composition shingles.
- Rubber Slate or "Faux" Slate
- This option is less expensive than real slate and has a long life expectancy. Rubber slate is more expensive than asphalt composition shingles.
- Tile is attractive and has a long life expectancy, but is only an option in warm-weather climates. It may be eligible for the Tile Roof Discount.