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Through the Roof

08/14/2018 1:37pm     Sylvia Slezak

Last year’s Hurricane Harvey made history as it left a mark on the Coastal Bend. It was a storm that directly targeted the Sparkling City by the sea, which is situated along Corpus Christi Bay and encompasses a total area of over 460 square miles of which 305 is covered by water. We were in for a rough ride with heavy winds and water everywhere.

While many residents and visitors enjoy Corpus Christi, TX for its beaches, fishing, water sports, and outdoor fun, there is a limit to the amount of water they prefer to handle. With Hurricane Harvey, the devastation was swift, the recovery is still far from over, and the trauma lingers. Remembering the past, we look ahead with preparedness.

Let’s face it, your home is a major investment and it’s important to be prepared and make the necessary steps to ensure that it is well maintained, especially the roof. Remember, just because it isn’t leaking doesn’t mean it’s in good condition. Roof maintenance should be done at least twice a year. More often in our lovely humid Coastal Bend community.

KEEP IT CLEAN

Here are a few reasons to clean your gutters and roof regularly.

Gutters

Check your gutters to make sure they are free from leaves, twigs, nests, and other debris. You most definitely want to keep them clean for the water to flow freely, otherwise you stand the chance of ruining the foundation, getting water inside the walls of your home and causing ugly water spotting, rotting, mold and mildew, and electrical wiring problems, which can add additional expense to your budget.

Roof debris

If this is not removed and cleaned off the roof, it may accumulate gunk, which becomes a breeding ground for all types of vermin, possibly leading to deterioration of the structure.

Dirt cleaning

Consider it carpet cleaning for the roof. When dirt accumulates on a roof it can become an eyesore and quite unsightly. You can do it yourself if you have the equipment and know-how, or hire a cleaning service.

Home value

The roof contributes significantly to the overall value of your home, and a well-cleaned roof that is in good condition could get a better valuation.

COSTLY DAMAGE

Your home may be strong, but it takes surprisingly little to cause serious damage. Roofing needs to be able to withstand all sorts of strange weather. If you see any damage to the roof while you’re cleaning, you might need to call a professional inspector.

Your electric bill could go through the roof with escaping air caused by extensive roof damage. Here are a number of factors that can have an effect on your roof’s performance.

Sun

When it gets up into the 90s and 100s, your attic can reach 140 degrees or higher. Heat and ultraviolet rays cause roofing materials to deteriorate over time, even faster on the sides facing west or south. Trapped heat can cause hot spots that slowly weaken the roofing material above them.

Rain

Nearly every roofing material can experience damage from wind-driven rain and if it isn’t caught early, roof repair may not be enough to fix the damage. When water gets underneath shingles, shakes or other roofing materials, it can work its way to the roof deck and cause the roof structure to rot. Extra moisture encourages mildew and rot elsewhere in your house, including walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems.

Wind

The high winds that accompany Texas thunderstorms and tornadoes can tear off shingles, even metal, and force water and debris underneath them, causing issues with mold. Once the wind reaches 50 miles per hour, shingles are at risk of flying off.

Condensation

The buildup of relatively warm, moisture-laden air in a poorly ventilated attic is a result of condensation which promotes decay of wood sheathing and rafters, possibly destroying a roof structure. By installing larger or additional vents, you can achieve sufficient attic ventilation that will help alleviate differences between outside air temperature and attic air temperature. Proper attic ventilation will also reduce energy consumption, enhance the comfort level of the rooms below the attic, and save you money in the long run.

Trees and leaves

Falling branches from overhanging trees can puncture shingles along with other roofing materials, and dormant leaves on your roof will retain moisture and cause rot, in addition to blocking drainage in your gutters.

Missing or torn shingles

When shingles are missing or have been torn off, your roof structure, home, or building interior become vulnerable to water damage and rot. It may not stop there, but will likely spread to nearby shingles and get them ripped or blown away. Missing or torn shingles should be replaced as soon as possible. Complete protection is your key to an effective roof system.

Shingle deterioration

When shingles are old and worn out, they will curl, split, lose their waterproofing effectiveness, and are easily blown off, torn, or lifted by gusts of wind. Structural rot and interior damage are the result of a deteriorated roof system that gets worse with time.

Flashing deterioration

Did you know that many apparent roof leaks are really flashing leaks? Unless you are very familiar with roofing terminology, you may be wondering what a flashing is.

Flashing is material, usually aluminum or galvanized steel, that is used over joints in roof and wall construction to prevent water seeping in and causing damage. When it is used on a roof, it is typically used to transition from the roofing material to something that is not a roof, and its purpose is to maintain a watertight roof.

Without good, tight flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights and wall/roof junctions, water can enter a home or building and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems. Your roof flashings should be checked as part of a biannual roof inspection and gutter cleaning.

RESOLVE AND RELAX !

Now that you’re aware of what factors affect your roof’s performance, you are ready to get your tools, your ladder and fix it yourself over the weekend. Well, maybe not. You could wait till a storm hits, and then call for help, except insurance companies and roofers will not go to your home until the storm passes.

A great option is to hire a fully-insured-licensed roofing contractor to provide you with complete roof protection so that your weekends could be spent with family and friends.

Well, that just about covers your house, through the roof that is. Till next time, wishing you a safe and reliable roof system that will serve you well this season and for all seasons to come.

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