What Every Homeowner Should Know About Their Roofs

Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

When you buy a home or have a new one built, you should always find out more about the roof. Your roof serves as an important measure of protection for your home, keeping you and your family safe inside no matter the weather.

However, many homeowners don’t know certain things about their roofs. You don’t need to become an expert in roofing, but you should learn a bit more about your roof. This information can be vital in the event of an emergency. It can also help you maintain your home’s value over the years.

Here are the basic things all homeowners should know about their roofs.

Know How to Handle a Roofing Emergency

house with roofs

You may see it happen in the movies and on TV when the roof springs a leak. But would you know what to do if it happened to you? If there’s heavy rainfall, you should find the source of the leak and try to plug it if you can.

Set up some buckets or pots to capture the water inside your home. Once the weather subsides, you should contact a Portland roof contractor immediately to assess the damage and make repairs.

Know the Age of Your Roof

Different types of roofs will have different lifespans. The first step is finding out what kind of roof you have – shingle, metal, tile, etc. The next step is finding out when that roof was installed.

It helps to know who installed it too, in case there is still a warranty or you have any trouble with the roof in the future. Regardless of materials and age, once you find out more about your roof, you will have a better idea of what to expect regarding maintenance later on.  

Stay Alert for Hidden Signs of Roof Leaks

While roof leaks can cause water stains on the walls and ceilings of your home, sometimes they are not so obvious. When you have a roof that wasn’t installed properly or damaged in a certain way, water could leak into your attic without being noticed. The smell of mold and mildew will usually be enough to clue you into problems, but a roof inspection will help determine if there are any leaks or breaches in the structure of your roof.

Have Inspections on a Routine Basis

It’s ill-advised to try to inspect your roof. Unless you’re a roofing professional, you won’t know what to look for. While some damage will be easy to spot, other details are not apparent to the untrained eye.

With routine roof inspections, small problems can be noticed before they become major issues. If you are in the process of buying a home, before you close on it, make sure you have a professional roofing company inspect the roof. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re making a sound investment or are aware of what repairs should be made before you buy.

Keep a Lookout Out for Roof Damage

Watching out for roof damage on your own is not a substitute for hiring a professional to inspect, repair, or maintain it. However, you can look for any trouble on your roof from the ground.

Damaged or missing shingles are noticeable from the ground. Having them replaced quickly will prevent further damage to your roof. Sagging indicates that water has pooled on your roof, which could lead to rotting and structural damage. You don’t want to wait to have that repaired.

Sometimes, you may see moss or algae growing on your roof. Hiring professionals to clean it at regular intervals can keep them from hurting your curb appeal and shortening your roof’s lifespan.

Your Gutters Also Need Maintenance 

Some new homeowners don’t realize that gutters are related to the roofing system. Every time it rains or snows, the precipitation needs to go somewhere after falling on your roof.

If your gutters are stuffed with leaves and twigs or are serving as a home for small animals, you need to clean them out. Gutters that are free of debris keep water from backing up onto your roof where it can lead to damage.

Always Follow Proper Roofing Maintenance

Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make. If you neglect to care for it, you’ll sabotage its resale value. Even if you’re not planning to move for a long time, you’ll have stressful times ahead if you don’t keep up with roofing maintenance.

There are certain things you can do, such as making sure your gutters are clean and having your trees trimmed back from the perimeter of your home. For the rest, call in a professional to ensure things are done properly.

Don’t DIY or Use a Handyman

Maybe you’ve spied a shingle hanging on by a thread and think you can fix it yourself or hire a handyman to do it for you cheaply. However, it is imperative that you only let a roofing professional handle those repairs.

A handyman won’t know if there’s hidden damage where that shingle is hanging. They may also step on the wrong parts of your roof and cause more damage. Roofing is also dangerous, and if you don’t have the experience, even if you are handy, you may wind up with a serious injury.

Check Your Roof’s Warranty

Homeowners should also know whether or not their roof has a warranty. This is crucial information that can let you know what maintenance and repairs are covered. Some warranties are non-transferable from one homeowner to the next.

If you don’t have a warranty, make sure you understand your homeowner’s insurance policy coverage in the event of roof damage. It will help you know how to get reimbursed for your repairs.