If the foundation of a house constitutes its heart, the walls are its hands and the roof is its soul. It serves the every purpose of the entire structure. No house is worth its name without a safe and sound roof. It protects the occupants of the house from rain, hail and snow, in addition to fending off heat, thunder and lightning as well as intruding animals, mostly birds. But, sadly, this most vital part of your house (next only to the foundation) tends to be overlooked and lies unattended for years. How many of us are mindful and pro-active to the proper maintenance of this ultimate, overhead savior? More often than not, it is too late and then minor repairs just won’t do it…
Roofs belong to immense varieties in respect of shape, size and materials. They vary according to the terrains they are built upon and the climate prevalent there. Structures built on the plains mostly consist of concrete or thatched roofs with a flat surface. Such types are more prone to damage due to faulty drainage system, especially in rainy regions. Pitched roofs do not gather rain or snow; hence, they are free from water-clogging. In Chicago and Midwest in general, asphalt shingles are the most common and generally least expensive roofing materials.
Usually, problems lurking on roofs tend to go unnoticed. Not that all of them are hidden or undetectable, it’s just that we aren’t looking. A regular and thorough inspection, keeping in view the probable areas of troubleshooting may come in handy to keep your roof clear of common faults.
Leaks: leaks or cracks are the most common problem with roof surfaces. Be it a concrete, shingled or tiled roof, accumulated rain water causes damage to such surfaces worsened by clogged gutters or drain pipes with the onset of rainy season. Water may create scars and hair-like inlets allowing seepage through the outer layer, along the border lines of the inner supportive layer,-finally moistening the main beams in extreme cases. If unattended, such degrading conditions can endanger the entire structure.
Weather conditions: Extremely hot ad windy climate is another potential threat to your roof. The Chicago area is known for hot and humid summers, yet cold and snowy winters. The bituminous outer layer gets eroded by relentlessly strong wind blowing over it for days in tandem. The dried up membranes get disintegrated, slackened, chopped out and finally stop serving their purpose. Such conditions are termed as ‘blistered’ / ‘blown off’ plight, just short of developing opened up seams or crevices warranting extensive repairs.
Shrinkage: This problem remains active across all materials that roofs are made of. Concrete structures, though, take longer to shrink, but tiles, wooden planks, shingles etc., develop this symptom pretty early.
Having in mind things that can go wrong with your roof, it’s good to have a smart checklist. Keep this handy and check on your roof regularly.
- Remove every bit of debris from your roof top at least twice a year. You never know what sort of harm even the tiniest particle can produce;
- After thorough cleaning, check if the drainage system is in place, as it might have clogged gutters with stray and blown-in garbage;
- Before the rainy season, watch out for the cracks and chippings wrought by the last dry spell. Get each of those filled in, cemented and leveled up to the surface;
- If things up there look pretty bad or you’re not sure what to make of your findings, it may be time to contact roofing professionals.