The roof is a home’s first line of defense from all types of natural hazards, such as extreme heat, snow, rain, and even wind fire. It’s also the most vulnerable part of any home.
Yet we rarely think about the roof until it’s too late – and then it can be a big investment.
Proper roof maintenance is key to prolonging the life of your rental property’s roof. It’s also necessary to provide habitable housing to your tenants. Sadly, there are quite a few myths and misconceptions out there about roof repair and maintenance that make it hard for landlords to properly care for their roofs.
- Maintenance is optional
This is undoubtedly the biggest myth as regards roof maintenance. Failure to maintain your roof can jeopardize as well as potentially shorten the lifespan of your warranty.
- Any roofing problems will be covered by baseline material warranties
This is simply not true. Baseline material warranties only cover materials’ defects and nothing else. And according to roofing experts, materials’ defects only account for less than one percent of roof issues.
- Today’s roofs are maintenance-free
Yes, today’s roofs are easier to install, energy efficient and are certainly more durable. However, a maintenance-free roof is yet to be developed.
With that in mind, let’s look at 12 rental property roof maintenance tips for landlords.
1. Perform roof inspections regularly.
Whether you take the do-it-yourself (DIY) route or hire a professional, regular roof inspection can save money.
A major roofing repair can be costly, especially if you’ve let a small problem become a big one. Plus, you roof system will remain in top-notch condition and live for its entire lifespan.
Be in the lookout for signs such as:
- Higher energy bills
- Presence of outside light in your attic
- A sagging roof deck
- Leaks in the attic after a rainstorm
- Staining on interior ceilings or walls
- Blistering or peeling of exterior paint
- Wear and tear around roof objects and openings
- Lots of shingle granules in gutters
- Curled, cracked, or missing shingles
2. Avoid power washing your roof. It’s smart to remove debris and algae to keep your roof clean and in good working order, but power washing can damage your roof, possibly even removing parts of it that are undamaged.
3. Avoid walking on your roof as much as possible. Sometimes, it is necessary to get on your roof, but you should avoid doing so whenever possible. It’s easy to damage shingles or tiles just by walking on it.
4. Install efficient ventilation and attic insulation .Insulation can stop ice and snow from melting and then refreezing, potentially causing water damage to your roof. The right insulation can stop your roof from warping, and it can also save your roof during a snow or ice storm.
5. Clear snow if the danger of collapse is imminent.
Heavy snow accumulation can cause your roof to collapse. Use a snow rake to carefully remove the buildup from your roof or hire a professional.
6. Get rid of pests living in your roof.
If you see signs of pests’ infestation, take steps to remove them immediately. These can cause serious damage to your roof as it chews and uses materials to make its home.
7. Clean your gutters and downspouts.
It’s a chore that no one wants to do, but cleaning your gutters and downspouts, particularly during heavy leaf seasons, will help to keep your roof healthy and allow moisture to clear from your roof.
8. Pay attention to warning signs.
Don’t ignore the sound of hail, rodents in your attic, leaks, or shingles on the ground. Roof repair may be expensive, but typically, it only gets more expensive the longer you wait to fix it.
9. Remove debris from your roof.
Debris such as leaves, small limbs, and sticks can damage your roof and encourage algae growth and even wood rot, so it’s best to remove it.
10. Safeguard against tree damage.
Tree limbs hanging down over your roof, or even on it can be a serious hazard. Not only will these put you at risk for broken limbs falling on the roof, but these can also wear down and damage shingles.
11. Safeguard against streaking.
It’s important to pay close attention to your roof’s color. Roof areas, generally the northern part, will eventually become streaked with algae, mold or even fungus due to exposure to shade during long periods of time in humidity.
12. Ensure that the roof is built to breathe.Without proper ventilation, your overall roof system can be ineffective. Heat and moisture can cause roof materials to buckle and insulation to lose effectiveness, and sheathing and rafting to rot.
Roof maintenance is often ignored, but small problems with a roof can lead to some of the costliest repairs around. If you are a landlord, ensure your tenants have a healthy roof over their heads by following these 12 proven tips.