Your roof is an investment. When you properly maintain your roof, you’re protecting the overall value of your house. If you ever decide to sell, you’ll get the best price when you perform regular maintenance and safety precautions on your roof.
Roofing maintenance is especially important for the greater Rochester area. Known as the 27th coldest city in the US (along with Buffalo), Rochester, NY has a daily winter mean of -3°F. Blizzards, sudden snow storms, and constant freeze-thaw temperatures can all potentially damage your roof unless you implement these simple tips.
Clear All Debris
You must keep your gutters free from dead leaves, dirt, snow and ice buildup, sticks and twigs. If debris often collects on your roof, trim the nearby trees so they don’t drop dead branches or leaves onto your roof.
If melting snow gets trapped in your gutters, it’ll freeze and potentially damage your roofing, gutters, and drainpipes. It might also form ice dams around the drainpipes and along the gutters. Make sure you have a method in place, whether it’s a professional gutter cleaning company or DIY, to protect your roof from getting damaged due to neglected gutters.
In winter, melting snow creates an additional burden on your roof, and if you already have sticks or other heavy objects weighing down your roof, the structural integrity may be comprised.
Weight Limits for Roofs
Every roof has a load limit. The dead load of a roof represents the weight of the structure of the roof, plus any permanently attached materials – basically, the dead load determines the strength the roof needs to support itself. The load limit for roofs depends on which materials were used. For example, the dead weight of an asphalt-shingle, wood-framed roof averages 15 pounds per square foot (psf) but a clay-tiled roof can be as much as 27 psf.
Roofs also have a live weight limit, which is the dead load plus temporary objects on the roof, such as the roofing contractors who need to stand on the roof during installation, and the tools they carry up with them. For areas like Rochester, NY, the live weight needs to be able to accommodate the extra weight from melting snow. A live load of 20 psf is the average minimum, but that’s in addition to the dead load.
Repair Loose Flashing
Roof flashing is a weatherproof material, usually aluminum or galvanized steel, that protects joints and seams in the roof’s material from getting wet or moist. If the flashing becomes loose, rainwater or melting snow can damage the underlying material. You’ll know you need to get the flashing repaired if you find water damage in the attic or on top level ceilings.
Practical Roofing Maintenance Tips
If designed with value in mind, your roof should have Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), also known as HVAC panels, to help insulate your house during cold weather. These panels are constructed with highly efficient foam plastic insulation at the center, with two structural supports on the outside. SIPs improve energy efficiency by trapping warm air inside, which helps protect the roof from ice buildup during winter.
Some homeowners assume they need to shovel snow off their roofs, but they really don’t. First of it, it’s dangerous clambering on top of a slippery roof without proper safeguards. Roofs typically have the structural integrity to bear several feet of snow before they risk becoming compromised.
The Cost of Roof Repair
If you address roof leaks as soon as you notice there’s a problem, you’ll save on a larger repair bill. The average cost of roof repair is $630, which includes replacing plywood where it rotted, loose flashing, and missing shingles. For a more detailed analysis, contact us for a roofing quote!