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7 Ways You’re Accidentally Ruining Your Roof

7 Ways You’re Accidentally Ruining Your Roof

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Your roof protects you, your family, and your belongings from the elements. But sometimes, our everyday actions can cause unintentional damage we might not even notice. Let’s uncover some common culprits of roof damage and how to spare yourself the headache and expense.

1. Ignoring Your Gutters

A close-up photo of a clogged gutter overflowing with leaves and debris

Clogged gutters are a major cause of roof problems. When leaves, twigs, and other debris build up, water can’t flow properly. This can lead to:

  • Roof leaks: Overflowing water may back up under shingles and into your home.
  • Foundation damage: If water can’t drain away, it soaks into the ground around your home.
  • Wood rot: Constant moisture can rot fascia boards and other roof components.

Solution: Clean your gutters at least twice a year, or more often if you have lots of trees. You might consider gutter guards to minimize debris buildup.

2. Walking on Your Roof

A person walking on a terracotta tiled roof

Unless you know exactly what you’re doing, walking on a roof spells trouble. Here’s why:

  • Cracked tiles/shingles: You can easily step on and damage roofing materials.
  • Dislodged flashing: Flashing (metal strips sealing joints) can get bent or dislodged by foot traffic.
  • Personal injury: One stumble could mean a dangerous fall.

Solution: If you need to go on your roof, hire a professional with the right tools and safety equipment.

3. Neglecting Minor Repairs

A roof with several missing shingles, exposing the underlayment

Missing shingles, small cracks, or loose flashing might not seem urgent…but don’t be deceived! Little problems become big problems surprisingly quickly. Water that penetrates any weak spot in your roof finds its way into your attic and the structure of your home.

Solution: Inspect your roof regularly, especially after storms. If you see damage, even if minor, get a roofing specialist in to fix it.

4. Pressure Washing

A person pressure washing a dirty shingled roof

Using a pressure washer on your roof seems like a shortcut, but it’s a recipe for disaster. The high-pressure spray can:

  • Loosen or blow off shingles/tiles
  • Damage flashing
  • Force water under your roofing materials

Solution: Leave roof cleaning to the pros; they have gentler methods that work effectively without risking damage.

5. DIY Projects Gone Wrong

A satellite dish installed crookedly on a roof

Installing a satellite dish, antenna, or solar panels usually involves drilling into your roof. If not done properly, you’re creating holes that instantly become potential leak points.

Solution: It might cost more initially, but unless you’re highly skilled in these DIY tasks, it pays to let trained technicians handle any installation that requires penetrating your roof.

6. Ignoring Your Attic

A dimly lit attic with exposed rafters and insulation

Your attic holds clues to your roof’s health. Take a look for:

  • Water stains: Indicating active leaks or past leaks.
  • Mold or mildew: Signs of moisture problems.
  • Daylight peeking through: That means holes in your roof!

Solution: Inspect your attic at least every few months. If you see problems, call a roofing contractor straight away.

7. Letting Trees Overhang

A large tree with branches scraping against a shingled roof

Lovely as trees are, overhanging branches do a number on roofs:

  • Scrapes: Branches can abrade shingles or tiles, wearing away protective coatings.
  • Leaf & debris buildup: Encourages moisture problems and clogs gutters.
  • Falling hazard: Dead branches could crash down in storms.

Solution: Keep trees trimmed back from your roofline.

Protect Your Investment Your roof is a key part of your home’s structure. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll keep it in great shape and sidestep costly repairs!

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