Roofing upgrades and repairs can be a huge determinant for the value of a home. Depending on the pitch of the roof, up to 40 percent of a typical residential building’s surface area visible from the street is the roof. With so much of a home’s curb appeal tied to the shingles, knowing how to make minor repairs and, perhaps more importantly, knowing when to call in the experts, can be valuable information.
Before calling in a roofing expert, give the top of your home a regular check up. Once a year, at least, check out the shingles from above and the attic from below. Usually it makes sense to perform this alongside your spring cleaning as this will be the best time to assess whether the winter’s storms did any damage. Underneath, clean out the cobwebs and dust from your ventilation system. Pay special attention to the ducts and pipes that go from inside to outside, as that is the most likely entry point of any leak. Use a high-grade silicone caulk to plug any holes. On the exterior, clean the gutters out and flush the downspouts to make sure they’re functioning properly.
Watch for the Signs
Look for a few tell-tale signs that the roof needs to be replaced sooner than later. Curling or rotting shingles, streaks running down the tops of shingles, or areas with visible rot from on top of the house are good indicators of deeper problems. On the interior, check for signs of mold or other leakage. If the crown is missing one or two shingles, a little DIY roofing might solve the problem. If, however, you have mold or wood rot, you’ll need professional assistance. You might also notice a spike in your heating/cooling bills. This is a sign that air is escaping through leaks. Even if you caulk the ducting, you can miss deeper seams hidden by insulation. A professional roofer will perform a full scan of the surfaces and identify spots where air is escaping, which will also be the spots where water can enter.
There are likely many options in your town or city when it comes to contractors and you want one that will give you the right combination of quality and affordability. Remember that the return on investment in your home’s value is high for a job that, if done right, can last more than 20 years. You can recoup up to 60 percent of the project costs when you sell your home. Check to make sure that the contractor has safety training certification (back to that golden rule) and is insured. If your city or state has a professional licensing or certification program, which it likely does, look to hire someone with the highest qualifications. Research different rating sites that provide feedback from real customers to know what you’re getting into before committing. Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of a warranty. Even the best quality job can be compromised through no fault of the laborers. A solid warranty will keep you secure in your investment.
A little care can go a long way, but a lot of care calls for a pro!