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Home > Building & Construction > House Exterior > Stay On Top of Your Roof

Stay On Top of Your Roof

By Brett Freeman
Stay On Top of Your Roof

There are few home maintenance projects more expensive than replacing your roof. And nothing short of a natural disaster can cause more damage than a failing roof. A leaky roof can cause water damage in your ceilings and walls, lead to rot in your house's frame, and cause mold infestations. To avoid these secondary problems, be aware of your roof's condition. Timely roof repairs can extend the life of your roof by years.

Inspect your Roof in the Fall and Spring

Especially in northern climes you want to be sure that your roof is sound before harsh winter weather arrives. It's also a good idea to check it again in the spring to see how your roof stood up to Mother Nature.

Looking from the ground, your roof's shingles should form straight lines with no sign of buckling. Up close, check for damaged or missing shingles, look for loss of granulation on the shingles, and make sure the flashing around chimneys and vents is sound.

Fixing Shingles

If you're comfortable working on your roof, replace or repair any damaged or missing shingles. Torn shingles can be glued back together using a layer of roofing caulk above and below the tear. The repair can even be hidden by filling a small cup with granules that have been washed into your gutters and dumping them over the exposed caulking. If any shingles are curling at their edges, glue them down with roofing caulk, using a brick to weigh the edges down until the caulk has set. Missing or badly damaged shingles need to be replaced.

Be Careful

If you are uneasy about working on your roof you shouldn't be up there. And if you have any doubts about the soundness of your roof -- if it sags, for example, or is already leaking -- call a professional. You don't want to discover by falling off or falling through that your house isn't the only thing that can be damaged by a failing roof.

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