Homeowners are recommended to have their roofs professionally inspected on a regular basis. New roofs only to be inspected every 5 years, with more frequent inspections as the roof ages. Be sure to check for any signs of damage after storms with heavy rain and high winds. When shopping for a newly built or existing home be sure to hire a licensed and qualified home inspector to look over the prospective home's roof to report any defects.
The cost of roof repairs or replacements can vary greatly depending on the size and material used. A total roof replacement can cost from $1,500 to over $10,000, making roofs one of the most expensive components to repair within your home. Defects within a roof make the structure susceptible to moisture damage leading to rotting wood and mold growth. Remove any organic growth, including moss and vines, from your roof to avoid decay.
It is good for homeowners to know the basic components to their roof in case any issues arrise. All roofs are made of the same basic setup, however the materials used may vary greatly. Age and location of the home can create an impact on the variation of materials used.
Decking (or Sheathing)
Decking is the first layer that lays on top of the bones (Structural Trusses or Rafters) of the roof.
Underlayment is a crucial part of the roof, it acts as a barrier to protect the decking and structure from moisture damage. There are 2 commonly used underlayments.
Flashing is designed to protect areas of your roof that shingles are not able to. These areas may include around skylights, drip edges, ventilation pipes, chimney bases, or valleys and intersections. In Virginia, homes are commonly built with 2 different types of metal flashing, however many other types of metals may be used. It is important to carefully choose your flashing to avoid Galvanic Corrosion from mixing incompatible materials.
Shingles are designed for water to properly run-off your roof and avoid moisture damage. It is important that the shingles are laid down flat and completely cover the underlayment.
Ivy crawling up the side of a house can create a very quaint and romantic look, but is it healthy for your home? While Ivy may not always cause issues to your home, it is always recommended to avoid it altogether.
Research completed by the Oxford University has found that ivy can act as a thermal barrier for your home and that it is not usually considered strong enough to cause any cracks in your home's exterior brick or wood. However, that doesn't make homes overtaken by ivy are cleared for any potential defects.
Ivy growth that has found its way into existing cracks or holes will create damage to your home. Ivy growth can become quite heavy and will put pressure on any weakened structures such as gutters or fences. Ivy growth on wood surfaces, including fences, can seep into the cracks of the wood grain and cause rot. It can also harbor many pests, including insects known to destroy wood.
Removing Ivy is normally quite easy by simply plucking the plant from your home's surface. Take care when pulling Ivy off your home to not damage your home further by accidentally pulling off attached siding, stucco, or paint.
English Ivy is considered the most invasive species and is banned in some communities. Ivy growth is known to have even caused choking and damage to trees. It is recommended to remove Ivy growth before it reaches the tree's canopy.
Moss blanketing a roof can make your house look like it came straight out of a fairy tale, but this serene scene can cause issues to the outside of your home.
Moss is known for readily blanketing across roofs in wet climates. This blanket of moss can be several inches thick. Spores collect in the space between shingles and moisture becomes trapped in the moss like a sponge which causes mold and decay. Decay to the roofs support structure can occur in severe cases.
Maintain your roof's health by keeping up with cleaning the roof from moss or any other organic growth. By adding zinc or copper flashing to your roof the rundown of metal can help dissolve moss growth. Zinc strips and chemical treatments will also help deter moss growth on your roof. Clear out any overhanging branches that may prevent sunlight from reaching your roof; moss thrives in damp, shady places.
If your roof presently has a thick layer of moss, make sure to take care when removing the growth. While it is imperative to remove moss from your roof to prevent moisture damage, it is possible to damage your roof further in the process.
Power washing your roof is not recommended as this can cause damage to the shingles, especially asphalt shingles.
Heavy moss can be physically removed by using a long handled scrubbing brush from the top of the roof to the bottom with care to not lift or damage the shingles. You may also use a diluted bleach mixture or one of several available chemical treatments to kill of any moss growth. Please be aware that these treatments will create runoff into any gardens or groundwater sources beneath it.
Peninsula Housing Services
Striving to educate others through our experiences with home inspections, remodeling, renovations, and flipping homes.