Rental Property Roof Maintenance Tips for Landlords
Your building’s roof is the most important structure for protecting it from the assault of the elements. Even if it is expected to look nice, the roof is not exactly valued for its aesthetics. Above all else, it shields the rest of the building from the forces of nature.
But this is one of the reasons property owners overlook their building’s roof during routine maintenance. Since roofs are expected to withstand constant exposure to rain, wind, sunlight, and snow, they don’t appear to need care and attention.
Moreover, given that the roof is not in the owner’s line of sight, issues with the structure are not so easy to detect. Furthermore, to examine the roof, the owner has to climb up a ladder to reach it. This is not required when inspecting other features of the building.
The effect of all these is that problems with the roof are often discovered late. But overlooked roofing problems can endanger other structures of a building. A bad roof will damage drywall, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, cabinets, and even the foundation of a building.
One thing you don’t want with a rental property is to be forced to replace the roof before you are ready to do it, says RentEasy, a property management company in Chesapeake. The best way to avoid this is by taking the right steps to maintain the roof in a timely fashion. Below are tips to help you keep up to speed with your rental’s roof issues.
Important maintenance tips for your rental’s roof
- Clean the gutters
Clean gutters mean rainwater can be channeled to the downspouts and away from the walls and the base of the building. Clogged gutters increase the probability that water will back up into the internal structures of the roof. Dirty gutters will also increase the likelihood of ice dams forming on the roof.
- Remove tree branches
Tree branches that are close enough to touch the roof can damage the structure during storms; if strong winds force the branches to brush against the roof. Tree branches also serve as rodent runways and they increase the chances that some animal will find its way into the inside of the roof.
- Remove algae and moss
Moss has densely packed roots that help it trap water. By retaining water on the surface of a roof, moss exposes the structure to a greater risk of corrosion and decay. Algae, on the other hand, will burrow into the roofing material to extract the constituent compounds of roof shingles. This will weaken the roof over time.
- Inspect the roof flashing
Flashings are found around those areas of the roof which are susceptible to leaks, such as the base of chimneys, around plumbing vents, and holes made by roofing nails. Flashing helps to provide a watertight seal in these locations. Damaged flashing can offer rodents a way to get inside the roof. If the flashing is missing or loose, it should be replaced.
- Check roof insulation
The roof plays a vital role in maintaining the home’s internal temperature. Damaged roof insulation will undermine the function of the HVAC system. Some of the problems associated with damaged roof insulation are excessive moisture in the attic and ice dam formation.
- Look for damaged or missing shingles
The roof must be regularly examined for missing or damaged shingles. Shingles may get blown away in strong winds; the roof should be inspected immediately after a storm. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, or bowed may be the result of sunlight exposure. If the problem is widespread across the entire structure, it may be time to replace the roof.
- Look for exposed and missing roof fastener
Fasteners are used to secure various parts of the roof to the roof deck. Missing fasteners can diminish your roof’s ability to resist uplift. If fasteners are missing, leaks will also be more likely to occur. Do not just replace missing fasteners; also look for the underlying causes of the problem.
- Fix rusty and sagging gutters
Damaged gutters are as bad as dirty gutters. They cannot keep water from getting into the internal structures of the roof and onto the walls or foundations of the building. Gutters that leak water onto the sides of a building are a menace; they should be fixed immediately.
- Look for piles of granules
Asphalt shingles have a coating of granules on their surface to improve their heat resistance abilities. It is not unusual for shingles to shed small amounts of granules throughout their lifetime. However, if the roof is shedding so many granules that the gutters are filled with them, that is a major problem.
The key to up-to-date roof maintenance
With so many things to do to keep the roof of your rental property in good shape, how can you stay up to speed with the roof’s maintenance needs? The key to good roof maintenance is regular inspections. The roof should be inspected according to a schedule using a roof maintenance checklist and this should be done by a roof maintenance expert.
Doing your roof inspections according to a schedule ensures that problems are caught on time. Since the roof is such a vast structure, the checklist ensures no vital aspect of the roof is missed during inspection. Regular inspections done according to a checklist is the foundation of preventative roof maintenance.