Florida is a wonderful place to live, but the climate can be a little rough on your home (to say the least). When hurricane season rolls around, you are likely to find that your roof faces extra strain and takes some damage. As a result, it is important to know what you need to do to extend the life of your roof and minimize repair costs while avoiding the need for premature roof replacement or serious structural repairs.
Signs of Damage
When inspecting your roof, gutters, and downspouts, there are many different signs of damage that you should be on the lookout for. Dampness and water inside your attic are, of course, the most obvious signs that your property has suffered damage to its roof or gutter. Other signs include:
- Loose or displaced shingles
- Overspill from gutters
- Gutters and downspouts breaking away from your home
- Stains and discoloration (interior or exterior)
If you see any of these issues while inspecting your roof, you should have a roofing expert look at your roof to check for serious structural issues. Of course, if you want to prevent these problems from arising in the first place, there are some simple things you can do to take care of your home.
4 Ways to Extend the Service Life of Your Roof
These basic maintenance and repair tasks range from unskilled to semi-skilled in terms of the knowledge needed to complete them, but it is possible to undertake all of them quickly and at minimal cost. Each will contribute to overall roof health and protect your home from avoidable damage, but not all are necessary after every storm. As such, it is important that you start with a thorough inspection.
1. Clear Your Gutters and Roof
Even if your roof isn’t damaged during a hurricane or storm, it is still in danger of being damaged by any debris that has been cast onto it by the storm, or even by the general buildup of debris and day-to-day wear and tear. Remove all debris from your roof and clean out your gutters to ensure all water drains from your roof effectively. If you do not, you could face serious water damage to your roof and property foundation as a result of water buildup and overspill. In serious cases, your downspouts could even start to break away from your home (this can be rectified fairly easily, however).
2. Invest in Quality Exterior Drainage Options
Alongside quality roof gutters, it is important to have good quality exterior drainage options at ground level. This will make sure water draining from your roof has somewhere to go rather than simply pooling around your foundation. Florida Foundation Authority offers high-quality exterior drainage solutions to ensure superior moisture drainage around your home. This will protect your foundation, and by extension, the entire structure of your property.
3. Repair or Replace Damaged Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are fairly easy to replace when they are damaged unless your downspouts are subterranean. Nonetheless, replacing damaged gutters and downspouts is absolutely vital to the health of your home; they are often the first and last line of defense against soil saturation and excessive hydrostatic pressure. If you see cracks, corrosion, or signs that your gutters and downspouts are breaking away from your home, repairs are in order.
4. Replace Broken Shingles
Replacing broken shingles is a fairly skilled job, but it is possible to do this successfully by yourself with a little research and preparation. Be sure to research the best methods and tools for your type of roofing, but generally speaking, you should be able to simply remove damaged shingles and replace them with intact ones without replacing the whole roof. If you have any concerns about your ability to do this, however, call a roofing professional. It’s far better to pay to have a few shingles replaced than to end up causing more damage.
Protect Your Property with Perimeter Drains
Once your elevated drainage options are clear and working optimally and you are satisfied that your roof is in good repair, you should turn your focus to removing the water that drains from your roof safely from your property. The ground in Florida can be marshy enough, after all, without runoff pooling by your foundation and flooding your crawl space.
Exterior drainage options are key to protecting your home as a whole. Florida Foundation Authority offers a superior quality interior drain system that is capable of collecting water from your downspouts and from the soil around your home. By preventing water from pooling around your property perimeter, you will ensure that your foundation stays strong. A weak or damaged foundation may not affect your roof immediately, but if left alone, it will affect the structure of your whole home over time.
Functional and effective exterior drains will also help you to prevent water from backing up onto your roof in heavy storms or during winter snap freezes by ensuring that water drains quickly and efficiently. If you want to investigate the cost of drain installation, Florida Foundation Authority offers free inspections and estimates.