5 Things All First-time Homeowners Should Know About Their Roofs

As a first-time homeowner, it is possible that you have never before been responsible for maintenance or repairs to your house. Every new homeowner is likely to encounter some unexpected expenses for repairs or renovations. Roofing repairs can be some of the most expensive and most stressful repairs for first-time homeowners. Having a good understanding of the needs of your roof may enable you to avoid repairs or extend the life of your roof.

1. Different types of roofing material have different life expectancies and different maintenance needs. For example, a metal roof may last for 50 years, but may be more easily damaged if someone walks on it or if you decide to attach something to the roof (like solar panels or a satellite dish).
Do some research on your roof type to determine if there are any particular problems that you need to watch out for, or maintenance that may help you to protect your roof.

2. Yearly inspections and maintenance can extend the life of your roof. Most professionals will recommend that homeowners inspect their roof twice per year: once in the fall and again the spring. In Ottawa, the winter is our harshest season and a twice-yearly inspection will allow you to keep your roof in top condition. Inspecting and clearing out eaves troughs each fall can prevent leaks and damage to the foundation of your home.

3. Good ventilation is important. Poor ventilation in a home’s attic can cause heat and moisture to accumulate in the attic, leading to problems such as ice dams and mold. Investing in good ventilation may allow you to avoid a costly roof replacement.

4. A leak in the interior of your home is not necessarily caused by a hole in your roof. Water damage to your home may be caused by any number of things. A professional can inspect your roof and attic and let you know if the roof is the culprit. Other possibilities are problems with the foundation, poor ventilation, clogged or damaged eaves troughs, and damage to flashing or chimneys.

5. Improving the insulation in your attic may prevent ice dams. Ice dams are created when snow on the roof melts and then refreezes. Ice dams can allow water to seep through the shingles on your roof, creating a leak. Investing in proper insulation in the attic may allow you to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.

Having a basic understanding of common roofing problems can enable any homeowner to extend the life of their roof. This is especially important for first time homeowners, who may find it financially overwhelming to deal with a roof replacement.