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Missing this during home maintenance...

Missing this during home maintenance can be costly

By: Courtney Ingle - February 1, 2023

Roof maintenance is key to making sure your home is in its best condition now and in the future.

Homeowners know that owning a house means much more than just signing papers and moving in. The home needs to be maintained in order to stay in tip-top shape for years to come, as well as maintain its resale value. 

However, many miss one of the biggest sources of home repair expenses when giving their home a look over to see if something needs to be patched up. 

“A roof is a wear item,” said Eddie Coleman, General Manager for Complete Exteriors in Pearl. “It wears out, especially with Mississippi weather.” 

It is no secret that a roof is one of the most expensive things to replace when it comes to a home, and prices have dramatically increased in recent years. 

In early 2020, a roof replacement could run as much as $14,000. 

“You’re easily looking at nearly $20,000 for a new roof,” said Coleman. “Or up to $25,000.” 

Roof maintenance doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg

Eddie Coleman

There are a few simple steps that could help a homeowner spot a problem before it becomes a massive issue. 

“Have your roof inspected once a year,” said Coleman. “Many reputable companies will do this for free, because they’re trying to win your business if you were to need their services. Any roofing company worth anything will want to earn your business, and a free inspection is one way to do it.” 

A yearly inspection may allow for smaller issues with your roof to be caught before there’s a major issue, but it also provides context for your home insurance company. 

“So let’s say we come out this year, and we don’t find an issue,” said Coleman. “We can save those photos and reports, and when we come out next year, if there’s a problem, we can show at least a bit of a timeline of when the problem came up.” 

This can be a massive aid to the wallet when it comes to filing a home insurance claim for your roof.

“Many of our roof replacements and repairs are actually paid for by home insurance claims,” said Coleman. 

Keep that roof clean 

“A roof is a system, and it is designed to get water from the roof to the ground as quickly as possible,” said Coleman. “So, you don’t want anything in the way.”

This means removing leaves and debris from any nooks and crannies in the roof. 

“If you have leaves and debris in those valleys on your roof, water can eventually dam up and seep beneath the shingles,” Coleman said. 

Algae and moss can even begin to grow in those valleys if left stagnant for too long, which can hold even more moisture in crevices. 

Hire help for cleaning off the roof if it is too risky or physically not possible to do yourself. 

“Make sure you have someone you can trust though,” said Coleman. “It shouldn’t be an expensive deal to have someone blow off those valleys and clean the gutters.” 

Pay attention 

Coleman said keep an eye out for stains on the ceiling but not just in your commonly used areas. 

“You’ll notice a ceiling stain in your living room pretty quickly,” said Coleman. “Make sure you’re looking into your attic, and also into that back closet that you use for storage. Don’t forget those areas where it could be a big problem if it is forgotten about.” 

Check for how water is running off the roof. If there are gutters, make sure the water is following the gutter system, and not pouring out at the seams. If it is, it could mean that either the gutters are too small, backed up, or damaged. 

“The standard for gutters used to be five-inch-wide gutters,” said Coleman. “But now it is six-inch gutters. That extra inch goes a long way to getting the water away from that roof.” 

If the gutters are old, bent in places or not up to the six-inch standard, it may be time for an upgrade. 

“You’ll also want to look for wood rot,” Coleman added. “Wood rot, especially along the soffits and fascia, could mean water is getting there from underneath the roof. That can be an expensive problem.”

Do your homework at hire time 

After the routine maintenance has been done, and a problem has been detected, it is time to bring in a professional. 

Coleman said that qualifying the contractors is a very important step. Skipping it could be costly. 

“Some contractors will use salvage items,” said Coleman. “That can be bad news. Or maybe they have a low rating with only five reviews. You could be setting yourself up for trouble.” 

While many of the notable roofers are responsible, certified, and use quality materials, there are others who will be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. 

“Make sure they are partnered and certified,” said Coleman. “For example, we are GAF Master Elite Certified, which is the highest certification GAF offers. Verify who the contractor is partnered and certified with.” 

Double checking references can also save coin, time, and a headache when hiring a contractor. 

“Look, word of mouth is your top salesman. A satisfied customer is your top salesman,” said Coleman. “Check the Better Business Bureau ratings. Check Facebook and Google Reviews. Make sure they are insured.”

Asking four or five questions can spare you money and bad advice. 

“Ask who the supplier is, ask about the drip edge, the ice and water shield, everything,” said Coleman. “Overall, just hire someone you can trust.”

About the Author(s)
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Courtney Ingle

Courtney Ingle is a freelance writer from Brandon, Mississippi. She has years of journalism experience writing for radio, print, and the web. She and her husband Jeremy have two children, Taylor and Jacob and they are members of Park Place Baptist Church in Pearl, Mississippi.