Being a new homeowner isn’t easy. Just the process of buying your first home is pretty hard. You jump through countless hoops to prove your income, fill out countless documents, look at multiple houses, differentiate between wants and needs, and then take out a hefty loan.
Once you sign your name on the dotted line, you’re not done with the difficult part. It’s just beginning! Once you officially own this home, you have to worry about its upkeep.
For most people, their house is the largest purchase they’ll ever make. This makes it important to take care of it and know the ins and outs of the maintenance and repairs it may need to retain its value.
Perhaps no aspect of your home contributes as much to both its value and your worries as the roof. This can be particularly stress-inducing when you consider the fact that just because your home is new to you doesn’t make it new.
Your roof may be decades old already. It’s important that you know about your roof and how to identify when it’s time for repairs or replacement.
The Components of Your Roof
Every roof features seven components. As a new homeowner, you should be familiar with them.
- Shingles/Tiles/or Metal: Whether you have asphalt shingles or clay tiles, their main purpose is to protect the underlying sheathing from the weather.
- Sheathing: Sheathing is also referred to as the deck of a roof. Sheathing consists of boards or sheet material that are attached to the rafters that cover your home.
- Trim: Trim is installed to protect the seam in the roof along a hip or ridge.
- Rafters: Under your roof are rafters. They act as your roof’s skeleton. These are the wood or metal slats inside your home that support the sheathing and shingles.
- Underlayment: Under your sheathing is a water-resistant, paper-like material. This is put in place to seal it from damaging elements like rain. This is used with a membrane and vapor barrier, which is typically a sheet of plastic blocking air and water from leaking through.
- Flashing: Flashing is installed on top of the joints of your roof system to prevent water damage. The joints of your roof are anywhere it changes direction. Your home may have a few or a lot, depending on the style of your home. Flashing is used to help seal these points off from the elements.
- Drainage: You don’t want water pooling on your roof and the drainage is a roof design feature that allows it to shed water. This is measured using the slope, or pitch, of the roof.
Does Your Roof Need Repair or Maintenance?
Does your home have the original roof? Were repairs made within the past few years? You should know the answers to these questions, but feel free to contact the real estate agent you partnered with if you don’t.
Depending on the type of shingles you have and the age of your roof, you may need to keep an eye out for leaks. You may even find it’s already time to schedule an appointment with a roofing company.
As the owner of this house, it’s important to conduct regular visual inspections to look for signs of damage. Natural disasters like tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and fires are obvious indicators of roof damage, but other signs may go under the radar.
These include ceiling stains or drips, signs of wear like cracked or missing shingles, rust spots, moss or lichen growth, discoloration, or peeling paint under eaves.
Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roof material. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, asphalt shingles make up the roofs of four out of five homes across the U.S.
If you have asphalt shingles, take a look in your gutter and downspouts. Asphalt shingles are made up of fiberglass, asphalt, and ceramic granules. These ceramic granules slowly disintegrate over time. Granules in your house’s gutters are a sign that the shingles are breaking down and need to be replaced.
Don’t be too alarmed if you see a few signs that your roof needs TLC. Can you get away with simple repairs or do you need a new roof? Does the entire roof need to be replaced or only a portion of it?
Discuss options with a professional roofer before making a decision to move forward. They can tell you exactly what your new roof needs to protect you, your family, your belongings, and your house.
Experienced residential roofers will tell you that your home’s roof doesn’t have to be quite so intimidating.