As the owner of a home in Ottawa, Ontario, you know the importance of caring for and maintaining your roof. The following are our top roofing tips for Ottawa-area homeowners.
1. Your safety should be your most important consideration.
While most roofing professionals will recommend that you inspect your roof periodically, this may not be appropriate in your case depending on your age, physical condition or the slope of your roof. Even if you are very spry, if your roof slope is particularly steep, it may not be safe to inspect without adequate safety equipment, including a harness to prevent falls. If you do not feel comfortable going up on your roof, hire a professional for any necessary roof inspection or repairs.
If you do decide to go onto your roof to perform an inspection or minor repair, be safe. Wear comfortable, secure footwear with rubber soles. Move slowly and carefully. Always have another person on hand to hold your ladder and help you out of trouble if necessary. Wait for a sunny day to work on your roof. Rain, snow or ice can make the surface of the roof too slippery.
2. Watch for signs of common roofing problems.
Ice dams occur when repeated melting and freezing of snow on the rooftop causes ice to build up near the edge of the roof. The ice acts as a dam, allowing any water on the roof to find its way under the shingles instead of running off the roof. If you can see areas of bare roof when most of the roofs in your area are snow-covered, or if icicles form around the edge or your roof, your roof may be in danger of developing ice dams.
The weather in the Ottawa area, including extreme temperature fluctuations, strong winds, hail and ice storms, can cause damage to shingles. Shingles that are curled at the edge, cracked, or unusually smooth may need to be replaced. A missing shingle or damage to the flashing around chimneys are signs that some damage has occurred.
Some roofing problems are caused by a lack of proper ventilation inside your home. Signs of rot caused by leaks or poor ventilation, such as a sagging roof deck or visible mold or water stains, should be visible from inside your attic.
3. Address small problems before they result in catastrophic damage.
A small leak or a missing shingle does not necessarily mean that you need to replace your entire roof. Many common roofing problems can be repaired if they are addressed right away. Ignoring small roofing issues until they become too big to ignore frequently results in the need for an entire new roof and ends up costing the homeowner much more money.
Investing in appropriate insulation or ventilation in your home may prevent common roofing problems from ever occurring. Be proactive about inspecting and maintaining your roof and you may be able to extend the life of your roof by several years.