It can be easy to forget about areas in your rental property that you rarely see, such as the roof and gutters. However, neglecting these areas can be the cause of costly problems such as leaking roofs, sagging gutters, and much more. By staying ahead of roof and gutter maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs, damage, and worse — having to replace your entire roof completely.
Although roofs are designed to withstand the strongest of storms, over time, they will show signs of wear and tear. To ensure that your Florida rental property’s roof is ready for the windy and rainy season, follow the maintenance tips below:
#1 Check the shingles regularly
The best way to maintain your rental property’s roof is by inspecting its shingles as often as possible, especially after a storm. Shingles are the coverings on your roof that are overlapping tiles typically made out of wood, metal, slate, and asphalt. Aside from enhancing the appearance of the home, shingles protect your roof from environmental damage.
Checking your shingles requires nothing more than a trusty pair of binoculars. Stand a distance from the house and check for signs of damage, such as curling shingles, missing granules, cracked shingles, and so on. If any of these signs are present, be sure to hire a professional roofing contractor as soon as possible.
#2 Trim overhanging branches
If tall trees surround your home, have their branches trimmed regularly, especially if their branches have started to hang directly above the roof. When branches break during strong windows, they can damage the surface of the roof. Falling leaves may also collect on the roof and accumulate moisture, which may cause your tiles to rot. If left unresolved, you may have to replace the entire roof, costing you anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000.
#3 Remove fallen leaves
If your home features a peaked roof, gravity will most likely remove the leaves for you. But if your home has a more contemporary roof with trees towering above it, heaps of leaves have probably already accumulated in your valley gutter.
Leaves that aren’t cleared from the roof will only get heavier and heavier. Eventually, you will notice that certain parts of your roof will begin to sag. What’s more, is that leaves can trap moisture within your roof, resulting in mold.
Use a telescoping pole or roof leak rake to pull the leaves down from one side of the roof. Or if you have a leaf blower, get on top of the roof to use it. This, however, works only on dry leaves. If you find that the leaves are too heavy and wet, you may want to push them off with a garden hose. Avoid using a pressure washer as it can push water under the shingles.
#4 Clean your gutters
As the seasons change, more and more debris will accumulate in your gutters. Make sure to keep your gutters clean and free from any debris throughout the year. Clogged gutters will prevent water from flowing away from your home, causing water to seep underneath your roofing. This can result in multiple problems such as foundation damage, pest infestations, damp basements, and much more.
While it is possible to clean the gutters by yourself, you might end up putting yourself in danger. Ask your property manager to connect you with reputable roofing experts in the area.
#5 Get rid of moss and mold
In many homes across the United States, finding black algae on the roof is not an uncommon occurrence. Although black algae may look unsightly, it doesn’t cause serious damage to the roof. Getting rid of this blue-green algae can be easily removed with a little bleach or detergent mixed with water.
However, if you find moss, which looks like a thin layer of grass, you need to take action — and fast. While small amounts of moss can be removed by sweeping them off, you may have to resort to chemicals if there are mounds of moss on your roof. If you don’t, the moss will absorb water and trap moisture within your roof.
#6 Inspect the attic and ceiling
Inspecting your roof from the outside is an excellent way to gauge its health. There are, however, some signs of leaks that you may not be able to detect by simply examining the exterior of the home. When conducting roof maintenance, be sure to inspect the ceiling from the inside — especially from the attic. Be on the lookout for signs of water damage such as wet spots, musty smells, cracked paint, pools or puddles of water, etc. If you do find any of those, call a roofing expert to resolve the issue before more damage can be done.
#7 Prevent ice dams
If you live in the northern regions, you may already be familiar with ice building on your roof. While ice dams may make your home look like a winter wonderland, they are nothing but bad news for your property. When snow collects on the roof, warm air from within the home will begin to melt it, causing the water to be trapped underneath the roof. To prevent ice dams, make sure that your attic is cold enough or that it matches the external temperature.
#8 Schedule a roof inspection
One of the best ways that you can be proactive with roof maintenance is by asking a professional to inspect your roof now and then. As a property owner, there are tasks that you can do by yourself to prolong the lifespan of your roof, but you may need an expert’s eye to spot certain signs of damage. To make sure that your roof is in excellent condition for as long as possible, schedule a roof inspection at least twice a year, and after storms or hurricanes.
Keep forgetting roof maintenance?
If your roof looks like it needs some serious TLC, it may be time to hire a property management company. At Luxury Property Care, our licensed agents will ensure that your property is well-taken care of 24/7, 365 days a year. We will stay on top of all maintenance works so that your investment property is always protected.