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There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t really have any idea about how to properly take care of your home’s roof. Lots of people drive to work and back, day in and day out, without having the slightest knowledge of what to do should the car break down. The fact is that there is a support structure in place for when your roof starts giving you problems. Keep your head and avoid the momentary urge to try to patch it up yourself. Here’s what you need to know to get your roof back into shape.


PART I: THOSE IN THE KNOW: PROFESSIONAL CARE FOR YOUR ROOF

The best way to ensure that your roof is receiving the attention it needs is to hire a professional for the job. While roof care can be done as a do-ityourself project, it’s not the best way to do things. A roofing professional, as compared to an amateur, will not only have the requisite knowledge to address the problem correctly, they’ll also have the perspective necessary to pinpoint the extent and origin of the problem.

Just because a person hangs out their shingle as a roofing contractor doesn’t mean that they’re who you want working on your roof, however. With as important, and potentially extensive, an investment as your roof, you’ll want only the best in the industry working on your roof. The first thing you should check for is a roofing contractor license; in the state of Florida, businesses and persons working as roofing contractors are required, among other things, to have passed the requisite examinations to qualify for their roofing contractor license. If the contractors you’re considering hiring are unable to provide documentation of such a license – corroborated by you with the local licensing board – then they’re not the contractors you need.


PART I: THOSE IN THE KNOW: PROFESSIONAL CARE FOR YOUR ROOF

The company should also be bonded and fully insured, with both liability coverage and workman’s compensation. The last thing you want is to have to pay out-of-pocket should an accident happen during a roofing repair or remodel.

Other credentials you should make sure to verify are the company’s tax identification number, and any contact number that the business is listed under, such as its business address, its contact telephone number, its website, and its email address. Where the option exists, go with a local company, one with a good working relationship with your community and the local residents. That way, you’re less likely to run into scams, or end up with a company that will disappear on you at the first sign of trouble. Knowing how to pick a contractor is all well and good, but how do you know that you need one in the first place? More on this in part II.


PART II: SIGNS OF TROUBLE: IDENTIFYING THAT YOUR ROOF NEEDS

In many cases, identifying that your roof has a problem, or has sustained damage, is easy and straightforward enough. It might be that a persistent leak has brought the roof situation to your attention, or you might have noticed a denuded patch on your roof after that last storm. In such a case, your next step – getting the roof fixed – is an obvious, easy step. Not all problems are as easily spotted, however, and while it’s important to keep your roof in good condition, it’s not always practical or desirable to call the professionals over to check it out, just on a suspicion of a problem. There are things that you can check for yourself, though, that indicate that you most likely have a problem. With just a little effort, you can find out whether or not you should be calling in the roofing experts to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with your roof. CHECKING FROM INSIDE YOUR HOUSE Your attic is the place where you’re most likely to find corroborating evidence of possible problems with your roof. With a flashlight in hand, go up and take a good long look around. Pay attention to dark spots and trails on the roof or walls that might indicate where water has penetrated. Places where the roof deck is sagging, or where you can see actual water damage or leaking, are clear indicators that you have a problem, as are any spots in the ceiling where you can see sunlight coming in.


PART II: SIGNS OF TROUBLE: IDENTIFYING THAT YOUR ROOF NEEDS

CHECKING FROM THE OUTSIDE From the outside, signs of roof trouble tend to be more visibly obvious, if you know what to look for. Visible damage to the shingles – any cracking, tearing, and other such signs – as well as missing shingles or bald areas on the roof are proof positive you have a problem. Loose material or debris on the roof is also a good indicator of possible damage. Anything that’s been detached, from the chimney to the flashing to the drainspouts and gutters, are all signs that your roof probably needs to be repaired.

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Is there any way to try and prevent roof problems from coming up in the first place? More on this in part III.


PART III: CHECKING UP ON YOUR ROOF: WHY YOU NEED REGULAR ROOF INSPECTIONS

It’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is as true for your home’s roof as it is for anything else. Because of the way roofs are constantly exposed to extremes of weather and the environment, if you leave off on repairing your roof until the last minute, you could end up spending more on a problem that’s grown bigger since it first started. The best way to keep your roof in good shape, and even extend its lifetime, is to take care of problems as soon as you can and, if possible, before they grow into bigger problems. To address potential and current roof problems before they can worsen, you need to be aware of what’s happening to your roof, and that involves regular roof inspections. Experts agree that your roof should be inspected professionally at least twice a year: once in spring, to assess the state of the roof after the rigors of winter, and once more in the fall, to make sure your roof is ready for the coming winter. That’s assuming nothing else goes wrong. In addition to regular professional inspections, you should also have your roof inspected after any event that could cause damage to it. Generally, this means that you should have your roof checked whenever a storm hits. Nature’s little tantrums don’t operate on a schedule, after all, and waiting until your next regular inspection to check for storm damage could end up costing you.


PART III: CHECKING UP ON YOUR ROOF: WHY YOU NEED REGULAR ROOF INSPECTIONS

THE IMPORTANCE OF A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTION It can’t be stressed enough that any actual roof inspections should be carried out by a trained roofing professional. Aside from potential safety issues that may be involved, the fact is that a professional eye is more likely to spot problems, and correctly identify the extent and nature of the problem, than an untrained one. You might, for example, be able to spot ice forming at the eaves, but would you know to check your attic for proper insulation and ventilation in such a case? Knowing the ins and outs of the business goes a long way in helping you get a realistic and accurate picture of what’s going on with your roof.


Roofing by Curry 6245 Clark Center Ave.. Suite J, Sarasota, FL 34238 (941) 270-4770 RoofingByCurry.com

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Just because you're not familiar with the ins and outs of roof care doesn't mean that you should let your roof's care and maintenance requir...

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