“The truth is not a lot of home and building owners know that their roofs require routine maintenance to keep their roof warranties valid,” says Ken Lillejord, Residential Roofing Consultant of Absolute Roof Solutions — which has been named the “Best Roofing Replacement & Repairs Contractor – Greater Vancouver” for 2021 by UK-based BUILD magazine.
Lillejord states that many property owners believe that once a new roof has been installed, they don’t have to do anything else until it wears out in about 25 years. Further, they are under the impression that if anything wears out before that time, their shingles and roof materials are completely guaranteed by the manufacturer.
Unfortunately, it’s not that cut and dry.
The fine print of a shingle manufacturer's warranty usually includes a statement about the warranty becoming void if "regular maintenance" on the roof is not conducted.
What exactly is "regular maintenance?"
Simply put, regular maintenance refers to the inspection of the roof on a regular basis and fixing routine problems as they occur and before they become major problems that destroy the integrity of your roof and its materials.
An annual roof inspection done by a professional roofing company, such as Absolute Roof Solutions, will include regular maintenance items, such as redoing the caulking around metal flashings if needed and ensuring the roof is getting enough ventilation.
Clearing clogged gutters
According to Lillejord, the majority of leaks experienced by homeowners are caused by gutters becoming clogged with rainwater backing up into the soffit and then leaking down into the house.
Clogged gutters are a major issue in Vancouver with all of the trees in residential areas. Even on a flat roof, leaves can plug a drain, causing a water buildup which eventually becomes an interior leak.
Regular maintenance includes clearing these leaves off the roof and opening up the drains and gutters. While there are products on the market that can be installed to prevent leaves from clogging up the gutters, it is most cost-effective in the long run to book an annual cleaning — during which your roof can also be inspected at the same time for other problems.
Photo: Absolute Roof Solutions.
Checking for moss or dirt buildup
According to Lillejord, another issue is that leaves left on a roof can decompose and create a buildup of moss and/or dirt, which prevents rainwater from running off the roof properly. Such a buildup makes the water run across and underneath shingles, which leads to leaks.
Furthermore, moss growing on shingles damages roofing material, and its presence on the roof would immediately invalidate any manufacturer's warranty. Through regular maintenance, these buildups and growth would be effectively cleared away.
Preventing seasonal roofing wear and tear
Lastly, Lillejord says the biggest menace to a roof is the summer sun.
The constant heating and cooling over time causes roofing material to wear, much more than rain or any other weather. Once the rainfall hits, leaks become apparent.
A roofing inspection would note this wear and repair, and action can be taken before any leak damage takes place.
Get an annual gutter cleaning and roof inspection
As a homeowner or a building owner, you should arrange to have your gutters cleaned every fall, and at the same time, schedule an annual inspection of your roof. This will help maintain your roof, keep your home safe and dry, and ensure the validity of your roofing warranty.
As one of the Lower Mainland’s top roofing companies for the past 20 years, locally-owned Absolute Roof Solutions offers roof inspections, repairs and replacement services for residential and commercial properties.
To arrange regular maintenance for your roof, call Absolute Roof Solutions at (604) 263-0334 or visit absoluteroof.ca for more information.