These five common mistakes shorten the life of your roof, leading to expensive repairs. Every homeowner should safeguard against them.
- Allowing trees to grow too close to the roof.
Always trim your trees six to eight feet from their closest point to the house. You may trim them even further away if, while swaying in the wind, they brush your home.
The goal is to prevent them from touching your house at all. Scraping branches and limbs can damage paint, remove shingles, break windows, and allow water to access and damage your home.
Additionally, trimming branches away from your home reduces the chance for squirrels, raccoons, or other pests to get on your roof. These vermin see your home as just another source for food and even lodging. Do everything in your power to keep them away.
- Allowing birds, bats, or other animals to lodge on your house
Sure, it’s adorable when the birds put a nest up in the eaves. It’s especially cute when you can see the hatchlings lift their impossibly small beaks over the edge of the nest.
However, you are in a constant battle with nature. The whole purpose of a house is to keep nature out. Otherwise, you’d become a tent owner and call it a day.
So don’t tolerate any animal lodging in your house. Every place that an animal can get in even a few inches encourages them to dig and burrow, and potentially gives them access to a lot more real estate. Here they can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
For example, bat guano is a health hazard, and abatement costs involve expensive chemicals and equipment for the crew. It can also involve a few nights at a hotel while the crew cleans up.
- Not cleaning the gutters and drains
It is a perennial task on our honey-do list: cleaning the gutters. But there are so many reasons not to do it: the ladder is rickety, the ladder is hard to get out, it’s just … so … high.
However, water pooling in your gutters creates problems for you in your back yard as well as for your house.
Mosquitoes breed in pooled water in gutters or drains that don’t drain. This can have substantial impact on your enjoyment of your yard all summer. Also, an abundance of mosquitoes draws bats, who will want to burrow into your eaves and attic.
This water in your gutter is also a problem in the cusps of winter. Each freeze and thaw cycle means an expansion and a contraction. In this way the water tears at your screws and joints. It can cause the gutter to leak, fail completely, or even to fall from the house.
A conscientious homeowner adds these important tasks to their regular home maintenance review. Checking in and doing this work on a regular schedule means that these never become problems that require extra expense and effort.