Maintenance is something that every homeowner knows needs to be done. Otherwise, things are bound to fall into disrepair. But maintenance is also something that most homeowners would prefer to ignore. The smaller projects—mowing the lawn, cleaning the windows, and so on—are easy enough, but larger, costlier, and more time-consuming projects tend to be deemed “too much work” and fall to the wayside.
One important part of the home that’s often ignored is the roof. Powerful storms and the steady progression of time can take a serious toll on roofs, leaving them with cracks, dents, holes, and other forms of damage. But most of this damage starts out small. A cracked shingle doesn’t seem very harmful, so it’s waved off as something unimportant and ignored. But over time, that small crack will worsen, going from a fast and easy fix to something that requires a full roof replacement.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t delay shingle repairs. The structural integrity of your home and the health of you and your family are just two of them. Here are some other reasons why you should prioritize roof maintenance.
Mold and Mildew Growth
Mold and mildew love moisture more than anything else and will settle down and grow wherever it’s nice and damp. And it just so happens those damaged, leaky roofs are prime real estate for these harmful and destructive funguses. Rainwater can accumulate in indentations on the roof. It can also seep through cracks and holes, soak through the sheathing and insulation, and wind up inside your attic.
Mold and mildew can stain and warp the floors, roof, and walls, cause severe structural damage, and even compromise the health of anyone living inside your home. Not only are these fungi dangerous—they’re also an eyesore and expensive to remove. Preventing mold and mildew at the source by repairing problems with the roof as soon as they rear their heads is the best way to keep your home, family, and wallet safe.
Denied Insurance Claims
Insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by negligence or lack of maintenance (which is one reason to keep up with maintenance). But if your roof was damaged due to something ultimately out of your control—fire, wind, or hail, to give a few examples—you may be able to get part or all the repair costs covered by your insurance… if you file a claim in a timely manner, that is.
Depending on where you live, you have anywhere from 2 to 6 years to file a property damage claim before your insurance will outright deny coverage. But even a few years is pushing it. The longer you wait to file a claim, the less likely your insurance is to approve it. For this reason, you should always handle roof damage when it first occurs. It’s much cheaper to perform repairs right away and have insurance cover most of the expense than to wait and have to pay for everything out-of-pocket.
The next reason why you shouldn’t delay shingle repairs is because, otherwise, you may wind up with a few unexpected tenants. Mice and insects are a valuable part of our ecosystem. Mice eat garbage and spread seeds, while insects pollinate and fertilize plants. But they can only do what they do best when they’re outside. When they’re inside your home, mice, insects, and other pests are nothing but lazy and freeloading nuisances. They’re also a major hazard to your home’s structural integrity and you and your family’s health.
Pests can sneak into your home through even the smallest cracks and holes in your roof. Once they’re inside, they’ll find a nice, cozy spot—usually somewhere secluded such as inside a vent or under a bed—to call home. Some pests such as termites can eat away at the structure of your home and cause it to become unstable. Others such as rats or cockroaches spread bacteria through their droppings. This bacterium can make people sick, causing sneezing, coughing, fatigue, fever, muscle aches, and other symptoms.
If your roof is damaged, watch out for the next rainstorm. Even if the cracks or holes are small and unassuming, droplets of rainwater can squeeze through them and cause extensive water damage to your home. Water can rot wood and other materials, which can result in structural deterioration and potentially even structural collapse. It can also cause the doors, windows, and wood in your home to warp and any metal objects (such as your kitchen appliances) to rust and corrode.
Don’t forget about other serious hazards caused by leaks. Water can also lead to mold and mildew growth and, when in contact with exposed wiring, electrical fires. Water, though it may seem harmless, can devastate every part of your home when left unchecked. Make sure to patch up any holes and cracks in your roof before the next rainstorm if you want to avoid serious consequences.
Higher Energy Bills
Cracks and holes in the roof don’t just let things in. There are also some things they let out—namely, conditioned air. The more air that’s lost, the harder your HVAC system must work to keep your home at the perfect temperature. This causes two problems. Because your HVAC is working overtime, your monthly energy bill will skyrocket. And because your HVAC is pushing itself to the limit, it will deteriorate faster and can even break down.
Lowered Property Value
Have you been considering putting your home on the market soon? A roof with worn-down or missing shingles will make securing a buyer next to impossible. That’s because most buyers nowadays aren’t keen on properties that require a lot of work; they’re looking for something that’s move-in ready. They’ll take one glance at your deteriorating roof, decide that it’ll take too much time and money to fix, and then move on to the next home.
A roof that looks nice and functions well, on the other hand, is something that’s desirable to house hunters. By investing in roof repairs or a roof replacement, it’ll be much easier to sell your home. And since having a new or like-new roof boosts curb appeal and, consequently, property value, you might even be able to sell your property for more than you were able to pre-repair or pre-replacement.
Are you in need of Minnesota roofing services
before your damaged roof gets out of hand? Contact Viking Contractors today for a free inspection and quote! Our experienced roofing contractors will patch up any damage and make your roof look and function like new again.