Your roof and siding are the two outermost layers that protect your home. These layers not only keep your home warm and dry, they also protect its structural integrity and other components. Hail, wind, heavy snow and rainstorms often result in flying debris that damage roofs and siding. When damage is minor, it often goes undetected. Failure to detect minor damage and/or deterioration in these layers at the earliest possible stage can result in extensive damage to your walls and ceilings over time. This type of damage is costly to repair and not only compromises your home’s structural integrity, it also places your personal property at risk.
It’s best to keep a watchful eye on your roof and siding. Performing regular inspections and maintenance will allow you to detect and repair minor problems early. This will prevent extensive damage and keep your home in great shape for when that next big storm rolls through town.
The exterior layers of your home are composed of various materials with specific maintenance requirements. Since remaining claims free will help keep the cost of your Alberta House Insurance down, here we provide maintenance tips for the various materials contained in roofs and siding.
If you suspect damage to your roof has occurred after a severe storm, never climb onto your roof to inspect it yourself, as serious injury may result. Climbing onto a damaged roof can also cause additional damage that may not be covered by your Alberta House Insurance. Always seek the advice of Lanes Insurance – your Alberta House Insurance broker – or hire an experienced contractor to inspect your roof if you suspect it’s been damaged after a storm.
Roof Maintenance Will Help Keep Your Alberta House Insurance Claims Free
All roofs will deteriorate due to weather exposure; however, the rate of deterioration is determined largely by the conditions of exposure and the type of materials they contain. All types of materials can be severely damaged by hail. Exposure to polluted and salt-laden air accelerates deterioration. Generally, inorganic materials stand up better than organic materials.
For long-term protection, maintenance of cedar shingles is a multi-step process. Repair or replace damaged shingles, ridge caps, vents, and flashings and re-caulk joints. Use a light power-wash to remove moss and lichen. Once your roof is in good condition, you may want to apply a moss killer and/or sealer every few years.
Clay tiles are highly durable and may contain concrete as a strengthener. Clay tiles require regular maintenance to provide optimal protection. Broken tiles must be replaced and algae, moss, and mildew must be removed. Regular cleaning and re-coating of your tiles is vital to maintain its protective qualities for years to come. Choosing a contractor experienced in repair and maintenance of clay tile roofs is the best way to ensure your safety and extend the lifetime of a clay tile roof.
Asphalt tiles often contain fiberglass granules making it easy for moss to become established. Maintenance of an asphalt tileroof includes a thorough cleaning and the use of a spray to kill the moss at its roots. Moss begins at the top of the roofwhere birds like to perch, on north-facing surfaces, and in shaded areas. With the potential to double in size per every year, moss retains moisture, impedes water-flow, and lifts tiles upward as it grows. Thus, moss can cause serious damage to an asphalt tile roof.
For newer roofs, power-washing is the easiest way to clean off the moss. If your roof is 10 years old or older and has not been well maintained, you may want to use a stiff broom or brush, following the application of moss killer. Once your roof is in good condition, it should be sprayed with a coat of moss killer every one to two years.
Rubber roofs are typically made of recycled materials and are more eco-friendly than roofs made from other materials. Although they provide excellent protection for your home, rubber roofs require regular maintenance. Use a rubber cleaner first and follow with a treatment to prevent mildew. Regularly sweep your roof to prevent dirt and leaf debris from settling. This will help prevent mildew spots. Cleaning and sealing is recommended at least twice a year.
Regularly clearing debris, especially metal, is crucial because when different types of metals contact each other, chemical reactions occur causing corrosion. Repair small holes using roofing cement and patch larger ones by soldering or welding on a patch of the same type of metal. Use washers and screws made of the same kind of metal and install them in a raised position to prevent water collection. Touch up chips and scratches on painted surfaces to prevent rust.
Siding Maintenance Will Help Keep Your Alberta House Insurance Claims Free
While hailstorms are becoming more common, it’s important to check your siding after any major weather event. Look for spots of discoloration, dents, chips, and cracks. Seek the advice of Lanes Insurance – your Alberta House Insurance broker – or a contractor if your siding becomes severely damaged.
Vinyl siding is made from organic materials and is easily maintained with hose washing and preventive care. Always keep barbecues and combustible materials such as dry leaves, mulch, and refuge away from vinyl siding. Cover your siding before painting, staining, applying sealants, or pouring concrete to prevent discoloration. Handle insecticides and herbicides with care; these chemicals can stain vinyl siding.
In a mirror-like effect under certain conditions, the glass in energy-efficient windows can become concave, directing concentrated sunlight onto a tiny area. The temperature in this area rises far above what vinyl can withstand. Prevent sunlight from reaching your windows or block its path between your windows and your siding. Strategic landscaping can help, sunshades above and screens over windows can reduce the risk of this type of damage.
Insulated siding normally consists of vinyl that surrounds expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation. One type is a vinyl product with EPS glued inside. A second type has an inner foam core that’s left unglued. An annual wash with soap and water is all that’s required. Pressure-washing is discouraged for insulated siding.
Fiber Cement Siding
Containing cement and fibrous materials resistant to damage from insects, fungus, extreme temperatures, weather, and sunlight, fiber cement siding is low-maintenance. Like all kinds of siding, dirt and residue from pollution will build up. Simply cleaning your fiber cement siding with a garden hose or pressure washer as necessary, will remove surface grime and dirt.
Engineered Wood Siding
This type of siding contains cement and cellulose, or wood fibrous materials, sand, and other components. Moisture is the biggest enemy of engineered wood siding. Engineered wood siding requires painting every five to ten years depending on atmospheric conditions, amount of sun exposure, and the quality of paint used.
Stucco siding contains a mixture of cement, water, and sand or lime. Unless major cracks develop, maintenance of stuccosiding consists of hose washing as necessary. Large cracks should be repaired immediately.
Remember: Regularly inspecting the outermost layers of your home will protect your investment, but to avoid serious injury, never climb onto a damaged roof. Always seek the advice of Lanes Insurance – your Alberta House Insurance broker – or hire an experienced contractor if you suspect roof damage has occurred.
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