You may refer to maintaining a home as “keeping a roof over your head,” but all-too-often roofs and the roofline are among the last things we think about in relation to property value. TV is partly to blame. Home-improvement programming and magazines are awash with kitchen islands and spa-like bathrooms while blithely overlooking one of the most important parts of any house: its roof and attendant structures.
Why Looking Up is so Important
When last did you take a long, hard look at your attic? It’s the best place for spotting issues, says Roofline Design, specialists in all things roofline-related. It’s the best place to assess the health of your roof and roofline.
To clarify this, while most people know what a roof is, there are additional elements directly below the roof and under the eaves that help to protect your home from the elements. These include bargeboards, antefixes, soffits, and fascias, and they’re almost as important as the roof itself in protecting your home against the elements.
Diagnosing problems with the roof and roofline means looking up – from the inside, where you’ll look for damp patches, water stains, sagging, and chinks that let in the light. Ignoring signs of wear is something you do at your peril. Damp getting in causes damage to the building, and that only gets worse over time, increasing repair costs exponentially.
Damage from Worn Roofline Elements and How to Stop it
When the roofline isn’t weatherproof, all kinds of additional problems result. Mould gets a chance to grow in the damp environment, rafters become exposed to conditions promoting rot, and ceiling-boards can become warped and stained. Then there’s also the problem of damp getting into the walls – so the longer you wait to repair your roofline, the more costly the repair bill may be by the time you get around to it.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to inspect your roofline in spring and autumn. Most professionals agree that just about any active, observant person can tackle this task. Signs of damp are fairly easy to spot, and if they are spotted, it’s time to take action.
However, the functioning of gutters remains important. Clearing them out and ensuring that they are working properly will remain a regular chore, albeit a relatively easy one. When guttering doesn’t work properly, fascias and soffits will have to work even harder to protect your home from damp, and even foundations can be affected.
The roofline inspection includes the inside view as well as an outdoor gutter-checking exercise. While you’re up there, clear away debris and flush out the gutters using a hose. Look for leaks , spots where water builds up because of an insufficient slope towards downspouts and check joints and fasteners.
Modern Materials Last Longer
Wood is still the most commonly used material for fascias, but unless it is properly maintained, it won’t last as long as uPVC materials. Wooden fascias and soffits must be retreated periodically – a maintenance task that’s all-too-easy to forget. With the uPVC alternative, you really can forget about your roofline for up to 60 years, provided the fascias and soffits were properly installed.
Over and above that, uPVC comes in a range of finishes and can look so similar to wood, that it would take a close-up inspection to tell the difference. Since fascias and soffits are rarely viewed from nearby, you could well be the only one to know that the “wood look” isn’t wood at all!
So, if in the process of inspecting your roofline you see signs indicating that your roofline isn’t weatherproof any longer, it may be time to ring the changes in terms of your choice of materials.
With your home representing a major investment, allowing it to be devalued owing to preventable water damage can be a huge blow to your financial health. A little vigilance and timely maintenance can prevent that – and the roofline is one of the areas to watch.