Preventive maintenance is a very important factor in determining how long a roof stays performing its role of keeping the elements out of your home. It is therefore very important to do everything possible to maintain the structural integrity of the roof over your home. This article discusses some of the things you can do to keep your roof from collapsing.
Monitor the Roof's Condition
Each roof has a finite lifetime that is estimated by the manufacturer. It is important that you begin having the roof inspected more regularly when it nears the end of its useful life. For instance, you can have it inspected twice each year when it reaches half of its expected lifespan. These regular inspections are necessary because that roof may begin deteriorating rapidly, so you need to watch its condition and take remedial action when defects show up. An example of a defect could be cracking or sagging of the roof membrane.
Safely Remove Any Added Weight on the Roof
The structural integrity of roofs is adversely affected by any added weight that remains on that roof. For instance, if water pools on the roof and remains there for long, it may freeze during cold weather and exert excessive weight on the roof. This may cause the roof to sag or begin leaking. Remove any standing water or accumulated snow so that the roof does not have to carry any unnecessary load.
Avoid Altering Roof Designs or Purposes
A common cause of catastrophic roof failure is modification of roof structures without involving the expertise of a structural engineer. For instance, roof beams may be drilled in order to run electrical wires. Such an act can reduce the weight bearing capability of the beams, and they may collapse under the weight of the roof. It is advisable that you enlist the help of a structural engineer if you want to perform any modification of your roof or any roof structure.
Prune Overhanging Trees
Impacts such as those that occur when a tree branch falls onto a roof can cause that roof to collapse. Avoid this eventuality by removing or pruning all trees that are close to the roof of your home.
Roof problems can kick start a domino effect of other problems, such as electrical accidents that can cost you your home or life. It is therefore very important that you take all precautions possible to maintain the integrity of the roof. You can consult a structural engineer from a company like Jeffrey Hills and Associates if you are unsure about what additional measures to take in order to protect the roof over your head.