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Typically, we assess the condition of our roof by its outwards appearance. If the shingles look intact, there are no missing or loose roof tiles, and the gutter seems in place, you’d think your roof is safe and well maintained. Don’t be fooled – there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye. It’s easy to forget that there are other vitally important factors to consider when evaluating the condition of your roof.
The object of scrutiny should be the roof support system. It does not matter how much you have spent on tiling or shingles, should the internal supports be damaged, your roof will not last long. Though the supports will have usually been constructed properly beforehand (as expected), later problems can arise over the years that could pose a threat to your roof, or even your whole house if they are not seen to.
Poor Quality/Incorrect Materials
During the construction of any roof, a large beam that supports the majority of the weight is installed across the length of the roof. This beam has been designed to withstand the weight of materials originally used in the construction of your roof. Calculations have been made to ensure that this beam can support the weight of the roof for many years to come. If you have made any changes to your roof from the original, the overall weight may affect the beams integrity as it won’t have the additional support it needs. If the roof gets any heavier, additional support is necessary. Have certified engineer check to make sure that your beams can support the load before undergoing renovations. Depending on the materials used, you may require additional beams and support which can be installed by a licensed general contractor. Make sure you choose quality roof materials over cost!
If you have a roof with rafters, you would also have a set of braces that works together with the beams to provide a solid support system. The placement of the braces is vital, as they are built against the interior walls of a house. If in the original construction of the rafters the engineers chose to have the braces support the weight of the entire roof, over time they will grow weaker and eventually collapse. The telling signs of this are shown by a sagging or crooked roof. This is a severe problem that should be tended to immediately.
Maintenance at regular intervals is the most effective way to ensure your roof remains intact and healthy. The most frequent issue is with dampness or wood rot, due to poor ventilation or leaks in the roofing system. If this goes unnoticed over time, it can cause a domino effect, and before you know it more mold and pests will appear. If it is not seen to, this may mean you will require an entire new support system, which will cost. Preventative measures will save you a large amount of money over the years, so do ensure you undergo maintenance at regular intervals.
This goes hand in hand with maintenance of the interior supports. Make sure that there is no external weathering from wind or rain that will allow water through, as this will lead to leaks, mold and rotting. Keep an eye peeled out for signs of wear.
To avoid any inconvenience regarding your roof support, it is advised to have it looked at by a professional at least every three years, but there is no harm in checking up at more consistent intervals. Your roofs’ support system is of paramount importance, as it is the fundamental base that keeps a you and your family dry.