Did you know that fixing your roof can be an easy way to meet your personal resolutions this year? With December recently behind us and January full of talk of setting goals to make this year an even better one than the last, you probably have multiple resolutions swirling around your brain. Resolutions like saving money and helping conserve energy are common goals for millions of people around the world.
This is definitely admirable, but for most of us, we begin the year gung-ho and start to lose our determination as the reality of the after-holiday grind kicks in. One resolution we can easily keep that will both save money and conserve energy is to pay a little more attention to our roofs!
Yes, your roof! The thing that protects your family and your possessions from the outside elements, sheltering you and keeping you and yours warm. It takes a beating, especially in areas like Salt Lake City, Utah, where the seasons can all show up in one week!
How can a little bit of maintenance and home improvement on your roof help you to make your resolutions this year come to reality? Keep on reading to find out!
Is Your Roof a Money Pit or an Investment That Keeps on Giving?
There’s not a lot of in between leeway here. Your roof is either well-insulated and maintained, thereby keeping your electricity where it belongs and your home safe, or it hasn’t been checked out in a while, in which case there are likely air or water leaks draining money from your bank account every month while you aren’t even aware of it.
Since we can’t “see” our roofs easily and we don’t really know what’s going on beneath the surface unless we get up in our attics and do a thorough inspection, it’s easy just to ignore the whole thing and figure it’s working just fine. The issue with that is that by the time we do notice a problem, what would have been an easy, inexpensive fix has now created hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and requires expert repair.
Instead of waiting until that happens, you can start integrating your roof’s maintenance with your resolution to save money.
Sometimes – as those who are smart with their money know – you have to spend money to save money. This is true when it comes to your roof, as well. If you catch the damage before it extends to other parts of your house and you know what you’re doing, you can repair your minor problems yourself with a few key tools and safety techniques.
But that means you have to know what to watch for and get up there regularly and check the area out. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with, regular maintenance by a professional roofing company, like Patriot Roofing and Construction, is a preventative expense that can quickly pay for itself when small problems are corrected quickly.
Waiting around until the damage is too bad to be easily repaired can turn your home into a money pit of costs. When the problems create leaks that are visible in your ceiling or walls, the damage has gone far beyond what you actually see and a professional will need to be called in to track the source of the leak and see just how extensive the harm to your home has become.
The economically smart decision, then, would be to check your roof and attic regularly throughout the year and replace any problem materials early.
Here are some general easy fixes that you or someone with a bit of handyman and roofing knowledge can fix without necessarily calling in an expert:
- Performing regular maintenance inspections. If climbing a ladder isn’t intimidating to you and you can confidently traverse your roof with the proper safety precautions in place, you can inspect your roof annually or twice a year. Without a thorough inspection, you can’t see the majority of roof damage until it’s too late. When you inspect your roof, don’t just check it from the top, although that’s important. You also need to stand at an angle away from your roof and look up to see any obvious problems, then walk around the house to check for clogging and drainage issues around the gutters.
- Shingles that are missing due to wind or tree limb damage. If you are just missing a few, you may be able to easily replace them with new materials, especially if you kept a box or two on hand from the original installation.
- Gutter cleaning. While this does not sound like a big deal, clogged gutters are responsible for backing up the water onto your roof and pushing it into your attic. Once it gets there, it’s an easy downhill ride into your insulation and your ceiling. To avoid this, carefully clean your gutters and eaves at least a few times a year or have a professional trained in roof safety techniques do it for you.
- Landscaping upkeep. One of the most common forms of roof damage is from overhanging or nearby branches. To avoid this unnecessary problem, keep your tree branches trimmed and away from your roof to prevent leaves and debris from piling up.
- Consider the lifespan. Just like anything else, your roof will eventually need replacing. As roofs age, they stop working as well, causing inefficiencies that show up in your electric bill. Make sure you know when your roof was installed, the material used, and the general expected lifespan so you can stay up on repairing versus replacing.
- Watch your roof in all types of weather. Most people don’t want to go outside and evaluate their roofs while it’s raining, but that’s when you really need to. Take a walk around the house as water begins puddling up and watch for the drainage. If you see a lot of gutter backup or inconsistent draining, when the weather clears up you should call a roofing expert to see where the problem is originating from.
How Does Fixing Your Roof Conserve Energy?
So paying attention to and fixing your roof early is definitely a smart financial move, but how can it help you to make good on your New Year’s resolution to conserve energy? Well, without the repairs and upgrades mentioned previously, your roof is a seeping money pit of wasted energy, so the two go hand in hand.
Just a few ways that an inefficient roof causes environmental damage through excessive wasted energy include:
- Poor ventilation – When your roof is not properly ventilated, hot air can get trapped inside your house during warm weather, making your air conditioner work harder. The more electricity you use to run your air, the more fossil fuels are burned to generate that electricity. Proper ventilation means none of that needs to work as hard and your wallet doesn’t, either.
- Solar absorption or reflection – In a similar vein, if your roof is not reflecting the sun as well as it should be, it’s absorbing those rays instead. This increases your surface temperatures significantly, causing your electricity to work harder to cool your home. Newer roofs often have an Energy Star label, which means it reflects sunlight more than other materials and lowers surface temperatures by as much as 100 degrees. Not only does this save on fossil fuels, but again, it helps your electric bill.
- Old shingles may not protect you in a storm. While not exactly conserving energy directly, if your home is exposed to a severe wind or rain storm, old shingles may not be able to handle the impact. Outdated shingles were only required to be able to withstand winds up to 65 mph, whereas new shingles are required to last up to 130 mph. When wind is kept out of your home because your shingles are protecting it, your energy costs are reduced and the cost of repairs to a damaged roof are also diminished.
Every bit of energy conservation that you bring into your daily life, even through ensuring your roof is working optimally, has a butterfly effect that can be felt throughout the environment for generations. Maintaining your roof is an easy way to keep up those new year’s resolutions without having to do more than just a little bit of observing your roof and the surroundings each week.
Let Patriot Roofing & Construction Help You Keep Your Resolutions
Working hand in hand with your roofing company may not sound like the normal way to go to save money and conserve energy, but it’s teamwork that makes a difference. With the experts guiding you in how to make your roof and home more energy efficient, you can save money on your utility bill and big expenses and use those saved dollars towards other important expenses, too.