ROOF LIFE EXPECTANCY
Most roofs have a life expectancy of about 15 years. If you bought an existing home, you may not actually know the age of your roof. If possible, find out from the previous owner and then write the information down in a house journal. Don’t rely on yourself to remember, that will simply never happen. If you bought the home new, then you can easily estimate the age as one month to 6 months previous to your moving into the home.
TYPES OF ROOF CONSTRUCTION
Another variable is the type of roof that is installed on your home. If you live along the West Coast or along southern states or in southern Florida, then your roof construction might be terracota tiles. These are always lovely and instyle, although they do break easily. Make sure you have extras stored away in case some are broken during a storm. Another upgraded roof covering is wood ‘shakes’ or even slate. These too are quite sturdy and add additional value to the home’s esthetic appeal. The most typical type of roof construction will be either metal or composition shingles. Any of these type roofs should be rather easy to maintain and keep clean, which can add extra years to the life of the roof.
ROOF DAMAGE OR DETERIORATION
OK, you know the appraiser will be knocking on your door within the next few days so let’s check out your roof. Do you see any missing shingles, tiles or metal? If not, then that is a good thing. Do you see any that might be raised up, getting lose or just not ‘seated’ quite properly? If not, again, that is a good thing. What about dirt, staining or mildew? Yes? Well, I’m not surprised at all but – not to worry – you can easily take care of those problems.
GENERAL ROOF CLEANING
It looks like the only problem with your roof is that it is discolored and dark. That, or mildew, are easily remedied. You will need a pressure washer and a ladder. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can rent one from the local home improvement store, if you don’t choose to purchase one. Read the directions carefully and you’ll find even a beginner can easily set the washer up and run it. The hardest part will be climbing the ladder while hold the washer wand and hose. (We recommend you ask a family member or friend to hand it up to you once you are as high up on the ladder as needed.)
ROOF SAFETY FIRST
I recommend that you always keep safety foremost in your mind while you are on a ladder and using the pressure washer. In fact, ask your family or friend to help steady the ladder while you are pressure washing because you will need to be moving around and leaning some, as you work the pressure washer water stream back and forth across the roof. Follow the directions for the correct type of soap to use, based on that particular washer.
PROPER WASHING TECHNIQUE
Start along the roof ridgeline and do the roof in sections, moving from ridgeline downward, in a back and forth motion, until you get the gutter area. The move the ladder over approximately 6′, climb up and begin again. Always remember to start along the ridgeline, then moving steadily downward, lingering more in darker areas or those areas that are difficult to clean. When you have completed the front slope of the roof, move around to the back of the home and begin the same process again.
SUCCESS IS A CLEAN ROOF
When you have finished washing the entire roof, you will be amazed how much better it looks immediately. Then, as the roof dries, it should lighten up even more. With just a little elbow grease and a rented pressure washer, your roof can look like it is only a few years old. Good days work! While you have the pressure washer, check out your sidewalks, gutters and exterior walls, in case they too need a little cleaning.
SPIC AND SPAN
Your roof will look amazing once it has dried and you’ll be glad you took a few hours to give your roof a little TLC.
Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, Copyright 2010
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