Now’s the Time to Get Your Roof Repaired
We all put things off — dentist’s appointments, oil changes, computer backups. Procrastination is human nature, but it can sometimes prove costly, especially when it involves roof repair or replacement.
What happens if you don’t get your roof fixed or replaced when it needs it? According to Clint Murakami, owner of Murakami’s Roofing Service, the resulting damage can be devastating in a number of ways.
“For one thing, a leaky roof and gradual breakdown of rafters and flashing can provide an inviting environment for pests,” he says. That can mean unwanted visits from rats, centipedes, cane spiders, roaches and ground termites — and unwanted bills for pest control, tenting and structural repair of termite damage.
An old roof provides little protection against the most unwanted visitor of all: the hurricane. Even Hawaii’s seasonal tropical storms can generate destructive winds, especially in neighborhoods on high ridges. Murakami remembers one particularly windy season a few years ago. “I saw so many roofs blow off, and people were frantic. There were a couple of homes where they had to tear out the ceiling and all the carpeting, because they had let the roof go too long.”
Black mold can grow almost anywhere and thrives in areas that have plenty of moisture.
“A leaky roof can cause black mold to grow in your home,” says Murakami. “That can cause major health problems for asthmatics and people with allergies.” Walls and ceilings with black mold growth must be scrubbed with borate-based detergents before repainting and repair can begin. Wallboard, drywall and carpets with extensive mold must sometimes be replaced. Beyond structural damage, black mold is often devastating to porous upholstered furniture, carpets and curtains.
What’s a homeowner to do? Knowing your roof’s history is a start, Murakami advises. Keep track of replacement and repair dates, so you’ll know when it’s nearing the end of its lifecycle. Signs of deterioration can be a dead giveaway.
“Look for pieces of shingle in the yard or granulated finish from shingles pouring down the drain spout,” Murakami adds. “These things tell you your roof is starting to age.”
Maintenance is also critical to a roof’s health. “Clean your gutters and trim back all the vegetation from your roof line. If you have low-hanging palm fronds or mango trees overhanging your roof, be sure to trim them.”
Finally, get a professional roof inspection every other year or so. If you have a “younger” roof at the start or middle of its lifecycle, the damage might be minor.
“You might be told that you need to have a gutter fixed or that you’re missing a few ridge caps,” says Murakami. “Get those things taken care of, and when another storm blows through, you’re going to sleep a lot better.”