In the Gulf Coast region of Tampa, roofs are subjected to intense sun, strong winds, and heavy rain on a regular basis. These weather conditions all take a toll on your roof. Without proper maintenance and regular inspections, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise the next time it rains. The key to preventing roof issues is detecting problems as early as possible and making sure any work you have done is done well. Here’s what you should know about preventing potentially costly problems with your Tampa roof.
What Type of Roof Do You Have?
In the Tampa area, three types of roofing materials dominate the residential roof landscape: asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and concrete tiles. Each material has a different lifespan and responds differently to the elements. You will also need to watch for different warning signs of trouble depending on whether you have a tile or shingle roof.
Asphalt roofs are the most popular option across the United States, including the Gulf Coast area. Asphalt shingles are the most affordable roofing material and are typically rated to withstand winds up to 130 mph, but they are still susceptible to damage from wind, hail, sun, and fallen debris. The extreme heat in Florida tends to wear down asphalt shingles by causing the fiberglass to shed. When this happens, the shingles and roof become vulnerable to water damage.
We find that asphalt roofing is one of the best materials for the area. In fact, we only install asphalt roofing.
Clay tiles are a classic choice for the Florida coast, and they come in many styles or shapes including the popular Spanish style tile roof. Clay tile roofs offer an excellent lifespan of up to 50 years, and they work well in Florida because they withstand heat very well. Clay tiles do have vulnerabilities you should keep in mind. A clay roof can be vulnerable to rain, and the tiles need to be removed during a hurricane when winds will exceed 90 mph.
Concrete tiles are more popular in Tampa than clay tiles because they’re more affordable and easier to customize in terms of appearance. Concrete tile roofs offer very good resistance to hurricane-strength winds because they are heavier than clay. In fact, a concrete tile roof can withstand all categories of rain and wind.
How to Prevent Issues With Your Roof
Now that you understand the unique vulnerabilities of your roof, you can take the steps necessary to prevent serious problems. Here are some important ways to protect your roof.
Schedule an Annual Inspection
Your roof may look fine from the ground, but pinhole leaks hidden from view can cause extensive water damage over time. Your roof may have other signs of damage that you can’t easily recognize like granule loss or asphalt shingles that have lost adhesion due to wind damage.
An annual roof inspection is an affordable and smart way to catch and address problems with your roof as early as possible. The best time to have your roof inspected in Florida is during the winter when hurricane season is over, temperatures are milder, and conditions are dry.
Take Action Quickly
When a visual or professional inspection of your roof turns up a problem, don’t delay in getting it fixed. Putting off a problem like cracked tiles, missing shingles, or a tiny leak will only lead to more significant damage as water infiltrates your roof deck and home. By delaying repairs by even a few weeks during the summer, you may transform a small problem that would cost a few hundred dollars into thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
Don’t Ignore Mold and Algae
The humid, warm weather in the Tampa area offers the perfect environment for moss, mold, and algae to grow on your roof. Aside from being an eyesore, these dark spots on your roof absorb more heat and make your roof hotter which can damage your shingles and make the inside of your home uncomfortable. Algae and mold can also accelerate damage to asphalt shingles by eating away at the minerals.
Algae, mold, and moss shouldn’t be pressure-washed off your roof as this can cause extensive damage to the roofing materials. Instead, a solution of bleach and water can be sprayed on the roof to kill the algae and mold. To stop them from coming back, copper or zinc strips can be installed under the shingles closest to the peak of the roof. When it rains, metal molecules are washed over the surface of the roof to kill moss and algae.
Work with a Local Expert
While you certainly don’t want to pay more than you need to for roof repairs or replacement, price alone should never be your only consideration. A roofing company that seems to offer a bargain may be far from it: subpar work performed by unlicensed contractors who may not be using the right materials can cost you much more in the long run. Poor installation or repairs can make your roof more vulnerable to leaks, improper drainage, wind damage, and other problems.
Rather than focusing on price, first make sure the roofing company has the experience and expertise you need. It’s always a good idea to choose a local roofing company with extensive experience dealing with the unique weather conditions in the Tampa area because they will best recognize early signs of roof problems and know the appropriate steps to prevent further damage.
Always Check Roofing Credentials
For your protection, always verify the credentials of any roofing company or contractor your hire. Unfortunately, there are always those who are willing to take advantage of property owners—especially after a hurricane or major storm. An established roofing company should have plenty of customers who can testify to the company’s professionalism and quality of work. You can also check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Absolutely ask to see the company’s documentation and call to verify they are licensed to work in Florida and have workers’ compensation coverage.
Get a Guarantee
Be wary of fly-by-night roofing companies or companies that offer no guarantee as to the quality of their work. The last thing you want is to be left dealing with even worse roof damage or water damage in your home after paying for sub-par work. Make sure you receive some type of guarantee from the roofing company to make sure you have some recourse if there are problems.
Contact Your Tampa Roofing Experts
Concerned about possible problems with your roof? If you think it may be time for a replacement roof, contact Westchase Roofing for a quote on a quality Owens Corning asphalt shingle roof.