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Front Page » August 8, 2002 » Local News » Now is the time for roof mainteinance
Published 4,774 days ago

Now is the time for roof mainteinance

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Staff reporter

It is the hot summer and the Eastern Utah has not experienced it's usual burst of "monsoon" moisture that regularly shows up in July and August.

But regardless of that, now is the time for those who own any kind of structure to check their roofs for damage or wear. The life of a roof varies based on the kind of roof that is installed and what kind of weather it has been subjected to over the years.

Roof maintenance problems usually show up the most ardently when the rain falls. A leaky roof can be a mess and make for expensive repairs. But what leaks out can be just as expensive and observing what is happening to a roof after years of installation can make a difference.

There are many kinds of roofs.

• Shake shingles or shakes and shingles. This is a wood roofing that can be made from many different kinds of wood including white cypress, redwood, white oak and others. Shake shingles can be distinguished from others by their rough and non-uniform appearance. Because they are wood, and they are relatively open to the elements, anything sitting on them can cause rot. That means pine needles, leaves and other debris should always be kept off them.

•Rubber roofs or single ply membrane. When installed correctly this type of roof requires little maintenance. But punctures can always be a problem, so falling branches and persons climbing on the roof can always be a problem. These types of roofs should never have water sitting on them for very long, because it will shorten their life. Therefore this coating should never be put on flat roofs.

•Asphalt shingles. This is the type of roofing that is most likely found on homes in the Carbon County area. Most of these shingles are rated for a 20 year life. These require little maintenance, and can be overlayed when a layer wears out. However, local codes must be followed when installing any overlays because of the weight of these shingles.

•Cement Asbestos. These shingles were installed on homes before 1970. They are very brittle and many homes still have them on even after over 30 years of service. Because they contain asbestos, it is often more costly to dispose of them after they are removed upon replacement.

•Tar and gravel roofs. Also called built up roofs, these coverings are a combination of tar and gravel. This type of roof is often found on large buildings, although some homes, especially with flat roofs have this type of roof too.

This type of roof needs to be inspected regularly for alligatoring and other thin spots, and those need to be repaired quickly. One of the problems with this kind of roof has to do with leakage that is hard to find. Often built up roofs will leak during a storm and the water will migrate to another area, making it hard to figure out where the actual hole in the roof is.

•Clay Tile. This is generally the most expensive roof to install initially, but cared for it will also last longer than most other coverings. It consists of clay tiles that repel water and heat. One of the biggest problems with this type of roof occurs when people walk on them for one reason or another. Broken tiles mean leaks, so they must be replaced. Some clay tile roofs have been know to last longer than the resident of a home lives.

•Metal roofs. Metal roofs used to be metal shingles which had their advantage in that they were almost indestructible. Today metal roofs are generally called alternative roofing and they come in long sheets somewhat reminiscent of tin roofing used on barns and out buildings. But the new metal roofing is really a composite material, with both metal and plastic used to keep the roof protected from the elements. Many people who have used these roofs report very good performance.

Cost wise they are expensive to install both in terms of materials and labor. They are also not easy for the novice to install correctly. Any installation or repair on these roofs should be done by a professional.

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