Roof maintenance is essential to prolonging the life of any roof. Yet often times when providing that maintenance, the attention is focused on the surface of the roof, while the edge gets ignored. With any type of roofing, some thought must be given to the edge of the roof, as this is an area that can be responsible for many different types of damage if not monitored. Experienced residential roofers and homeowners alike must examine this area during regular maintenance. If problems do begin to develop, a call to these same roofers should be made to arrange for repairs before any further, or more extensive damage is allowed to occur.

Roof Edge Maintenance

The edge of a roof is a relatively small area in comparison to the roof in its entirety; however, it is one of the more important parts of the roof and an area that must be observed. The ability of a roof to stay water tight and lay flat over a home is based upon how well it is applied. The edge is one area of exposure on a roof that can be a weak spot if it is not properly maintained. Since the edge of a roof is exposed to the elements, damage to this particular portion is actually much more possible than elsewhere.

Roof edges are susceptible to two main types of damage:  water and wind. Both of these elements can go on to cause major roof damage over time if not properly maintained, and can spell disaster for any roof.

Roof Edges and Water Damage

Roofs made of materials that can absorb water over a period of time are susceptible to water damage if they are prevented from drying out. This most commonly occurs because of clogged gutters, when water rolling off the slope of a roof pools up to the point that roof edges are completely submerged. Yet it can also happen from piling leaves, or damage due to tree branches brushing against roof edges. When shingles and the layers beneath them absorb water, decay begins. The results can be anything from molding and premature rotting of roof edges, to serious damage to underlayment and structural support beams.

To prevent water damage to the edge of a roof that could lead to other, more substantial damage, homeowners must keep their gutters clean, and periodically check the condition of their roof edge. If there is any sign of damage, decay, or loosening of shingles, an inspection by skilled roofers is in order.

Roof Edges and Wind Damage

Wind is another major concern for damage to the edge of a roof. Strong winds can get underneath any type of roofing material if given the chance, causing it to loosen, or even blowing it off. A roof’s edge is especially at risk for damage from wind since it is exposed. Shingles, metal roofs, or other roofing material that is not well fastened, or has sustained damage in some other way, become a risk for damage during high winds, when air blows up underneath, lifting the roof away from the underlayment.

Regardless of the material, the edge of a roof requires careful securing and regular inspection to ensure that securement remains intact. In areas where strong winds are a probability, there are specific products and methods for keeping the roof edge more tightly affixed to prevent it from sustaining wind damage. Homeowners must periodically check the edges of their roofs themselves, or call an experienced residential roofing company to inspect it, and if necessary, take the proper steps to keep the edges clamped down to the soffit to reduce risk from wind damage.

It is essential for homeowners to understand the importance of proper roof maintenance, especially as it applies to the edges of their roof. It is easy to take a glance at a roof and roof edges and assume everything is fine, but a closer inspection by homeowners or qualified roofers is necessary to ensure they are dry, in good condition, and properly secured. To reduce the chance of major damage caused by wind or water, any roof edge problems found should be repaired immediately by experienced residential roofers!

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