Rental Property Roof Maintenance Tips for Landlords
Roof maintenance is one of a rental property’s biggest operational costs.
Even for an average rental property, fixing or replacing a damaged roof can set the landlord back by tens of thousands of dollars, warns Central Florida Management. As an avid investor looking to maximize profits while cutting expenses, this is a cost you want to minimize.
But is it possible to keep the rental property’s roof maintenance costs minimal?
Taking control of roof maintenance for your rental property requires intentionality. That is partly because of the roof’s location at the top of the building, which puts it beyond your direct line of sight. That makes it a bit difficult to detect problems with the roof.
To assess the condition of your roof, you must get close to it. Unless you can systematically do this regularly, roof emergencies will often surprise you. These emergencies are just undetected roof problems that have been allowed to worsen.
But the fact is, it is possible to keep your rental roof in good shape if you have a robust system for fixing problems before they become major costs. What are the components of such a system? Find the straightforward answers below.
Tips for maintaining the roof of your rental property
Part one: Scheduled roof inspections
There are two ways to do roof maintenance, or any maintenance, for that matter. Roof maintenance can be retroactive or proactive. Retroactive roof maintenance is also known as corrective maintenance. Proactive roof maintenance is called preventive maintenance.
Preventive maintenance is the right way to maintain a rental’s roof because it strives to prevent problems instead of waiting to correct them after they happen. Preventive maintenance is more work at the beginning but cheaper than corrective maintenance in the long run.
The most essential feature of preventive roof maintenance is scheduled roof inspection. It is a periodic examination of the roof to find early warning signs of trouble and deal with them when they are still easy to fix. To be effective, roof inspections must have the following;
- Detailed checklist: The checklist captures every single feature of the roof. The completeness of the checklist determines the effectiveness of the roof inspection.
- Established procedures: There must be clearly-defined procedures for inspecting each item on the checklist. These are step-by-step sequences that reduce the risk of errors.
- Professional experience: The inspection must be done by a roofing expert because, unlike landlords, they have the know-how to detect budding problems.
Part Two: Landlord’s Role in roof maintenance
Scheduled roof inspections are done once or twice a year after heavy rain or snow. In the time between these inspections, a lot can still go wrong with your roof. To ensure you are not caught by problems, you must do the following:
- Remove nearby tree branches
Trees and branches that hang over your roof are a threat because they can smash against the roof and damage the shingles in strong wings. Tree branches may also break and crash on the roof. Branches make it easy for rodents to get on your roof.
- Check roof flashing and re-caulk
Flashing is found where the roof meets the walls of the home. They provide a watertight seal to keep water out of the roof. Flashing can become loose over time. To prevent this, affected flashing should be re-caulked to restore their function.
- Missing or damaged shingles
Shingles can get blown away by strong winds. In very hot weather, roof shingles may also start to buckle. Missing or damaged shingles are not a big problem if they are replaced quickly. If not the inner roof structures will be exposed to water.
- Clean the gutters and downspouts
Dirty gutters make your roof an attractive nesting-site for rodents and birds. The risk of water getting inside the roof also increases as water collects in the gutters. Clogged gutters encourage the formation of ice dams, which pose a danger to your roof.
- Look out for granules
Asphalt roofs slowly shed their granules throughout their useful life. It is normal to see small amounts of granules in the gutters. But if roof gutters are filled with granules, it is a sign that the roof has lost its heat-resisting abilities. It should be replaced.
6. Inspect the roof regularly
The only way to detect the above signs is to inspect the roof often. Once a month, stand across the street and observe the roof to make sure the roof ridge has a straight line. Scan the roof surface using a pair of binoculars. To assess the condition and contents of the roof gutters, you will need to get on a ladder or hire someone to do it.
To conclude, remember that the only thing you get from not solving problems quickly is more trouble. Hiring a reputable roof expert also ensures that you never have to pay twice for the same problem.
To sum everything up, if you want to keep roof maintenance under control, solve problems fast and always use an expert.