The roof of your house or any building, for that matter, is an integral part of what is known as the building envelope. All the areas that represent a potential void in this exterior barrier, such as windows and doors, outside walls and the roof comprise this envelope. When the building envelope remains intact, you can guess what your energy expenses will be each month. When these bills surpass your expectations, one obvious place to check is the roof.
Perform Regular Inspections
Necessary repairs to the building envelope are readily detectable when inspecting the areas below the roof. However, what is out of sight should not remain out of mind. Your first, best practice for successful roof maintenance is to perform an annual inspection of both the inside and outside roof construction. You are looking for any telltale evidence of possible holes, gaps or leaks in the structure that could be the start of something big.
Heat loss and heat gain result from leaks and force the AC system to work harder to achieve the desired indoor air quality management. By process of elimination, it is a good idea to make both roofing and HVAC maintenance a dual inspection plan. If your AC unit is in good repair but your energy bills are in excess, it is a good sign that the roof is the culprit, and vice versa.
Roof Inspection: What to Look For
There is more to your roof than its attractive appearance. All the elements that make up a proper roofing system come together to provide safety, protection, moisture elimination and prevention and, most significantly, energy savings.
The three major areas to inspect are:
- Roofing materials for proper installation, signs of wear and tear, damage and code compliance
- Insulation for proper installation of quality materials sufficient for both the local climate and existing construction
- Venting to help prevent moisture build-up and to preserve the efficiency of insulation
In conclusion, a roof maintenance plan will help you save on energy costs as you can keep the roof system in prime condition. The risk of leaks that allow moisture to penetrate the roof space inevitably lead to deterioration, which in turn causes your AC system to work harder than it should have to. Both your roof and AC unit are susceptible to the weaknesses that develop with age. Depending on the current age of either one, you might seek a professional assessment to determine their estimated lifespan and effectiveness. Sometimes, you can gain more in the long-run by upgrading your roofing system sooner than later. What once passed as effective construction some decades ago has nothing to compare to today’s science and materials.