How to Maintain Your Roof

The roof protects a home from precipitation, high winds and debris. But it can also be a source of problems if it isn’t properly maintained.


Some maintenance tasks include ensuring the seals around chimneys, vent pipes and other roof penetrations are intact. Inspectors should also check the condition of soffit and fascia boards for signs of damage or rot. Contact Roofing Montana for professional help.

While most homeowners assume that roof leaks are due to damaged or missing shingles, the reality is that a much more common cause is deteriorating flashing. Flashing is sheet metal fabricated to a specific shape, and it’s used in critical areas where water can easily penetrate the roof and damage the structure of the house. This makes it very important to inspect the flashing on a regular basis for cracks and gaps, so that problems can be addressed early.

Flashing is typically installed at wall and roof intersections, around chimney stacks, at skylights and other openings, and around roof drains. It’s also commonly used at sloped roof edges, to divert rainwater away from the area where a sloped eave meets a vertical sidewall. If a roof is properly constructed, the edge of the sloped eave should be protected by flashing, and there should be no gap between the eave and the vertical sidewall.

A professional roof inspector should carefully inspect the flashing at all of these areas, along with skylights and other penetrations. Leaks are often caused by flashing that has been compromised, especially at areas where thermal movement or differential movement can cause stress on the flashing.

It’s essential to look for dents or indentations in the flashing, as well as any rust or corrosion. Cracks or holes in the flashing can allow water to penetrate the roof and cause a number of problems, including leaking ceilings and walls. If the flashing is loose or missing entirely, this should be replaced immediately to avoid further damage to the roof and the home.

It’s also important to look for gaps or holes in the counter flashing, as well as any cracked or failed sealant. If there are any ice dams, check that the flashing is adequately protected by a drip edge or other type of barrier. Finally, check the gutters for blockages and debris. If there is standing water in the gutters, make sure it’s being diverted to a downspout and that the gutters are sloped to prevent long-term drainage problems. In addition to these inspections, a thorough roof maintenance checklist should include checking for and repairing leaks in the attic, and ridge and soffit venting to ensure that the attic is well ventilated and not overly hot or stuffy.

Clean the Gutters

Gutters are a critical part of the roofing system, protecting the fascia boards and roof deck, siding, and foundation from water damage. They collect rainwater that falls on the roof and divert it through downspouts away from the foundation, preventing damp basements and crawl spaces. When gutters are filled with debris, they can overflow and cause a number of problems. When this happens, the water may spill under shingles or behind siding and seep into the foundation, resulting in expensive repairs.

Regular cleaning of the gutters prevents clogs and water overflow, but it’s also important to inspect and clean the downspouts. Downspout screens and filters help catch smaller debris before it reaches the clog. If the downspouts are rusty, they should be replaced to prevent future corrosion and blockage.

A sagging gutter isn’t just unsightly – it can actually pull away from the home, causing structural damage and a host of other problems. If your gutters are sagging, consider replacing them or installing a gutter apron.

Gutter aprons connect the gutters to the home, keeping them from separating from the roof. They can be a useful addition, especially if your home is located in an area with high rainfall or soil erosion problems.

The apron also helps to reduce maintenance tasks by minimizing the amount of debris that accumulates in the gap between the roof edge and gutter. The apron can be installed at the same time as the gutters, or it can be installed separately.

A comprehensive roof maintenance program includes inspections, cleaning, and repair of the troughs and downspouts, as well as the flashing and the ventilation system. In addition, routine maintenance can prevent water leaks and moisture buildup that lead to rot and mold. A comprehensive roof maintenance program is also an effective way to save money compared to the cost of responding to emergency leaks and other problems. It generally costs three times as much to dispatch a crew for an emergency repair than to handle it during a regular maintenance visit. It’s estimated that avoiding just one emergency repair a season should more than offset the cost of the maintenance program.

Trim Tree Branches

In addition to preventing leaves, sticks and other debris from building up on your roof, trimming tree branches helps minimize the risk of them falling during storms. In some cases, large branches that hang over your house can cause damage to shingles or even the entire roof during severe weather, and they can also allow moisture to accumulate inside the home or block natural air flow. To keep your roof safe, check the growth of nearby trees on an annual basis and trim any branches that are hanging too close to your house.

The most common type of tree pruning is thinning cuts, which remove end portions of branches from the tree canopy. This reduces the overall size of a tree without changing its shape, and it allows more light to reach the interior foliage and ground below. Thinning should be done evenly throughout a tree, and it’s important to avoid cutting more than a fifth of its total canopy in any one year.

To make a thinning cut, start by sawing through the underside of the branch at a point 12 to 18 inches from where you plan to cut it off. Next, saw a few inches further out on the branch to where you can see a slight swelling or rough bark area, which is the branch collar. The last cut should be made outside of the branch collar, and it’s important to remove this stub as soon as possible because it can cause rot or even structural failure in the tree.

When pruning a tree, it’s important to use sharp tools. Dull saws and shears can damage the bark, and they’ll also create harmful rips that expose the wood to decay and insect infestation. It’s also a good idea to wear protective equipment and make sure you have the proper ladder and safety gear before climbing a tree to perform trimming work.

When pruning a tree, you should never cut the top of its leader, as this can lead to structural weakness and encourage water sprouts (weak, stringy branches that grow out from the forks of a tree). If a leader is lost due to storm damage or disease, replace it by splicing an upper lateral on the highest scaffold to a vertical position and removing it after one growing season.

Replace the Caulk

It’s important to check the caulking between the roof and the wood siding or shingles to ensure it is intact. Look for cracks or deterioration that could allow water into the home or cause moss and algae to grow. It’s also a good idea to re-caulk the areas around roof penetrations such as chimneys and vents to prevent leaks.

When re-caulking, it’s best to use roofing cement instead of silicone caulking. Silicone caulking is very slippery and can easily get off the shingle, while roofing cement is designed to stick to shingles. To remove the old caulking, first apply a caulk remover and let it sit for the amount of time recommended on the product label. Then, scrape away the softened caulking with a putty knife or specialty tool. If the caulk remains stubborn, wet a rag with isopropyl alcohol and rub over the area to prepare for the application of new sealant.

Another common roof leak culprit is the pipe boot or vent boot, which is typically made of galvanized metal and can corrode over time. If you notice the metal is corroding, it’s important to replace it immediately to avoid water seepage. To replace the pipe boot or vent, you’ll need to pry up the shingles surrounding it (or completely remove them) and then carefully remove the old one. You’ll then need to cut a piece of flashing to size, place it over the hole and secure it in place with roofing nails.

If your roof has a corner that meets the wall, it’s important to install a kickout flashing to prevent leaks. This is often done with a pre-made flashing strip you can purchase at your local hardware store, but if it’s not available you can make one by cutting a length of aluminum flashing and nailing it to the side of the house. Then, install a second piece of flashing on the other corner of the roof and secure it in place with a bit of roofing cement. Once you have the step flashing in place, you can begin installing the shingle courses above it.


Real Estate Investing Tips For Beginners

Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to build generational wealth. However, many new investors make mistakes that cost them money.

From buying an actual property and renting it out to investing in REITs, there are a variety of different ways to get into the market. To avoid making these costly mistakes, follow these Real Estate Investing Tips For Beginners:

1. Define Your Investment Goals

When it comes to investing, you should always have specific and realistic goals. This is especially true when it comes to real estate. You should also be able to identify your own level of risk tolerance and make sure that your goals are aligned with your other financial commitments. For example, if you’re close to retirement, it may not be the best time to take big risks with your investments.

As a beginner, you’ll need to decide what your investment goals are and which strategy you will use. This will include whether you want to flip properties, buy and hold property, reit or BRRR, single or multifamily homes, wholesaling, REITS, or commercial properties. Once you have a clear picture of what your investment goals are, it’s important to start by learning everything you can about the real estate market and its trends.

It’s also important to think about your exit strategy. If you plan to flip a property, you should aim to do so within a certain period of time in order to get the most return on your investment. If you plan to rent a property, you should aim to achieve positive cash flow or at least break even. Lastly, you should always consider the cost of carrying the property and any vacancies that may arise.

Additionally, you should make sure to save money on taxes by using tax deductions and leveraging legal experts. This will help you maximize your profits and achieve your investment goals much faster. It’s also a good idea to have a large cash reserve set aside for any unexpected repairs or expenses that might come up. This way, you can avoid relying on hard money lenders or having to turn to your credit card.

2. Determine Your Strategy

Once you have a clear idea of your investment goals, it’s time to determine your investing strategy. This step is important because it can make or break your success. There are a lot of different real estate investing strategies, and each has its own pros and cons. To choose the right one, consider how active or passive you want your investments to be. If you prefer passive income, choose a rental property investment or invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Those who are more hands-on can opt for a flipping strategy or even wholesaling real estate.

Generally speaking, buying and holding long-term rentals is a good beginner real estate investment strategy. This involves purchasing single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes or condominiums and renting them out to tenants for a steady stream of income. You can either manage these properties yourself or hire a property management company to do it for you. This strategy is great for beginners who want to earn rental income and long-term capital gains from their real estate investments.

Another advantage of this strategy is that it’s not correlated with stock markets, which makes it a smart diversification option for your investment portfolio. During the recent recession, while stock markets plunged, real estate prices remained stable and continue to rise.

When you decide on a real estate investing strategy, remember that the key to successful real estate is finding quality deals at good prices and being patient. Typically, there is a lot of competition for high-quality properties in hot markets, so you may have to wait a while before you can purchase one. It’s also a good idea to have multiple exit strategies in place. For example, if you’re flipping properties and the market crashes, you want to be able to sell them as rental properties instead. This will ensure that you’ll get your money back when the market recovers.

3. Do Your Research

Real estate is a type of investment that can offer a steady source of passive income. It can be used as a way to build generational wealth or to supplement other investments, such as stocks and mutual funds. Real estate can also offer unique tax benefits. For example, rental property income is typically taxed as capital gains instead of employment income, and depreciation deductions can be taken.

When it comes to investing in real estate, research is key. There are many online resources available to help you learn the basics, including how to find great deals and analyze potential properties. You should also be aware of the real estate market cycle. Every real estate market is at a different stage in its cycle, and it’s important to know what phase your local market is in before making an investment decision.

It’s also important to know how much risk you can tolerate before starting out. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start small and grow your portfolio gradually. This will allow you to gain experience and confidence in the market without being overly exposed to risk.

One of the biggest mistakes that beginner investors make is trying to take on too many projects at once. This can be a recipe for disaster, and it’s usually better to focus on one or two strategies until you have them down pat before moving on to another niche. Then, you can build on what you’ve learned and achieve your investment goals with confidence. Investing in real estate can be a lucrative opportunity for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. However, it is not for everyone, and beginners should take some time to learn as much as possible about the market before taking action.

4. Find a Mentor

Having a mentor can help you avoid the mistakes that many investors make early in their investing careers. It can also help you find investment opportunities that you might otherwise miss out on. Real estate mentoring programs are available through online forums like BiggerPockets and other real estate investor groups in your area. These programs can provide you with valuable insight from experienced real estate investors and professionals that can guide your investing career.

When choosing a mentor, it is important to select someone who has the same investment framework as you. For example, if you want to buy and hold rental properties for long-term cash flow, then you should look for a mentor who focuses on this type of investing. You should also consider the level of success you would like your mentor to have. Do you want someone who is just starting out or do you want to learn from someone who has a more established portfolio?

You can find potential real estate investing mentors by attending local networking events and looking for people who have similar interests. You can also ask for recommendations from people who work in the industry, such as brokers, lenders, or contractors. You can even attend local REIAs (real estate investor associations) on a regular basis to meet other investors and find out who they have as mentors.

Once you have found a potential mentor, it is important to spend time getting to know them and their business. Ask them questions about their investment strategies, and listen closely to their answers. Then, ask them if they would be willing to mentor you. If they say yes, then it is time to start learning from the best in the business!

5. Set Aside Money

Real estate investing can be a lucrative way to build wealth and reach your financial goals. However, it requires dedication and hard work to be successful. It can also be a great way to diversify your portfolio and earn steady passive income.

One of the most important real estate investment tips for beginners is to set aside money each month. To do this, you should make a budget for yourself that includes all of your expenses and income. This will help you determine how much you can save each month. Then, you should set aside a percentage of your salary each pay day. This will allow you to build up a substantial savings account that will help you invest in property over time.

In addition, you should try to avoid going into debt as much as possible when buying a property. To do this, you should aim to put down at least 10% on a home. A 20% down payment is even better since it eliminates private mortgage insurance and can get you a lower interest rate. You should also maintain a large cash reserve to reduce the risk of being forced to sell your property at a loss.

Another way to increase your chances of a profitable real estate investment is to make regular repairs and upgrades to your properties. This will increase your property value and ensure that you are always getting a good return on your investments. Ultimately, this will lead to higher profits when you do decide to sell your property.