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On average, Canadian homeowners replace their roofing materials every 18 years at an average cost of $4,500 per project, based on a standard 1,000 square foot bungalow roof. Fortunately, a roof’s longevity and its ability to remain waterproof is increased with proper maintenance. Use this handy checklist to evaluate the condition of your roof and determine if it’s time to consider a quick fix or a major overhaul.

1. Condition of the roof: Inspect the surface and list the required minor repairs. It may be necessary to add repair compound around any openings such as the chimney. Repair or replace aged or damaged shingles, remove moss and mildew, and clean out the gutters.

2. Water tightness: If it’s accessible, an inspection of your attic is a good way to find potential sources of water leaks. Dark stained areas on wood are usually signs of water damage. The accumulation of ice in the lower areas of the roof may also cause water leakage.

3. Insulation: Formation of ice on lower areas of your roof is also a sign of poor insulation. Make sure your ceiling insulation is composed of a continuous vapour barrier and an insulating material providing an R-factor (measure of thermal resistance) of 30 or more. The vapour barrier must be airtight, and all holes for pipes and cables must be sealed. This prevents warm and humid air from going through to the attic and condensing just under the roof structure during cold weather.

4. Ventilation: Appropriate ventilation and insulation of your attic allows air to circulate under the roof, reducing the melting of snow and the risk of ice accumulation on the lower portions of your roof. In the summer, appropriate ventilation makes a house more comfortable and helps prevent shingles from overheating.

5. Decide a course of action: If your roof inspection uncovers problems and extensive wear, it may be necessary to consider giving it a facelift or replace completely. Contact a reputable roofing company to examine and decide on the necessary next steps.

Article courtesy of www.newscanada.com