How to keep your roof in perfect shape 

Get rid of trees that grow towards the roof. PHOTO/Edgar R. Batte.

What you need to know:

If  your roof is peeling or curling and some shingles of your roof have started lifting, it is possible your roof has simply reached the end of its lifespan

A roof should be able to last for around 10 to 25 years in perfect condition, withstanding even the harshest weather conditions.

One of the things you can do to keep your roof in top shape is to regularly inspect it for any signs of damage. Inspecting your roofs twice a year especially after a heavy wind or rain can help you monitor its condition. Then you can call expert roofers for maintenance or repair where necessary. Meanwhile, roofs are damaged by wind or rain. If you find any missing or damaged shingles, leaks, or any other issue that could potentially cause problems, repair it as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.

The first part of roof inspection starts inside your home. Check the ceiling for any stains that may indicate water leakage caused by a roof issue.

Have you noticed any stains on the ceilings in your home? Make note of where they are located because they could actually be roof leaks.

John Kagimu, a roofing expert, says an essential element of maintaining your roof is keeping it free of debris and other materials that collect on it.

“When debris piles up on your roof especially in your gutters, it prevents water from draining properly, thereby seeping into your home and causing all sorts of problems. Make it a point to clean the gutters at least once a year to prevent any issues. Also ensure that your roof has a proper drainage system so that no water is pooling anywhere,” says Kagimu.

Tame  your landscaping

Get rid of trees that grow towards the roof. Tall trees located near your roof could be giving leaves, twigs, and small animals a direct pathway to your roof. Shade allows mold and moss to grow.

So, if you have any trees on your property, be sure to trim them back, so they are not hanging over your home.

Also be careful when pruning an overgrown branch make sure it does not fall onto the roof as this might result in damage. 

Keeping trees away from the roof will not only help to alleviate the possibility of falling branches from damaging your shingles but also prevents small branches and leaves from clogging  the gutters and blocking the water drainage.


Clean your gutters

Kagimu stresses that gutters need to be kept clean. When gutters are clogged it can cause water to seep underneath the roof causing moisture –related challenges.

Kagimu suggests washing the roof regularly to remove moss. Moss is typically found growing between shingles. Over time, it bulks up and lifts the shingles away from the roof.

 “It can also habour moisture which can then lead to rot and other damage. Remove any moss you see on your roof. You can use a stiff brush or a pressure washer that has a low setting. When using a stiff brush, gently brush the moss off, taking care not to cause scratches that can damage your roof. Similarly, a low-pressure washer setting is important so as not to strip away any of the roofing materials,” he says.

Another effective way to stop the growth of moss is to spray a roof moss remover and cleaner on affected areas. Follow the specific cleaner’s instruction and then brush away the moss and mold with a broom or handheld brush.

Consider replacing

If your roof is still in the early stage of its lifespan, and you notice a few shingles are peeling and curling, you may have a ventilation problem. Get a professional to find out the problem and offer a solution. But if the peeling, curling are excessive and some shingles throughout your roof have started lifting, it is possible that your roof has simply reached the end of its lifespan. Kagimu says this is an indication that it is time to move on from trying to extend the lifespan of your roof to picking out a new roofing option. 

a landscape designer is important since he or she has the speciality and passion for design.

With a professional, one is guided and advised on what is possible in bringing an idea or dream to reality. Mpiirwa cautions that taking assumptions can lead to waste of money and even damage soils with wrong plants.

Aleko also explains that a home garden can be achieved through design, installation and maintenance of garden plants.

“Once you determine the purpose of the outdoor spaces, you can have them designed appropriately with help of a professional, prepare the garden, clear it properly apply good soil, manure and  watering systems,” he expertly explains.

You can then purchase and install the desired plants, garden accessories and hardscape materials such as pavers, after installation, and as he further adds, the plants need to be maintained/cared for until they start thriving.

At the bare minimum, Mpiirwa argues that one should visit other gardens they admire and ask for some professional advice.

She observes, “There are people with green fingers willing to share such information. If you desire a large home garden, it may be very wise to go as far as have a 3D impression to visualize your dream. This will usually come at a cost but will bring you closer to your desired garden faster.”

If you prefer to Do It Yourself (DIY), Aleko tips that some online research can guide you, followed by preparation of the site and purchase of plants from your local nursery.

Mpiirwa adds that if you find yourself in a constricted setting; using boxes referred to as raised garden boxes or plastic containers or even stone planters to grow some green are bible options.

Aleko further explains that contractors may provide design services, where images of planned outdoor designs may be agreed upon, followed by professional installation services, to which a contractor is responsible for plant choices and how they integrate into the entire home design, color pallette, proportion and how to position then in the light or shade areas.

Luwemba adds that the basics need to be done. “The first thing is you have to have a space and after having a space you must actually get the plants. You plant them out, you have to go through the effort of getting the plants and then installing them into the compound. There’s a process; you have to get black soil, manure. You have to water. There’s that effort maintaining the green so that it comes out,” he explains.

Understand the plants and types of the numerous grass available and which a person would like to have and how to maintain them is key.

A garden can have a lawn-grass area, and Aleko notes that the different types of grass serve different types of looks and purposes.

In making a choice of the plants to have, interior designer, Luwemba says the basic fact is that most plants add beauty do it is a matter of where is it placed.

“For example, cycads and palm trees are considered one of the very beautiful plants but if I put a cycad in the wrong place, it will not look nice. If I put it as an accent piece in space, it will be beautiful and unique. As an interior, I work with various landscapers on different projects. We are cautious not to plant poisonous plants or trees in a home because a child can pluck off a leaf, eat it or play with,” he expounds, adding that safety in choice of plants is crucial in order to create beauty but also consider wellbeing of habitants in a home.

The choice can be determined by colour, for example rises which can introduce and complement spaces with their respective colors since you can have them in white, red and blue colors.

“We can have plants in different areas of the garden, from trees- Eugenia, Alkeria, Palm trees, Indian Almonds. The tall plants- Helconia, Bamboo, Crotons. The shrubs like Jilanta, hibiscus. Then the shorter plants like roses, crotons, birds of paradise etc,” the landscape designer further explains.

Mpiirwa lists out traits to consider, namely the ones to maintain especially those that do not require watering every day, can survive indoors and outdoors, can eliminate toxins or has some healing properties as well as those with colors that supplement the property characters in color or pattern.

Her list includes Aloe Vera plant, ZZ plant, Snake plant, Spider plant & Pothos ivy because they are easier plants to maintain, can thrive even on low light but most of all are air purifiers which give off oxygen.

She advises that one does not have to buy all of they desired plants at the same time because beautiful plants are not cheap especially if one would like a variety of them.

“Commit to working on the garden regularly by weeding or watering and pruning. Plants are very tender and require regular care so one must get ready to give them as much attention as possible,” the Managing Director of K’wanzi Accents adds.

“It is usually better to get a professional person on site to help you with your installation in order to achieve a better look at a reasonable price. Plants are living things and need someone who understands how they behave and respond to various conditions,” Aleko advises.

Luwemba emphasises the need to have or introduce gardens or general green in home spaces arguing that the more concrete works you will have around your house, the more heat it will attract and reflect off.

“Plants cool the space around the house. If you want a cool environment around your house, reduce the pavers. Why? Pavers will just reflect the heat or even absorb and still let it go at night,” he adds.

Replace

If your roof is still in the early stage of its lifespan, and you notice a few shingles are peeling and curling, you may have a ventilation problem. Get a professional to find out the problem and offer a solution. But if the peeling, curling are excessive and some shingles have started lifting, it is possible your roof has reached the end of its lifespan. Kagimu says move on from trying to extend the lifespan of your roof to picking out a new roofing option. 


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