When you think of home upgrades, what comes to mind? Maybe a new deck, or an additional bedroom? How about a kitchen renovation? What you probably don't think of is roof upgrades. But just because your roof isn't usually a part of the house that you can show off to your friends doesn't mean that it couldn't benefit from an upgrade that improves its functionality.
Every roof needs maintenance now and then, and if you're going to have some roofing maintenance done, you may want to consider having the workers throw in some upgrades while they're up there. Here are a few of the best ways to improve your roof's performance.
Who enjoys cleaning out the gutters? It's a lot of work, and the gutters almost inevitably become bent and unattractive looking, especially after a heavy storm or after being bogged down with leaves for an extended time period. Have your roofing contractor install some new gutters that require less maintenance and upkeep while they're fixing any leaks or missing shingles in your roof.
Low-maintenance gutters come with curved hoods that catch the water and allow it to drip into the gutters, while blocking leaves and other debris from entering the gutter system and clogging it. By preventing clogs, the water will be able to drain quickly and steadily, which will prevent backed up drainage from staining your siding. This semi-closed gutter system also looks more streamlined than traditional gutters, which can enhance your home's curb appeal. Best of all, you'll never have to worry about cleaning out your gutters again.
Airtight Chimney Cap
Your masonry or metal chimney cap should do the trick when it comes to keeping rain, animals, and bugs from getting into your chimney and winding up inside your home. Unfortunately, they don't do a great job of preventing air flow between your home and the outdoors. This can lead to drafts and electric bills that are higher than necessary.
An airtight chimney cap puts a stop to that. These caps are specifically designed to prevent the heat from escaping your house when the fireplace isn't in use. Your contractor will install a bracket attached to a steel cable inside your fireplace, leading up to the new cap. Just give it a tug, and your cap will open so that you can use the fireplace. Pull it shut when your done, and your house will stay warmer because the heat won't be able to escape. This upgrade will help keep your energy bills down.
Have you ever noticed that the rooms underneath your attic are the hottest rooms in the house every summer? That's probably because they don't have sufficient ventilation. Without adequate ventilation, the attic heats up like an oven, and radiates heat down to the rooms below it. The result is uncomfortably hot rooms and an air conditioner that wants to work harder than should be necessary to cool off the overheated parts of the house.
You can solve this problem easily, just by improving the ventilation in the attic. Your roofing contractor can do that by installing ridge vents across the roof. These vents, located underneath ridge cap shingles, allow hot air to escape the attic. Soffit vents and gable vents can also be added, in order to draw cooler air in and improve the overall airflow. With improved ventilation in the roof, the attic will stay at a reasonable temperature and the rooms beneath the attic will stay cool without you having to crank the air conditioner up.
If it's been a while since you've had your roof inspected, now is probably a good time to do so. And while you're getting an estimate for any needed repairs, ask your contractor what it will cost to add on some of these helpful roofing upgrades.