Roof Maintenance Tips
There is no such thing as a maintenance free roof; all roofs need regular maintenance to achieve their full life span
A well maintained shingle roof can last for 30 years, protecting your house, family and belongings. Replacing a roof is an expensive undertaking now that the price of shingles has more than doubled in the last few years. With regular maintenance, cleaning and repairs you can put off the need for a new roof for years.
- Inspect the roof on a regular basis. Late fall is when you need to look for leaves and other debris on the shingles and in the gutters. Make sure to remove all debris that is found before the winter snows cover the roof.
- Clean the gutters. Gutters that are full of leaves and debri can lead to water and ice backup into the home in the winter. Make sure to have the gutters and downspouts cleaned in the late fall after the leaves have fallen. Also check the brackets holding the gutters to the house, make sure they are all functioning the way they were designed to.
- Check the flashing and vents. Flashing is an often overlooked item on the roof, but it needs to be inspected regularly, make sure the flashing is not cracked or damaged in any way, replace if needed, and also take a look at any vents on the roof. Make sure they are all working properly.
- Trim back tree limbs. Trees limbs that overhang the roof can cause damage to the roofing material in a few different ways. Broken branches can fall and damage the roof, branches that are touching the shingles can rub the protective coating off the shingles. Because of the shade provided by the overhanging limbs, moss and lichen are more likely to grow in on the roof in these spots. Leading to damage to the shingle.
- Insect damage. Carpenter ants and termites can cause damage to the roof. Soft spots and wood shavings are what to look for to see if you have an insect infestation.
- Take a walk. Walk around the home and check for pieces of shingle on the ground, especially after storms. If you notice small pieces of shingle it is a good idea to have a closer look at the roof for major damage that needs to be repaired.
- Go into the attic. In the attic is where you will find the first sign of leaks. Look for staining on the trusses and underlayment. Check around the chimney and all vents for signs of water leakage. Also look for signs of animal and insect damage. This is also a good time to look for mold growth in the attic.
- Have a professional inspection. Have a professional roofing contractor take a look at your roof every couple years to make sure it is still functioning as it should.
- Clean the roof. All roofs now require cleaning if you want them to last the full stated lifespan. With the onset of Gloeocapsa Magma (black streaks) due to the use of limestone fillers in the manufacture of shingles, it is now a necessary home maintenance process. Along with the black streaks, moss and lichen growth will shorten the lifespan of your roof. A professional roof cleaning company can safely remove all harmful growth from your roof.
The roof is a part of the home that often gets overlooked; it just is not something that gets looked at on a daily basis. Unlike a beautiful landscape or an interior that is perfectly designed, the roof is just something that is out of sight and out of mind. But the roof of your home is one of the most expensive items to replace, so take care of it and it will last you 20 – 30 years or longer depending on the type of roofing material on your home.