Are you a little rusty on what’s included in roof maintenance? Most people take their roofs for granted until something goes wrong. Being proactive with roof care can stop leaks and damage before they happen.
While roof repairs and roof installation are often best left to the professionals, homeowners can tackle some basic roof maintenance to prevent problems. Taking care of your roof can help you squeeze more life out of your shingles.
Keep reading to learn roofing tips for maintaining your shingles.
1. Inspect Your Roof
Check on your roof regularly from above and underneath to make sure everything looks good. Weather elements can damage roofing even if you haven’t experienced a severe storm recently. Heat and humidity in the summer and ice dams in the winter can cause problems.
Taking pictures of your roof each time you inspect it can help you notice small differences. It serves as a record of your roof’s aging process and makes it easier to spot the changes.
Signs of damage on shingles include:
- Missing shingles
- Missing granules or lots of granules in gutters
- Moss growth
If you notice any signs of an issue, dig a little deeper to see how extensive the problem is. You might need to address the root issue rather than just replacing the missing shingles.
It’s also a good idea to go into your attic and look at the under side of the roof. Look for water stains, rotting, holes, and other signs of damage.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Part of regular maintenance is cleaning out your gutters at least twice per year or more often if you have lots of trees. Regular gutter cleaning keeps the water flowing, which protects your home in many ways.
One way is to protect your roof from water damage. If the gutters aren’t working properly, the water running off your roof doesn’t have anywhere to go. It can cause water to pool or back up on the roof.
When leaves and twigs clog your gutters, the water overflows. The water can flow up onto the roof and under your shingles, where it can cause leaks, rotting, and mold.
3. Clean Your Roof
Your roof also needs regular cleaning. Since it’s the highest point on your home, your roof is often the place where debris collects. Leaves and twigs are common on rooftops.
Remove those items from the roof to prevent rotting and damage. Having a clean roof also lets water flow quickly off of the roof instead of pooling around the debris. Hosing off small debris and dirt can also leave your roof clean and in better condition.
4. Remove Branches
Large trees add curb appeal and provide shade, but they can also cause damage to your roof. Branches that overhang your roof can ruin your shingles.
If the branches are close enough to touch the shingles, they can scratch them and rub off the granules. Even if the branches don’t touch the roof normally, they can cause damage in high winds when they blow around. In major storms, branches can break off the trees and smash into the roof, damaging the material and potentially breaking through the roof.
Keep the branches trimmed around your roof. Consider which branches might fall onto the roof or come into contact with the roof in a strong wind. For large trees, hiring a tree trimming company can make the job safer.
5. Repair Issues
Letting even small roofing issues go unfixed can lead to much bigger problems. A minor leak can quickly turn into a major leak that rots your roof and drips into your ceiling and walls, causing extensive damage that goes beyond your roof. As soon as you notice something is wrong with your roof, take care of it immediately.
Some homeowners feel comfortable tackling small roofing repairs on their own. Hiring a professional roofing company ensures the job gets done correctly. Professional roofers have the safety equipment and tools to do the job correctly and safely.
6. Have a Professional Roof Inspection
You can spot obvious signs of roof damage yourself, but you might miss some minor issues. Finding those problems early is key to avoiding the need to replace your roof prematurely.
A professional conducting a correct inspection can spot problems early before they lead to severe leaks and damage. Professional roofing companies know what is normal and what is a red flag. They can provide recommendations for addressing the issues now before they get worse.
7. Seal Around Vents and Pipes
Even if your shingles are in perfect condition, your roof could still let in moisture around vents, pipes, and other structures that require openings in the roof. Check those areas regularly to make sure they’re still well-sealed. If you notice gaps around those structures, seal or caulk around them to keep moisture and pests out of your attic.
Your chimney is another area that can cause roof problems. Look for cracks, missing bricks, and other damage that can cause issues. If the chimney isn’t structurally sound, it could collapse and cause severe damage to the roof.
8. Insulate Your Attic
Insulation can help regulate the temperature in your attic, which can protect your roof from damage. It helps keep your home’s heat in your home so it doesn’t heat up the roof and cause issues.
Ice dams often happen in poorly insulated homes in cold climates. The heat from your house melts snow and ice against the shingles, which can refreeze, forming the ice dam. It can damage shingles and cause leaks into your home.
9. Improve Ventilation
Proper ventilation in your attic and throughout your home helps the house and roof breathe. Ventilation airs out the house and reduces the risk of roof damage. It also helps control the temperature below the roof.
If your home isn’t ventilated, heat and moisture can build up underneath your roof. That can result in rotting and buckling that can destroy your roof and result in expensive repairs.
Start Roof Maintenance Now
With regular roof maintenance, you can extend the life of your shingles and save money. Maintenance helps prevent damaging leaks and other issues with your roof to protect the inside of your home.
For more help, head over to our home archives for more useful articles.
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