Roof repair can be expensive, but regular roof maintenance can help you avoid many problems with your property. Regular maintenance and seasonal roof care will keep your roof intact and ensure your home is safe and livable. Furthermore, it could save you money in the long run by extending your roof’s lifespan and avoiding expensive repairs.
Here are some roof maintenance tips and preventative measures you can follow so your roof lasts as long as possible.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
The first item on your roof maintenance checklist should be cleaning your gutters and downspouts.
Gutters clogged with dirt, fallen leaves, and debris can lead water to pool and leak under your roof shingles. This damaging problem is widespread during autumn. It’s best to clean your gutters and remove dead leaves at least once a month, twice during autumn.
A gutter guard can help prevent leaves from falling into your gutter and avoid the need for regular gutter cleaning.
Fix Minor Issues Immediately
Whenever you notice any minor issues with your roof, call a professional roofer to make the necessary repairs immediately. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress in the long run as a festering problem could grow into a bigger issue that costs more money to fix.
For example, if you notice small leaks in your roof, get it fixed urgently. Take the same approach if you think you have an infestation affecting your roof or broken roof shingles.
Termite infestation often goes undetected on wooden roofs. A clear sign of termites is the collection of frass on your countertop or floor under the affected roof. This fecal matter can look like sawdust or coffee grains, but it points to a serious termite infestation issue.
It’s important to inspect your roof regularly. A quick inspection from the ground can sometimes help you detect missing shingles and other issues, although it’s often best if you climb up a ladder for a glance.
Look for water spots in your attic or ceiling, cracked or peeling shingles, loose nails, and broken flashing.
Get Regular Roof Inspections
While you can spot visible damage, some problems will remain undetected without a professional roof inspection. An expert will conduct a thorough inspection and detect hidden issues and problem areas that will only become apparent later.
It’s essential to get a roof inspection at least twice a year. That allows you to discover potential issues early. Your inspector will advise you on the proper steps to solve them and tell you if it’s time to replace your roof.
Get Professional Roof Cleaning
Professional roof cleaning is another important step to ensure your roof lasts as long as possible. Dirt, moss, algae, and other debris can all build up on your roof. Algae, in particular, is damaging to shingle roofs.
Algae feed off the limestone in your roof’s asphalt shingles, slowly eating away at them and damaging your roof’s structure. Eventually, your roof’s structural integrity gets so weak that shingles start to break off. Your roof will need a replacement sooner. If you notice any signs of algae as a homeowner, call a professional to prevent severe damage.
In addition to shortening the lifespan of your roof, algae is a cosmetic nuisance, leading to black streaks and white patches appearing on your roof. It’s a common problem in areas with high humidity, especially during the summer.
Moss can also grow on your roof. While not as damaging as algae and lichen, it could ruin your home’s cosmetic appeal and add a lot of water weight to your roof, causing it to sag. Regular cleaning will prevent the buildup of algae, moss, mold, other organisms, twigs, branches, and leaves.
You can clean your roof by yourself using a garden hose, but certain things, like moss and algae, are best cleaned using specialized equipment. You could even damage your roof by attempting to clean moss or algae – power washing is often a bad idea. Certain chemicals in cleaning solutions can also damage your roof or plants nearby.
If algae is a persistent problem, ask a roofing contractor about algae-resistant roofing options, such as shingles, that prevent algae growth.
Trim Branches Hanging Over Your Roof
Trimming nearby tree branches is another way to protect your roof’. Low-hanging branches can scrape against your roof on windy days and damage it, especially if it has vulnerable areas. If there’s a storm, they can fall and crash into your roof, causing more significant damage. It’s especially important to trim hanging branches when thunderstorm season approaches.
Maintain Your Chimney
Your chimney is an integral part of your home’s exterior, and needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained so it doesn’t damage your roof. It should have waterproof sealant to prevent water from leaking into your roof through its cracks. A chimney that collapses can cause significant structural damage, so look for cracked bricks or missing bricks and mortar.
Watch Out for Ice Dams
Ice dams occur when the surface temperature on sloped roofs is uneven. Ice on the higher end of the roof starts melting, while the ice on the lower end remains frozen. The water might also refreeze as it reaches the lower end of the roof.
That leads to a buildup of water. This water can leak through the roof and cause long-term damage to it. Water damage and excess moisture can also lead to mold and mildew growth, which can trigger various health issues. Furthermore, it can affect your shingles, and the sagging weight of water on your gutters can cause them to collapse.
Most of the time, ice dams occur due to central heating coming from inside the home. Sometimes, though, it can come from the sun shining on the upper part of the roof.
Ice melting systems and gutter heating strips can prevent ice dams. A de-icing cable can work as well. Alternatively, if an ice dam has already formed, you can use a snow rake to remove it. You can also call a professional to remove the ice for you if it’s too much work or you don’t have the equipment.
If it’s been a while since your last roof inspection, call a professional to conduct one as soon as possible. They’ll point out which things to fix and give you some roof maintenance advice on how to properly care for your roof – different care tips may apply to different roofing materials.