The importance of maintaining your roof and carrying out necessary repairs cannot be understated. These roof maintenance tips will guide you on your way to ensuring your roof’s lifespan.
Your roof is the part of your home’s exterior that’s particularly vulnerable to environmental factors such as wind, rain, or snow. Each year, homeowners find themselves having to replace their roofs. Either because of natural calamities or because it is no longer cost-effective to repair.
Note: I suggest that homeowners seek the services of a professional roofer for both safety and expertise. Unless you have appropriate training and safety equipment, NEVER attempt to climb onto a roof.
Whether you just inaugurated a new roof or have been making do with an old one, our tips and a quick checklist can come in handy when you set out to carry out maintenance activity.
What Is Roof Maintenance?
Simply put, “Roof Maintenance is the process of assessing a roof’s vulnerable areas for a timely diagnosis before the potential issues get worse and warrant a complete replacement.”
The roofing industry has been on an upward slope over the past few years. However, a new roof installation is no walk-in-the-park for those on a budget, since the whole process can end up costing a pretty penny. According to HomeAdvisor, the costs can shoot up to $11,437.
Why Is Roof Maintenance So Important?
Here I want to talk about some of the main key reasons why you should opt for regular roof maintenance.
Prevents Larger Potential Problems
If you live in a snow zone, ice dams can be one of the biggest problems. Early identification, (and where possible elimination), can prevent high repair costs. An ice dam is the result of snow melting on the roof’s midsection, mainly because of heat loss through the roof deck.
Once this meltwater reaches the cooler eaves it freezes again, as this process reoccurs an accumulation of ice builds up. The result is an ice dam. Eventually, meltwater will not be able to flow at all and will work its way under the roofing material.
Once your leak, you will not only have water damage to worry about. But, more importantly, possible damage to shingles and deterioration of the roof. However, with regularly carried out roof maintenance, such as clearing gutters, etc. you can help prevent ice dams.
Provides Peace Of Mind
Nothing beats the peace of mind you achieve by knowing that your roof is in a good state of repair. Being able to withstand whatever the elements throw at it means less chance of leaks.
Extends Your Roof’s Life By Eliminating The Need For Roof Replacement
By ensuring roof maintenance is carried out properly you are ensuring the roof remains in optimal condition. It will, therefore, reach its expected or potential lifespan.
Regular roof cleaning and repair add to the roof’s longevity – similar to a vehicle. In fact, a roof can last years more than it should by detecting problems early.
How Often Should You Perform Roof Maintenance?
Although it is recommended that you inspect your roof twice a year, once before the spring and again before winter. The frequency of running through the roof maintenance program checklist will depend on the weather conditions of your region.
When deciding upon the best times for roof inspections you need to consider temperature changes and dramatic warm or cold weather. Always check for storm damage after a storm and before you receive heavy snowfall or extreme weather.
Roof Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
Hiring a roofing contractor for your roof maintenance or going down the DIY route will depend on your specific situation. Either way, it helps if you adhere to a simple checklist and cross off items as you go through the maintenance activity.
Again, please remember to NEVER get on a roof without the correct training or experience. You not only risk your own safety but, you could actually end up causing damage to your property.
1. Check For Moss And Clear It
Be sure to inspect the roof for moss or other greenery, this can result in loose shingles. If you detect it early it will be easier to remove.
2. Clean Gutters, Downspouts, Fascias & Soffits
Check for clogged gutters and downpipes. Water accumulation may lead to rot in roof materials. While you do this keep an eye out for shingle debris present in the gutters, this may indicate that the shingles are nearing their lifespan.
3. Cut Overhanging Branches
Large trees may look wonderful, but they also pose a substantial threat to your roof. Any large branches can prove to be quite damaging by repeatedly scraping the shingles. Along with the obvious danger of them falling, large branches can also lead to a build-up of algae.
4. Reseal Vents & Pipes
Openings such as a chimney, vents, pipes, and skylights make your roof vulnerable to water intrusion. Things such as heating exhaust pipes will have pipe boots, a type of flashing, around them for sealing.
Pipe boots can develop cracks over time, mainly due to extreme temperature changes. It is therefore important to have them repaired before further damage is caused.
5. Get the Shingles Inspected
Personally, I recommend that you use a professional roofing contractor for this, they have the safety gear as well as the experience to spot what you might miss. Missing or damaged shingles are the biggest cause of damage to other materials and look unsightly.
Although routinely carried out maintenance activity can ensure optimal condition of the roof, even the best-maintained roof will eventually run into structural issues, warranting the involvement of a professional.
Whether you just shifted into a new house or have been living in it for decades, it’s never a bad idea to conduct annual maintenance. Hopefully, this short guide will help you get started with that.