As is true for every component of our homes, our roof is only as good as its material, installation, and maintenance. You may have had the best and most expensive roofing system installed, and picked the most prestigious roofer in town to install it for you, but without regular care and maintenance, it can still be susceptible to premature damage and deterioration.
In this post, we share top maintenance tips that you and every homeowner, for that matter, should know about and follow.
Have your new roof inspected 3 to 5 years after installation.
In general, you can count on a new roof to maintain its integrity for at least a few years after installation, especially if you made sure to follow basic standards and quality measures during the installation process. Safe to say that you can give your roof between three to five years before it will be necessary to call in a professional roofer to perform a thorough inspection and evaluation of your young roof. However, we would advise that you also have a roofer check your roof after a serious weather disturbance or disaster – regardless of its age. You’d certainly have nothing to lose by doing so, since your roof will likely still be covered by warranties if it’s just a few years old.
Have a roof that’s older than 10 years inspected every year.
After a decade of wear and tear, you can expect your roof to show signs of problems. Performing a routine annual inspection can help you detect any potential issue, giving you the chance to address it before it turns into a bigger problem.
Be on the lookout for missing shingles and signs of wear.
Missing shingles can expose your roof’s more fragile parts. Missing and damaged shingles are not just a telltale sign of roof damage, but they themselves can also bring forth other related problems and cause damage to the adjacent shingles and roof components. Damaged shingles can also lead to clogged gutters – shingle debris is known to stop-up gutters.
Look for penetrations of the shingle layer or roof deck.
Penetrations may be evident when there are missing or damaged shingles or tiles. Make it a point to check for any signs of penetration that can lead to serious roof leaks.
Check flashing to make sure it remains properly sealed.
Flashings are susceptible to improper or misaligned fastening. Check if they are properly sealed and attached to the roof to prevent the likelihood of leaks.
Inspect your chimney for spalling, cracking, or loose bricks.
The chimney is often a top source of leaks. Check for any signs of issues and have them resolved quickly. Is flashing properly installed? Does it need sealing or caulking?
Keep your roof clear of debris, leaves, and pine needles.
Sweep debris off of your roof regularly – it can clog your gutters and allow algae to grow.
Remove moss, mold, or mildew.
Black algae may be unsightly but it doesn’t really hurt the roof. However, moss, which traps water that can lead to rot, must be removed immediately. Mold and mildew can also damage your shingles.
Trim overhanging tree limbs.
Prevent the accumulation of leaves and debris and the buildup of moss and mildew on your roof by trimming overhanging tree limbs and branches. Abrasion from tree limbs can damage shingles, especially during high winds. Overhanging tree branches can also give rodents and other pests quicker access to your roof.
Keep gutters clean and clear of leaves and debris all year long.
When debris clogs your gutters, water can wick into the roof sheathing and cause rot. The roof rafters can also be damaged. Having such problems repaired or resolved can cost you a few thousand dollars, so it’s better to just find the time to have your gutters regularly cleaned.
Jon Fleming is the head of promotions at Vinylume, Inc. When not busy planning out strategies that can help the company meet the needs of its numerous clients, he finds the time to write blogs and articles that aim to provide homeowners with ideas and tips in home improvement.