Roof Maintenance Tips
Your roof protects your home from the elements, but in order for it to do so for years to come, you must also protect your roof. Even a low maintenance roof, such as a metal roof, will sometimes need roof maintenance. A neglected roof can easily form leaks or roof rot, which could lead to water damage or even structural problems in your home. There’s no question that roof maintenance is important.
But do you know where to get started? The roof maintenance needed will vary depending on your roof. That said, here are some of the tips we have to offer when it comes to roof maintenance.
Maintenance For Different Types of Roofs
There are many roof maintenance tips that are simply not universal. For instance, you might check for broken shingles on one roof and check for rusted metal panels on another roof. If your roof is flat, you might be more concerned about piling snow than if your roof is sloped, and asphalt granules won’t be an issue if you have a tile roof. So the first step to any roof maintenance is to consider the type of roof you have, and the maintenance that particular type of roof will need.
Metal roofs or slate roofs tend to last longer than asphalt roofs, but have different issues. Metal roofs could rust or the color could fade. Slate roofs are heavy and the tile could begin to crack. Asphalt roofs are affordable and more lightweight, but shingles can be worn away. What kind of roof maintenance do you need? Do some research on the type of roof you have and the problems you could run into. In the meantime, here are our tips for roof maintenance that you can use to extend the lifespan and quality of your roof.
#1 – Eyeball It
You don’t always need to be a roofing professional to spot damage to your roof. Regardless of the type of roof you have, you can likely look at it from the ground and notice any obvious damage. It might be missing or broken shingles, cracked slate, rust or peeling paint, or algae growing in the corner. All of these spell problems for your roof. You can also go up to your attic and look up for any specks of light that might be shining through the ceiling. If light is breaking through, that’s a sign of a leak that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Make this light check regularly, as often as once a month.
#2 – Gutter Maintenance
Your gutters might not be a part of the roof itself, but they are a part of your roof system, and an essential part. Your gutters are responsible for funneling water away from your roof and your home, to a downspout where they won’t damage the foundational soil of the house. If your gutters are clogged or broken, your home could have a number of problems, one of which is a deteriorating roof. When water pools on the roof for an extended period of time, you could have the formation of rust, algae, or even roof rot, not to mention weakened materials that cause leaks. Thus twice a year, you should make sure to clear your gutters of any debris and check for any cracks or scratches that could keep them from doing their job.
#3 – Watch Out For Openings and Flashing
If you have any roof vents, chimneys, or skylights, they may be surrounded by roof flashing — a thin sheet metal used to keep water from getting into the openings of your roof and leading to water damage within the house. However, flashing can become loose over time when exposed to the elements. Occasionally, perhaps twice a year or seasonally, check the flashing on your roof to make sure that it is tamped down and secure. If your openings are sealed with caulk or something other than flashing, check that material to ensure that you don’t have issues of leaks.
#4 – Don’t Let Debris Lie
As seasons pass, debris can start to build up on your roof. Leaves, branches, windblown particles, and more can clutter onto your roof. Some make their way to your roof gutters, where they will need to be collected, but others remain on the surface of the roof — especially if you have a flat roof. They might not seem to do much harm initially, but over time, that debris can lead to wear to your roofing materials. Wet leaves can aid rust or roof rot in forming. Branches can scrape at shingles and eventually cause leaks. It’s a good plan to clear debris off your roof frequently, to keep it healthy and looking fresh.
#5 – Trim Low Hanging Branches
Once the debris is cleared, make sure that your tree branches are trimmed to prevent further debris from gathering on your roof in the future. In general, there should be at least three feet of space between any tree branches and your home. During a storm, tree branches and scrape the sides of your roof, your gutters, and more, causing damage to your shingles or to the surface of the roof. Trimming back branches will both help the health of your tree and the health of your home.
#6 – Watch Out For Growths
Moss can grow on roofs, especially asphalt shingle roofs. Algae, too, tends to grow in dark, damp corners of your roof, especially if there is water damage. Keep an eye out for things like moss, mold, and algae. If you notice it on your roof, make sure to fix the problem right away, as further growths can wear down your roof and make it susceptible to more damage like leaks and rot.
Need help caring for your roof? Jancewicz & Son has over 80 years of experience when it comes to roof care, and we’re here for you. Contact us today for more information or to get started with a free estimate.