Roof maintenance is often overshadowed by other home improvement tasks. However, making time to maintain your roof is more important than you think. Routine roof maintenance helps to ensure that your home remains strong, stable, and capable of withstanding the elements. By following roof maintenance tips on a regular basis, you can prolong the life of your roof while saving on roof repair and replacement costs. A well-maintained roof is also crucial for your health and the health of your family. Having a structurally-sound roof helps prevent moisture problems and protects the home’s inhabitants from certain hazards, such as dangerous mold growth.
Neglecting Roof Maintenance
There are a number of things that could happen if you neglect roof maintenance. First, you may notice your energy bills climbing. As cracks and holes develop in your roof, air can escape making it hard to heat and cool your home. These cracks and crevices may also allow water to infiltrate your home, causing extensive water damage. If the moisture problem is not taken care of promptly, leaks can cause wood rot and the growth of fungus. As the mold spreads, people in your household may develop respiratory problems and other health ailments. Along with these consequences, you also risk pest infestations.
7 Top Roof Maintenance Tips
Repairing and replacing your roof can be expensive. Keep your roof in optimal condition for as long as possible by using some of these simple roof maintenance tips:
1. Remove Leaves and Debris from Gutters
The gutters on your home provide an important function. They help filter water from your roof away from the foundation to help prevent flooding issues. Without a working gutter system, you risk water entering your basement or crawlspace. Ideally, you should clean your home’s gutters every spring and fall. Over time, leaves, twigs, and other debris can build up inside the gutters and downspouts, causing water to pour over. By using a hose set at full pressure, you can flush out the gutters and downspouts to allow for a non-obstructed stream of water.
2. Trim Nearby Trees
Tree trimming is an important home maintenance task that can help ward off a lot of trouble down the road. Limbs that hang over your roof can cause abrasion, resulting in damaged shingles. When you have trees too close to your roof, you also provide pests such as squirrels direct access to your home. To prevent pests from making your roof or attic their next home, trim branches so that they are at least 10 feet from your roof. Keep in mind, however, as tree trimming poses certain safety concerns, it is best to leave this job up to the professionals.
3. Check for Shingle Damage
Shingles are not there just for decoration. They also help protect the home from rain, snow, hail, and other harsh weather conditions. One of the most important roof maintenance tips involves checking for shingle damage on a regular basis. When examining the surface of your roof, look for noticeable signs of damage, such as loose, missing, or broken shingles, as well as deterioration around fascia and soffits. In your attic, check for water stains on the walls and ceilings which may indicate a leak in the roof. Moldy areas in the rafters may also point to a possible leak somewhere in the roof.
4. Inspect the Insulation in the Attic
Having proper insulation in the attic is important for a number of reasons. First, it encourages good airflow which helps maintain ventilation and prevents problems such as wood rot and sagging rafters. A well-insulated attic is also better equipped to handle heat gain and loss. When installing insulation in your attic, you want to have vented spaces that allow airflow to pass freely, along with at least one inch between the roof sheathing and insulation. If the insulation in your attic is old, be sure to check it on a regular basis and replace when necessary. Over time, insulation can shift and degrade.
5. Look for Signs of Wear and Tear
Another component of regular roof maintenance involves checking for signs of wear and tear, such as holes or loose materials. The average lifespan of a roof is between 15 and 20 years. If your roof is near this expected lifespan or has surpassed it, you may start to notice signs of excessive wear and tear. Cracks in the roof, mold growth, and water stains on your ceilings are some of the most common signs that you roof needs to be repaired or replaced.
6. Clean Algae and Mold Buildup
Most black mold stains that you find on your roof is Gloeocapsa magma, a blue-green algae commonly found in warm, humid climates. While this type of algae does not cause harm to your roofing materials, it can negatively impact your home’s curb appeal. Having mold and algae buildup removed from your roof can help restore the roof’s original appearance and deter permanent staining. Once removed, you can help prevent algae from returning by inserting strips of zinc or copper under the row of shingles that is closest to the peak of the roof.
7. Examine the Flashing to Ensure It Is Solid
Roof leaks often originate around the metal roof flashing that is used to protect the edges, junctions, and valleys of the roof. Over time, the flashing can start to corrode, resulting in holes that allow water to filter through. Small holes in the flashing are usually an easy fix, but it is important to have these holes repaired promptly to prevent water damage. Holes in the flashing can usually be repaired using roofing cement and a patch made out of the same material as the flashing.
Schedule a Roof Inspection
Neglecting routine roof maintenance can result in extensive repair or replacement costs. By following a few simple roof maintenance tips, homeowners can help keep their roofs in good condition and ward off the risks that come with not performing roof maintenance. For more information or to schedule a free roof inspection, contact the roof repair contractors at Beyond Exteriors.