Your home’s roof system is a major investment. With these roof maintenance tips, you ensure it provides years of protection from the elements. Moreover, you foster a more comfortable living space for you and your family.
However, like most aspects of the home, it requires regular maintenance to remain in good condition. Follow these roof maintenance tips to help your roof perform better.
Roof Maintenance Tips: Your Checklist
Below, we put together a list of semiannual and annual tasks to keep your roof in solid condition throughout its lifespan. Additionally, many of these tasks are relatively quick. However, like any seasonal maintenance, they help you save time and money down the line.
10 Chores That Help You Maintain Your Roof
We divided 10 basic maintenance tasks into three different categories.
- Seasonal roof maintenance
- Frequent inspections
- Best Practices
Staying Safe on Your Roof
Before you head up to your roof, one of the most essential roof maintenance tips is to stay safe. As with any task, safety is the #1 priority before you start to work on your roof.
Some of the tasks below require work in your attic or on a ladder. Oftentimes, it’s a good idea to work with a roofing company to ensure the job is done right. Moreover, partnering with a professional roofer keeps you, your family, and your home out of harm’s way.
Professional roofers understand the hazards of the job and use their experience to spot issues that most DIYers might overlook.
Typically, asphalt shingles have a coat of tiny granules. These help to prevent UV degradation and add a 3D color element to the surface of your roof. However, too much foot traffic scuffs granules off the shingles.
It’s also far too easy to catch a shingle with your foot as you walk, lifting it out of place or cracking it. As such, it’s a good idea to minimize the amount of traffic on your roof.
Seasonal Roof Care – Often in the Fall
#1 Clean the Gutters
The gutter system in your roof collects runoff water from the shingles. Then, it directs it away from the foundation of your home. When the gutters clog, water starts to back up underneath the shingles.
This overflow moves onto the siding or brick of the home. It’s important to keep your gutter clear and ensure that they are securely in place. As you clean, pay close attention to the right angles of the gutters.
In vulnerable areas, it’s also a good idea to install flashing or gutter splash guards.
#2 Moss & Algae Growth
Oftentimes, environmental factors lead to algae and moss growth on the roof. The moss absorbs water, and when large clumps grow on your roof, it damages the shingles. This is because it raises the edges of shingles, exposing the underside to water.
Algae tend to leave dark, ugly streaks across the surface of a roof. However, it’s possible to minimize these stains with a solution of water and chlorine bleach. If the environment is conducive to moss or algae, as in Texas, the best option is regular treatments.
#3 Remove Close Tree Branches
This is similar to controlling the foot traffic on your roof. Unfortunately, those shady trees have the potential to disturb roof granules when the branches rub against shingles. This is especially bad in windy weather.
It’s a good idea to trim the branches as much as possible so that they don’t touch the roof or gutters, even on especially windy days.
#4 Clear Organic Debris
Trees offer shade in the Gulf Coast’s hot weather and add appeal to your landscape. However, they are also a constant source of debris. When organic matter lands on your roof, it absorbs water.
If shingles remain in contact with moisture for a long time, it causes damage. Additionally, the rain picks up debris and sends it into your gutter, which can cause clogging.
One of the best roof maintenance tips to follow is to clear organic residue from your roof 2-3 times each year. Depending on your area, you might clear it more often.
One option is to remove it with a broom (gently) or leaf blower. Remember, though, that you should never use a tool the rubs the surface of the shingles.
When a roof is brand new, it’s a great defense against the elements. However, over time, aging and general weathering impact even the best roof. As such, regular inspections are among the most advised roof maintenance tips.
#5 Watertight Windows and Wall Cladding
After a major storm or extended rainy period, it’s a good idea to inspect the exterior of the home. Keep an eye out for areas that stay moist or show signs of wetness. Gutter issues can cause water to cascade down walls instead of downspouts.
Additionally, check around the window sills and casing for loss of caulk or warping.
Any of these areas can lead to moisture entering the home.
#6 Inspect the Flashing
Flashing helps to ensure a tight seal in areas where two planes of the roof meet. For instance, you might see it around vent pipes or the chimney. Oftentimes, roofing companies place it in roof valleys as well.
From a safe vantage point, perform a visual inspection of your flashing. If you see any rust, dents, missing fasteners, or rotting sealant, it’s a good idea to contact a roofer. After a detailed inspection, they can let you know whether you need a repair or replacement.
#7 Examine the Soil Stacks
Some vent pipes have a rubberized gasket. Over time, this can dry out and start to fall apart. Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to check the sealing around any roof penetrations.
If you notice any issues from a safe area, call on a contractor to conduct an inspection.
#8 Inspect the Ventilation
Good ventilation is a key aspect of your roof system. It replaces warm, humid air from the attic with cool, dry air. This helps to protect your home from mold and mildew.
Inspect the following the ensure intake and exhaust vents work properly.
- Attic: Check that the airflow isn’t blocked from insulation, insect hives, or storage items.
- Soffits: Ensure the screens are free of paint, debris, etc.
#9 Connect Bathroom and Dryer Vents Outdoors
Moisture-heavy air from bathrooms and dryers needs to make it outside of the home. With new constructions, building codes require exterior venting.
If you bought an older house, be sure that fans don’t vent into an attic or crawlspace. When you add warm, humid air to these areas, it leads to mildew and mold issues.
Check the dryer hoses and ducts regularly to ensure they are free of cracks and attached securely.
#10 Avoid Downspout Discharge
When downspouts travel from one level of the roof to another, they should cover the entire span of the section. Ensure upper spouts connect to a lower-level gutter. This prevents runoff from flowing over the same section of your roof every time it rains.
This can dislodge granules, prematurely aging your shingles. Without this coating, they sustain increased UV exposure, which makes them prone to cracking and warping.
Roof Maintenance Tips & Professional Inspections
With a professionally installed roof, you have a reliable system to last for years. When you use these roof maintenance tips, it helps you stay aware of small warning signs. Often, addressing a small issue quickly helps you avoid major problems down the road.
If you think your roof is aging too rapidly, call on a roofing company for an inspection. When you take the initiative, you improve the lifespan of your roof.