You sweep your floor, brush your teeth and rotate your tires, but did you know your roof requires maintenance as well? Regular roof maintenance can mean the difference between a full roof replacement at just 10 years and a roof that lasts 30 years or more. Preventative measures and regular maintenance will maximize your roof’s life, and give you peace of mind
What is Roof Maintenance?
Roof maintenance is not typically difficult or time intensive. A regular checking of all vulnerable areas on a roof during each season and after strong storms is generally sufficient. An annual professional inspection is a great way to get an up close and personal look at the details of your roofing surface.
Importance of Roofing Maintenance
Too many people take their roof for granted and completely neglect roofing maintenance until there’s a problem. Most homeowners fail to care for their roof because it takes too much time, energy, or money. In fact, roofing maintenance is the best way to save these precious resources in the long run.
- Save New Roof Cost: A new roof is one of the most expensive investments for your home. Regular and careful maintenance extends the life of your roof, so you get the most out of your investment. In some cases, you could even double your roof’s life span.
- Roof Maintenance is Inexpensive: While roof installation and roof repairs can be costly, maintenance of your roof is very low cost. In fact, in some municipalities, you can also deduct the cost of a roof maintenance program from your taxes, saving even more money. A regular schedule of maintenance avoids both repairs and new roof installation costs by many years.
- Prevents Future Damages and Roof Problems: If you want to protect against future damages and problems, maintenance is critical. Something as simple as annual maintenance can act like a crystal ball and let you know what potential problems your roof may have so you can plan, prepare, and remediate before you’re surprised with a leaky roof.
- Extend the Lifespan of a Roof: A traditional asphalt shingle roof can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years. The difference between a roof failing at 9 years and a roof that is holding strong after 25 years is the maintenance done in between.
- Give You Peace of Mind & Sense of Security: Your roof is responsible to protect your home, and everything inside. Regular roof maintenance is going to give you the peace of mind knowing that your roof has a clean bill of health and continues to be strong and ready to handle whatever Mother Nature brings.
Roof Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Needs to Know
Even if your roof is brand new, maintaining it will prolong its life and keep you from having to replace it prematurely. Here are a few tips you need for basic roof maintenance.
- Check your shingles regularly for any curled, broken, or missing shingles.
- Look for leaks in the attic and ceilings.
- Wash your roof if you live in an area where moss growth is common.
- Trim any overhanging branches which may pose a risk.
- Patch up the chimney when necessary.
- Clean the gutters on a regular basis, especially to remove leaves in the fall.
- Prevent ice dams by removing heavy snow with a roof rake.
- Get a professional inspection on an annual basis.
How To Prepare Your Roof for Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Storm Season
No matter where you live, the seasons bring about different weather. Some areas of the country will receive heavy snow and ice while others receive strong winds and heavy rain. Use this guide to keep your roof maintained all year long.
Summer: In summertime, the heat beats down on your roof day after day. If you live in a humid area, the moisture can increase as well causing more stress on your roof.
- Repair and replace any missing or damaged shingles.
- Fix any damaged flashing that may have broken loose or warped.
- Clear the moss off of the roof with a 50/50 combination of water and bleach.
- Clean your gutters to ensure any debris from fall and spring have been removed.
- As you clean your gutters, take note of any granules present to track any possible granule degradation.
- Summer is a great time to trim the trees, so they don’t break and cause problems during fall or winter storms.
- Inspect your skylights to ensure they are in good working order and properly insulated.
- Ensure there is proper ventilation in the attic.
Rainy: If you live in an area of the country with a rainy season, this can pose unique challenges for roofing materials. During this season, storms are the norm so it’s important to ensure your roof is prepared to handle the unexpected weather and additional moisture.
- Check and repair any damaged shingles so the incoming moisture doesn’t have any cracks to seep into.
- If there are any susceptible shingles, replace them before the season makes small problems worse.
- Clean your gutters to ensure a smooth water flow throughout the rainy season.
- Check and fix any areas of flashing that are not completely watertight.
- Maintain nearby trees to ensure you don’t have any hazards throughout the season.
Spring: Spring is a unique season that combines the colder weather from winter with the thawing element of warmer temperatures. This season isn’t maintenance heavy but is a good time to schedule repairs or roof replacement if necessary.
- Spring is a great time for a professional roof inspection.
- Remove any foreign objects that may have fallen on the roof during the rainy season.
- Check your attic for any holes or areas that appear to be compromised.
- Schedule any necessary repairs.
Autumn/Fall: The biggest priority during fall is to adequately prepare your roof for winter and catch-up on any missed maintenance that has rolled over from summer.
- Eliminate any debris that may have fallen on the roof during the spring.
- Clean gutters to eliminate any branches or leaves that may be causing clogs.
- Check for adequate attic insulation and proper ventilation flow.
- Remove any overhanging branches that may be at risk of falling with heavy winter snow.
- If you didn’t have time to get a professional inspection in the spring, be sure to get that scheduled in the fall.
- Check for any damp spots to ensure your roof is ready for winter.
- If you notice any cracks or holes, it’s imperative to get those repaired in the fall before the first frost of winter.
Winter: Ice and snow can wreak havoc on your roof. While most roofs are equipped to handle strong and heavy snow, it’s still imperative to keep up with maintenance to take care of your investment.
- Check your roofline visually to check for any problems.
- If you can safely get on your roof, check the chimney flashing for leaks.
- After the first snow, check the attic for any signs of water damage.
- Remove any buildup of leaves that may have built-up from the fall.
- Trim any remaining low hanging branches.
- If you haven’t received a professional inspection throughout the year, be sure to get one before the first snow.
Storm: In some areas of the country, storms are a season all their own. Whether you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, or blizzards, ensure your roof is ready to handle them all.
- First, look for any shingle damage that could be made worse with a strong storm.
- While it’s important to check the exterior of the roof, be sure to inspect the roof’s interior as well. Check your gutter to ensure they are clear of debris.
- Inspect any vulnerable areas for wear and tear.
- If necessary, consider additional water protection in vulnerable areas.
- Consider any roof repairs necessary before a storm makes small repairs worse.
- Check for any leaks during and after each strong storm.
- Trim nearby trees that may be vulnerable to strong winds.
- If you don’t think your roof can hold up through storm season, this might be a time to start planning and budgeting for a roof replacement in the spring.
Steps to Cleaning Your Roof
Cleaning your roof sounds like a monumental task, but in reality, it can be fairly simple. If you don’t have a pressure washer available, you can rent one, or call in a professional to finish the job.
Step 1 – The first step is to ensure safety by using proper fall protection gear anytime you are on the roof.
Step 2 – Remove any unnecessary debris from the roof. This may include leaves, sticks, branches, etc.
Step 3 – Next, you’re ready to prepare the cleaning materials. The professional recommendation is a mixture of 50/50 water and bleach. The bleach completely removed any moss and mildew, while the water washes the surface clean.
Step 4 – Apply the cleaning solution to the roof. You can use a low-pressure washer, or a garden sprayer attached to a hose. Let the solution sit for 15-20 minutes.
Step 5 – Rinse the roof completely clean with a pressure washer. Be sure to use a gentle setting so as to not cause damage to the shingles.
Step 6 – If necessary, scrub out any thick, black or stubborn areas of algae.
Get Rid of Snow and Ice from Roof
If you live in an area that gets consistent snowfall all year long, you may need to actually remove the snow and ice from your roof. Most roofs are fully capable of handling up to three feet of snow, which is more than most areas receive. However, if you live in an area that doesn’t receive snowfall on a regular basis, or if you receive significantly more than usual, you can use the following tips to eliminate snow and ice from your roof.
- Always stay on the ground. Never attempt to remove snow or ice by getting on top of the roof.
- If you have ice dams on your roof, spray warm water to loosen the dam and remove it from the shingles.
- In some areas, roof melt tablets may be available to add to ice dams to expedite the melting process.
- For heavy snow, a roof rake can be used to remove large drifts from the edges of your roof while staying safely on the ground.
- If you’re unable to remove the snow and ice and worry it may be too much for your roof to handle, call a professional.
FAQs About Maintaining Your Roof