Keeping up with your roof is of utmost importance. Without regular maintenance and upkeep, your roof can slowly deteriorate and start to wear sooner than it should.
Simple tasks like keeping your gutters clear and the surface of your roof clean are some of the tasks that every homeowner should regularly perform. But, that’s not all. With this roof maintenance guide, keep your roof in tip-top shape for the rest of its expected lifespan.
Roof Maintenance Guide
Stay on top of this checklist of tasks and make sure you run through it every few months or with each change in season. Keeping track of where your roof is at in its life will help ensure that you get the most out of it and that you aren’t left with any major problems due to leaks or wear and tear that doesn’t need to be occurring.
Check Your Shingles for Damage Regularly
Check your roofing shingles on a semi-regular basis to keep an eye out for any damage or wear. Most roofers recommend checking up once every six months, but if you have noticed some changes in how the roof looks that could be due to problems with the roof, don’t hesitate to contact a local roofer sooner than later if you suspect a problem.
Some of the things you should look for include:
- Missing shingles
- Curling Shingles
- Cracked Shingles
- Peeling Flashing
- Missing Granules
You can also check for more specific damage when you’re looking for the rest of these problems. Watch out for dents, gouges, or wholes in your shingles.
Get a Professional Inspection
If you’re noticing any of the above roofing problems, it’s important to get a professional roof inspection done. This will help determine what needs to be fixed and how important it is to fix it quickly. Sometimes you’ll want to have the damage repaired as soon as possible, and other times, the damage or problems will alert you that your roof is coming to the end of its life.
We recommend homeowners get a roof inspection whenever they feel that something could be wrong with their roof. Even if you learn that everything is okay, you’ll be in a better place because you’ll know for sure what’s going on with your roof and what your expectations for it should be.
Look for Leaks in Your Attic or on Your Ceilings
Leaks are also possible roof problems that you’ll need to be on the lookout for. Examine your roof’s drainage systems, gutters, roof valleys, and chimneys regularly, as these spots can often leak. While those areas are some of the most common places to find damage to your roof, they aren’t the only areas. Your roof can leak just about anywhere if it sustains damage.
If you do find or suspect that your roof is leaking, be sure to get a contractor on sight as quickly as possible. Getting leaks fixed quickly is essential to preventing further damage to your home.
Wash Your Roof
Keeping your roof clean is another important aspect of roof maintenance. It’s a good idea to wash the surface once or twice each year. This can help with both water runoff as well as keeping moss and mildew from growing on it. In some climates, moss and mildew can cause serious damage to roofs.
If your roof hasn’t been cleaned regularly to remove moss and mildew and you have significant growth, you’ll need to use some more intrusive cleaning methods to remove it. There are several products for washing and cleaning roofs out on the market today. Take the time to do some research or read through this blog, and you should be able to find what you need.
Clean Your Gutters
We’ve mentioned it above, but keeping your gutters clean is very important for the overall success of your roof. In addition, keeping your roof clean and maintaining a good roofing system makes it more difficult for roof leaks to develop.
We recommend cleaning out gutters at least twice each year as long as they are in good shape. If there’s any debris or obstructions accumulated in them, you’ll need to clean them out more frequently. Gutter guards can help you keep your gutters clean, but it’s still important to check and make sure that gutters are clean. Here’s a list of some tools to help you clean your gutters.
Trim Overhanging Branches
Keeping your roof clean is only half the battle. The other half is damage caused by overhanging branches that are too close to your roof. This is one of the more common roofing problems in areas where trees grow quickly. Make sure you trim back any branches or leaves that hang down on your roof.
Trees that offer shade to your home are great, but they can also be a liability. Falling branches, built-up leaves, and branches brushing against your home are all things that can cause significant problems.
Remove Loose Debris
Leaving roof debris on your roof can be both an eyesore and a serious problem. Anything that falls from the roof or is blown by the wind will end up in between shingles, damaging them over time and reducing their life span. Roofs with loose roof debris are much more likely to leak because of water that can build up around those items.
One way to keep debris off is by trimming those overhanging branches, but you’ll likely still need to clean your roof from time to time and remove the sticks and leaves that build up.
Check Your Soffits, Fascia, Gutters, and Downspouts
If your roof isn’t leaking, look into the other parts of your roofing system. For example, soffits and fascia are often overlooked when it comes to roof maintenance, but they need attention. The big thing to watch out for when it comes to soffits and fascia are insects, rotting, holes, cracks, or peeling paint. Bees especially love to build their nests in the eaves of homes.
Gutters and downspouts do need to be cleaned, but they also need to be checked for cracks. If your gutters are leaking or the downspouts aren’t directing the water away from your home, you could experience some water in and around your foundation.
Patch Up Your Chimney + Check on Vents
Maintaining the shingles and roof around your chimney is an important part of roof maintenance. Over time, shingles can crack or peel away and cause a problem with water running down the sides or around the chimney. The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly check on it and ensure it’s in good condition.
Be sure to also check on your vents. They’re often forgotten about when roof maintenance is talked about, but they are still very important. Some vents will need to be cleaned out every year or so, depending on the type of vent. But, simple airflow vents near the attic need to be checked for leaks, just like your chimney.
Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams occur when snow on the roof melts, runs off the roof’s surface and refreezes near the edge of the roof. This can cause roofing problems because water will start to pool up on top of your roof behind the ice dam. If you have areas that are prone to ice dams, then take extra care in the winter months.
There are essentially two ways to prevent ice dams. The first is the simplest, just remove the snow from the top of your roof. You can do this by using a roof rake and pulling the snow off. We don’t recommend getting up on your roof during the winter as it can be very slippery. The second is a bit more complicated, and it involves insulating and ensuring that your roof is properly ventilated. Roof ventilation helps with many things, but ice dams are one of the biggest.
How Long Does a Roof Last?
Regardless of the topic we’re covering or who we’re talking to, the #1 question of everyone who’s maintaining and taking care of their roof is how long it should last? Of course, the answer to that question will often vary based on the roofing material and the location of your home, but here’s our answer.
An asphalt shingle roof should last anywhere from 20-30 years when maintained and taken care of. Any roof that doesn’t last that long has either been constructed with cheaper materials or hasn’t been taken care of.
We know maintaining and keeping up with your roof can be difficult. Sometimes you’re going to need professional help to maintain your roof and keep it working properly. When that time comes, we’re here for you. Red Canyon is a professional roofing company that’s dedicated to bringing our best for our customers. Whether you need an inspection, repair, or full roof replacement, we have a team that’s ready to help.