Roof Maintenance – 6 Tips to Make Your Roof Last
Our home serves as our refuge against the elements. Of all its parts, it’s the roof that bears the brunt of the harsh sunlight, heavy rains, strong winds, and just about everything nature throws our way. More often than not, our roof is up to the challenge. However, it can use a lot of care and attention from you to keep it that way for years to come. You can take care of some roof maintenance tasks yourself, although there will be times when you will need the help of a contractor with the right license and roofing insurance coverage.
Here are six tips that will help make your roof last for a long time.
1. Clean Rain Gutters Regularly
Your rain gutters are essential parts of your roof design and roofing system, as they collect all the rainwater that hits your roof and channel them away from your home through a downspout.
Tree leaves, branches, and other types of debris tend to get stuck in them over time, though. All that debris will block your rain gutters.
When it rains, rainwater will build up and have nowhere to go. The water will eventually spill over and cause water damage to the fascia boards, attic, and any other part of your home in its path.
You can prevent this by cleaning your gutters periodically. Twice a year would do it, but you can opt to clean it more frequently, especially when there’s a storm coming.
When cleaning gutters, always practice ladder safety. Use a sturdy but not-so-heavy ladder since you will be moving it from time to time to get to every inch of your rain gutters.
2. Regular Shingle Checks
With all the stress that it gets from the weather and other external factors, it’s not uncommon for roofs to end up with missing, cracked, or broken shingles at some point.
Since all of the above eventually lead to more serious roof problems, it’s always best to check your roof at least twice a year for any issue with your roof’s shingles so you can nip them in the bud. You might also want to do an inspection immediately after bad weather hits your area.
To be on the safe side, use binoculars to check your roof from the ground. If you own an aerial drone, then you have an even safer way to inspect your roof much more closely.
You have the option to fix or replace shingles yourself once your inspection yields problems with them. However, it would be best to have a reliable roofing contractor do the job instead.
3. Give Your Trees A Trimming
Trees give us plenty of shade, but they can also cause damage to our roof, especially when they’re too close to the house.
The leaves alone can clog your rain gutters. When severe weather strikes, its branches could easily break off and fall onto the roof. If a branch is big and heavy enough, it won’t be surprising if you end up with a hole in your roof. Overgrown branches could scrape the roof as well and cause damage.
Some homeowners transplant trees farther away from the house. If that’s not possible in your case, then trimming those trees from time to time would be your best option. Again, safety should be your primary concern, so hire a professional tree trimmer for the task.
4. Rid Your Roof of Snow
Roofs are generally sturdy enough to hold a certain amount of snow. However, when the buildup becomes more significant, the risk of your roof collapsing due to the weight becomes higher. Excessive roof snow could also lead to ice dams.
It has become a rule of thumb to start scraping snow off your roof when it’s about six inches deep. Use a roof rake for the task so you won’t have to get up on the roof.
5. Address Small Leaks Immediately
At some point, your roof may leak for one reason or another.
Once you notice water spots on your ceiling or walls, there is a possibility of a leak on your roof. Hire a roofer to locate and fix the leak right away to prevent the crack, gap, or hole in your roof that’s causing the leak from getting any worse.
6. Have Your Roof Inspected Professionally
The best way to ensure a longer lifespan for your roof would be to have professional roofing contractors inspect it regularly.
Ideally, your roof should have twice-a-year inspections done, specifically after the end of winter and summer. With professional help, you can fix any roofing issue before it gets any worse, at which point you may have to spend for costlier repairs or even an unscheduled roof replacement.
Our roof deserves all the attention it can get, even when it seems to be working just fine. By performing the Roof Maintenance tips above, your roof stands a better chance of lasting a long time.
In case you need any assistance regarding your architecture or structure design requirements, feel free to contact us!
Rachel Porter is the content specialist for Custom Contractors Insurance, LLC, an Arizona roofing and contractors insurance company. When not writing, she enjoys reading and mountain biking with her friends.