As any well-informed homeowner knows, your roof is one of the most important elements of your home’s value, curb appeal, and comfort. Unfortunately, many people wait to pay any attention to their roof until it becomes a problem. Once your roof has sprung a leak, it has already become a costly and time-consuming process. Smart homeowners know that regular maintenance is the key to avoiding costly repairs and extending the lifespan of a roof. Here are a few of our top suggestions on how to keep your roof strong and safe even through season changes and extreme weather.
Inspect and clean regularly
First and foremost, maintaining your roof means simply keeping an eye on it. Without inspection, major structural problems can arise without ever being noticed.Roof inspection can be quick and simple, particularly for smaller houses with low roofs.
Additionally, regular roof maintenance includes cleaning. It is easy to let debris build up, particularly in hard to see places, but in the long term this can cause degradation and damage to your roof.
Remove overhanging branches
Another major threat to your roof is the danger of falling branches. Particularly before and during storm season, it is vital that you keep an eye on trees and branches that overhang or stand adjacent to your roof. Falling branches or trees during a storm can not only damage your house, decreasing its value and necessitating costly repairs, but it can also be a threat to your own life and safety. Smaller trees and branches are easy to remove on one’s own, but for larger projects it may be worth investing in a professional tree removal service.
Clean gutters once or twice a year
Gutters are another essential part of your roof’s overall health and value. Proper drainage makes for a stronger, longer-lasting roof because it prevents water from pooling and doing damage. As gutters become full of leaves, dirt, and other debris, water begins to build up, eventually finding other paths to the ground. This can cause widespread water damage if not dealt with in a timely manner. The best option is to clean your gutters regularly, particularly in the spring and fall when organic material tends to build up on roofs and in gutters.
Clean chimneys and vent exits
Major points of interest in any roof include anywhere with an opening. This includes (but is not limited to) chimneys and vent exits. These are areas where it is particularly easy for water and debris to enter, but are harder to notice than other areas because they tend to be hidden. Enough of a build-up in areas such as chimneys can lead to cracks and leaks that put your home in danger. Once again, these jobs can sometimes be done by the homeowner, but hiring professional cleaning/repairs contractors may be necessary, particularly in cases where damage is already ongoing.
Clear moss, algae, and detritus
If you have ever seen a house that has been abandoned for several years, you already know the consequences of letting moss and algae grow on your rooftop. As small plants and lichens such as these grow and die on your rooftop, they begin to leave behind layers of dirt and dead plant material that provide a fertile topsoil for larger plants to grow. Bit by bit, mosses give way to grasses and eventually large plants. The weight of these plants puts unnecessary strain on your roof, and roots get in between shingles and boards, causing cracks and weak points. While most homeowners never let the situation become this out of control, even small plants and grasses can do damage to your roof, to the point where it may have to be replaced. Cleaning off organic material before it gets to that point is a vital responsibility of every homeowner.
Re-caulk cracks and borders
Whether on your rooftop or anywhere else in the house with the potential for leaking, replacing caulk is an easy way to prevent water from seeping in and doing damage. If you see old caulk visibly dried up or peeling out, this is a sign that it is time to re-caulk and reseal those vulnerable areas.
Check your insulation
We all know that high quality shingles are an important aspect of keeping your home safe from damage, but what you may not know is that insulation is also a key factor. Rooftop insulation is easy to miss when inspecting your home, but it is an important part of the picture, whether in regards to the structural integrity of your roof, or its energy efficiency profile. Once in a long while, insulation may need to be replaced, particularly if the roof itself is damaged and needs repairs.