How to Maintain Your Roof

A new roof is not only a major investment – it’s also one of the most important home improvements you can make. It’s only commonsense to take care of that investment by regularly inspecting and maintaining your roof. Whether you choose to do some of the inspection and maintenance yourself, or prefer to have a professional roofing contractor handle that for you, you’re bound to increase the life of your roof by keeping it well maintained.

What to Look for When Inspecting Your Roof

It’s a good idea to inspect your roof twice a year: once in the spring and again in the fall. Since the two seasons with the most intense weather are usually winter and summer, you can make sure that your roof is in great shape before and after those two seasons by doing your inspections and repairs in the spring and fall.

Here are a few warning signs to look for during your next roof inspection:

  • Roof shingles or tiles that are curling or buckling
  • Cracked caulk
  • Rust on flashing and flashing that is separated from around chimneys, vents and skylights
  • Worn areas around chimneys, skylights and pipes
  • Piles of grit (can be an indication of worn asphalt shingles)
  • Algae, moss or lichen
  • Popped nails

Roof Maintenance and Repair

It’s vital that you make any needed roof repairs as soon as you notice the damage. The roof won’t mend itself on its own, and damage is likely to get worse quicker than you can imagine. In addition, there are some routine maintenance steps you should perform on a regular basis.

  • Repair or replace damaged shingles or tiles and hammer in any popped nails. Leaving a roof in disrepair can increase the possibility of leaks forming, and leaks normally lead to much more costly repairs needing to be made to other parts of the house.
  • Apply new caulk wherever needed.
  • Reattach existing flashing that has separated or install new flashing if needed.
  • Clean debris off of the roof. Leaves or other kinds of debris can collect and trap moisture, which can lead to algae or moss formation and other roof damage.
  • Clean out gutters. If gutters are clogged, water is likely to spill over the side, which can cause damage to your siding or cause accumulation of water in places where you don’t want it. It’s particularly important to clean your gutters in late fall, after the leaves have fallen and before winter sets in.
  • Trim tree branches to keep leaves, branches and other debris away from your roof. Tree branches also provide an avenue for small animals to get onto your roof and into attic vents.
  • Clean off dirt, mildew and algae as soon as you notice it.

If you’re not comfortable doing inspections, repairs and maintenance yourself, don’t hesitate to contact a professional roofing contractor. Hiring a roofer for inspection and maintenance will likely cost much less than you think, and the fee will be well worth it since it will mean your roof can last years longer than it would otherwise.

rooftop | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mishmoshimoshi/1338160344/in/photostream/Author: mishmoshimoshi http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en