While the roof is one of the most important parts of your home, it’s also one of the most neglected. The average homeowner gives little thought to the condition or maintenance needs of their roof until it starts to leak, at which point it’s usually too late. With a little bit of care and planning, you can add years to the life of your roof. Even better, you can also improve both the look and overall condition of the rest of your home in the process.
Check It Out Annually
Don’t wait for there to be problems with your roof before you decide to do anything about it. At a bare minimum, you should inspect your roof once a year, ideally in the fall, before cold and rainy weather set in. This lets you take care of any problems before winter issues can make them worse. While this works as a minimum amount of attention, your roof will maintain its good condition longer if you also check it in the spring or early summer to see how it survived the winter conditions.
Clean the Debris
Tree limbs, dirt and other debris can take a toll on your roof material over time. Wash the debris off your roof or climb up and remove it with a blower, being sure to follow good safety habits if you decide to go up yourself. If you’re unable to remove some of the debris safely, leave it and call a professional.
Look for Overhanging Branches
Trees near your home can provide good shade during the summer, but as winter sets in they can become a hazard. Limbs and branches that hang over your roof can not only drop seeds, leaves and pollen that can make a mess, but those limbs or branches can end up scraping against your roof and prematurely wear out sections of the roof.
Keep Your Gutters Clean
Most people clean their gutters to keep the water from falling over the side, but there are other reasons to keep them clean. If your gutters are clogged, all of that organic material holds moisture and keeps it right next to the edge of your roof. Over time, this can cause the wood in the roof edge to soften and rot. This can, in turn, lead to your gutters pulling free and dry rot along your roof eaves.
Look for Signs of Damage or Excessive Wear
Even quick visual inspections throughout the year can make a big difference in keeping your roof healthy. Areas that seem damp even when everything else looks dry, shingles or flashing that is visibly damaged or pulled up, mold growth on certain spots, damp spots in the attic and other signs of distress are all good ways of telling that there’s some problem with your roof that needs to be handled.
Certain parts of your roof need to be maintained primarily areas were flashing is integrated, roof vent collars, or sealing around nails or screws. These areas periodically need to be sealed as they wear down faster than the roofing material.
Calling in a Roofer
Even if you’re diligent when it comes to keeping your roof clean and looking for signs of damage, you may reach a point where you’ll need to bring in a roofer for repairs or a full roof replacement. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry; I am here to help and have great roofer references for to share with you.