Too often, homeowners take an "install it and forget about it" attitude when it comes to their roofs. Just like the rest of the home, the roof requires some periodic general maintenance to remain in good shape so it can last for as long as possible. The following roof care tips are the key to getting many long years of service out of your roof.
Tip #1: Stay Debris Free
Debris on the roof is one of the major causes for damage. Fallen leaves, twigs, and blown in dirt can collect on top the roof, especially inside gutters. This debris holds moisture, which can cause rot or moss growth. The result is damaged shingles, fascia, and gutters.
Clean out your gutters in both spring and fall. And while you are on the ladder, use a garden hose to rinse off any other debris on your roof.
Tip #2: Schedule Prompt Pruning
Nearby trees can also be the cause of major damage. Proper pruning is the key to preventing this. Trim back any branches that overhang the roof. Even if they aren't touching the roof, they can cause damage if they break off during a storm. Falling twigs and leaves are also a nuisance on the roof. It's also a good idea to remove any weak or diseased trees on the property, since these can fall down during a storm.
Tip #3: Develop an Eye for Danger
Quick visual inspections each time you are outside working around the yard or house will clue you in to trouble before it becomes severe. Below are a few examples of what you should be looking for:
- If you notice a lot of gravel in your gutters, your shingles may be damaged and are falling apart.
- Check for any visible missing or damaged shingles.
- Sawdust on the roof, or small holes in the eaves, can indicate pest problems, such as carpenter ants, termites, or woodpeckers.
- Make sure no part of the roof looks sunken or is collecting water.
Tip #4: Peek Inside the Attic
Your attic can tell you a lot about your roof. Take a quick peak every month to make sure there are no signs of water damage, including wet spots on the ceiling, wet insulation, or smell of mold or mildew.
Tip #5: Schedule an Inspection
Annual professional inspections can save you a lot in the long run. It's a good idea to stay off the roof yourself, since this is a quick way to cause damage. A professional roofing contractor, on the other hand, knows how to safely traverse the roof. They can get up there and spot trouble before it becomes severe.