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Use these eight roof maintenance tips if you have never owned a house before and don’t know anything about maintaining the roof. Read on!
The roof of your home is an element most homeowners overlook and pay the slightest attention to, yet it plays an important role. Aside from making your roof aesthetically pleasing, most homeowners don’t require much from the roofing.
Generally, it is responsible for keeping your family and possessions protected. It can last for 20 to 30 years with regular maintenance to keep out the weather elements.
Over time, the integrity of the roof can steadily deteriorate. Most find it hard to notice this deterioration. The constant barrage of storms and water leaks can result in rot, mold formation, and damage to the roofing material. Although most of these issues are hard to pinpoint, they can result in costly maintenance and repairs.
If you want to keep your roof in good shape, here are several tips:
Inspect the Shingles Every Season
During every season, it brings about challenges specific to the weather conditions during that time. The warm, humid months can cause damage from the sun and hurricanes, while the cold months expose your roof to snow and possible leaks by melting snow. With this in mind, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough inspection of your shingles and other roofing materials every season.
Make sure to check the shingles for indications of excessive wear or damage, noting down if any are missing or need replacement. Assess the integrity of the caulk bordering the flashing and the vent pipes. Don’t forget to check for any areas with moss or lichen since it indicates the possibility for material decay under those shingles.
Deal with any potential problem spots right away to prevent minor issues from getting worse.
Clean and Maintain the Gutters
As one of the crucial elements, the gutters are responsible for directing water and debris away from the roof and your home’s foundation. One way to ensure your gutters are doing fine is to keep them free of debris, leaves, and branches.
If there are no nearby trees close to your home, it’s best to clean the gutters at least twice a year to ensure unobstructed water flow. If you have trees in your yard, make sure to clean the gutters quarterly to keep them working.
Remove Debris Off the Roof
Aside from the gutters, you should also remove any leaves, tree branches, and other debris on top. You need to pay close attention to valleys and areas behind skylights and chimneys since the debris will likely build up in these locations.
You can tackle the cleaning task by using a leaf blower or a broom to sweep away all the debris. Avoid using a power washer since it produces an excessive force that can severely damage the shingles or even remove them.
Know When to Call a Professional
There are various measures available to protect your roof. Aside from regular inspections, you can also remove debris and keep the gutters clear to ensure water flows freely by calling in local roofing contractors to ensure timely repairs. Some of the signs you need to call a professional include the following:
- Missing shingles
- Discolored or damaged shingles
- Water leaks inside your home or water stains on the ceiling
- Presence of birds, rodents, and other pests on your roof
- Signs of moss, algae, or lichen growth
- Sagging spots
- Pooling of water
- Torn flashing or any visible damage
Once you notice an issue with the roof, the earlier you call a professional, the less likely the problem to worsen and help save on costly repairs.
Replace the Caulk Around Flashings
Roof flashing is on all sides of the chimney and vent pipes to prevent water seepage. To ensure that it can effectively protect against leaks is to inspect and replace the caulk regularly.
When conducting an inspection, carefully check if the caulk is missing or starting to peel away in any area. Carefully scrape out the old caulk and apply a new bead to fill in any gaps if these are present.
Trim Nearby and Low Hanging Tree Branches
As part of routine roof maintenance, make sure to trim any low-hanging branches close to the roof. When tree branches hang close on the roofing, they can cause damage, such as repeatedly scraping on the shingles or falling during a storm.
Inspect the Ventilation in the Attic
The ventilation in the attic is an essential component of the roofing system. When your roof cannot breathe, the combination of heat and moisture can wreak havoc on your roofing system and diminish the overall effectiveness of your insulation.
In some houses, they lack proper ventilation, which can result in heat damage. Some of the indications of poor ventilation include heat damage on your roof, deteriorating insulation, formation of mold or mildew in the attic, and the development of ice dams during the winter.
Treat Algae, Moss and Lichen Regularly
While inspecting the roof, you should also watch out for the growth of moss, algae, or lichen. If you allow them to grow, it can put your roof at risk for extensive damage and an undesirable look for your home.
Moss can be an issue of concern since once it develops roots, it can rapidly spread and cause the lifting of the shingles. If you overlook this issue, it can result in significant damage requiring a total roof replacement.
Once you find even a tiny growth of moss, you can brush it away. Brush in a downward direction to prevent any damage to the shingles.
When dealing with extensive growth, calling in a professional will ensure a thorough clean. Once the roof is dry and free of debris, apply preventive copper and zinc products to discourage moss, algae, and lichen from growing back.
Regular maintenance for your roof will go a long way in keeping it in good shape for years to come. However, knowing when to call a professional will also greatly help. When problems develop beyond your capacity, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to save the hassle of costly repairs. Along with these measures, such as regular inspection for damage, cleaning the roof and gutters, treating for moss or algae, and cutting tree branches, your roof can stay structurally sound and effectively protect your home from the elements.