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How To Properly Maintain Your Roof

February , 2023 | 17 min. read

By Joe Martinez

birds eye view of roof on large home

When it comes to home maintenance, keeping a roof over your head should be at the top of the list. That’s because a well-maintained roof keeps out the weather, the bugs, and other pesky critters that would like to make your home their home. It helps keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot outside. A properly maintained roof can last for decades without a roof replacement.

However, sooner or later even the most perfectly maintained roof will start to show its age. While there are several things you can do to keep a roof over your head longer, there are some maintenance tasks that are best left to the professionals. RoofCrafters has helped homeowners like you maintain their roofs for nearly 3 decades now, and sadly we see that many people fail to properly take care of their homes' greatest asset.

We want you to avoid getting an F on your inspection report card and make sure your roof stays in perfect working condition throughout the duration of its lifespan, so we've come up with a list of roof maintenance tips and tricks. In this article,  you'll learn how to detect signs of trouble before it strikes, tree and gutter care, as well as your next steps if you do happen to stumble upon some roof damage. Let's get started!



Out of Sight Out of Mind?


Most homeowners don’t give their roof a second thought until a storm passes through town or a leak rears its ugly head. What these people don’t understand is that if you ignore your roof, you will not only limit its useful life, but you’ll also end up paying more when it comes time to repair or replace it.

loose shingle on roof

If your roof is in disrepair, when a storm whips up the wind it will cause much more damage than it would to a well-maintained roof. High winds can peel shingles back or tear them loose, and once shingles are damaged, it can be weeks or months before leaks are detected. In the meantime, the water that has slowly been trickling into your home can cause everything from rot and mold to water damage and electrical short circuits. 



Spotting The Signs of Trouble Before It's Too Late


Just like a good detective novel, signs of roof rot leave clues that are subtle but telling if you know where to look. While some of them can only be seen by climbing atop the roof, others can be seen from ground level. If you ever leave your home only to find a piece of shingle lying in your yard or on your driveway after a thunderstorm, this is a sure sign of wear and tear. So too is a rough or uneven-looking roof.

As a roof ages, wind and weather can bend, buckle, or break shingles. It can crack caulking and cause gutters to sag. If you see obvious signs of damage, it's time to have a professional roofing contractor assess your roof in greater detail. Secondary signs of damage include missing or exposed fasteners, loose or buckled flashing, as well as piles of granules that have been shed from the shingles.

Is it Time to Trim Your Trees?


While they're not attached to your roof, trees can do major damage to any roof if a branch falls on or come into contact with shingles. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that tree limbs hanging a foot or more above the roof can’t fall on or scrape against it in a windstorm. If you’ve ever seen trees whip around in a thunderstorm, then you know that branches can move several feet when severe weather occurs.

It doesn’t take a hurricane to cause trees to peel shingles from your roof or cause a heavy limb to come crashing down atop your home. The best time to trim the trees on your property is during autumn and winter when they aren’t growing.  Consider the next time that you can take stock of any trees that are near to or overhang your home. 

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Is Your Mind in the Gutter? 


gutter filled with leaf litter

Well, maybe it should be. That’s because another source of roof leaks can occur when gutters back up if they get clogged with leaf litter and dirt. Left unchecked, clogged gutters can cause severe damage to your roof since water that can’t find its way to the ground can back up beneath shingles. 

Clogged gutters can also become so heavy that they warp the eaves or come crashing down to earth. If it’s been more than a year since you cleaned your gutters, this is the perfect time of year to do so. It also wouldn’t hurt to sweep or blow any leaves and twigs that have accumulated on the roof.

What Should I Do If I Detect Roof Damage?


While everyone wants to save money, unless you’re a professional roofer, trying to repair roof damage can actually cause more damage than it cures. There are 3 unappealing reasons why, which include:

  1. Invalidating your roof warranty

  2. Missing collateral damage

  3. Taking a trip to the emergency room

1. A DIY Repair Can Invalidate Your Warranty

All manufacturer’s warranties are predicated on the proper handling and installation of the materials involved. If you try to repair or replace shingles yourself, it’s likely that you will invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty. Instead of gambling with your roof warranty, if you spot obvious signs of wear and tear, it’s much more prudent to contact the roofing company that installed it to assess the damage and make the repair.



2. You’re More Likely to Miss Collateral Damage


Even if you successfully make the repair, how do you know if there was any subsidiary damage done to the underlayment, roof timbers, or other areas of your home? Professionals know where to look for the collateral damage that can cost you big bucks months or years later. They also have the experience to mitigate any less-than-obvious damage before it turns into a big headache for any homeowner.

3. Saving a Few Bucks Is Not Worth a Trip to The ER


Whether the inner handyman in us would like to admit it, roofing is a risky business. That’s why professional roofers wear safety harnesses and have requirements they must follow when completing a project. Falling off a ladder or a roof could land you in the emergency room, so why risk your safety when you can call on a professional roofing company to safely and correctly repair or replace your roof when the time comes?

If you believe your roof is in need of a little TLC, or that it's time you start partaking in your suggested bi-yearly maintenance, it's never too late. Drop RoofCrafters a line on our contact page, and one of our friendly representatives will get your inspection scheduled as soon as possible.


In the meantime, we don't recommend trying to repair your roof when it is already showing signs of damage, but there are preventative measures you can take to extend the lifespan of your roof.  To learn how, read our article, "Maintenance Tips to Extend your Roofs Lifespan" so that you can be better prepared when it comes to taking care of your roof. 
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Joe Martinez

At RoofCrafters, our mission is to provide job opportunities for others to thrive and grow while making a meaningful impact within our communities.