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Does It Pay to Play with Your Roof?

December 22nd, 2020 | 8 min. read

Does It Pay to Play with Your Roof?

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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. But like any other edifice, sooner or later any 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. In today’s blog, I will explore roof maintenance in detail. 


Out of Sight & Mind?

roofer on top of dormers


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


Can You Spot 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 high time to climb up on a ladder to assess your home’s 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 shed from the shingles. While you’re up there, also keep a weather eye for things like leaf litter, moss, and mold.


Is it Time to Trim Your Trees?


While 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 time to trim the trees on your property is during autumn and winter when they aren’t growing. That means now is the time to take stock of any trees that are near to or overhang your home. 


Is Your Mind in the Gutter? 


leaky gutter

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 You do if You 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. Here’s why:

  1. A DIY repair can invalidate the 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.



  1. 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 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.

  2. Is saving a few bucks worth a trip to the ER?

    Like it or not, roofing is a risky business. That’s why professional roofers wear safety harnesses. Falling off a ladder or a roof could land you in the emergency room or in the morgue. 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?
While we don't recommend trying to repair your roof when it is already showing signs of damage, there are preventative measures you can take to extend your roofs lifespan.  To learn how, read our articles: