Roof Maintenance Tips and Tricks
May , 2023 | 6 min. read
By David Toth
Other than buying a home, replacing your roof can be one of the more costly decisions a homeowner can make. Fortunately, it’s one you don’t have to make all that often. To ensure that your roof, old or new, lives up to its potential of 15 to 20 years, it's important to conduct proper maintenance. I know, it's not the most fun or even rewarding of household chores, but it's important and will save you money on potential issues in the long run.
RoofCrafters has been repairing and replacing roofs since the top-played song on the radio was none other than I'll Make Love to You by Boyz II Men, so needless to say, we've seen some things in our years. In fact, a large percentage of the repairs that we conduct are due to a lack of maintenance. We're not just yanking your chain, people! This stuff is important.
All of this being said if you’re looking to lengthen the life of your roof, avoid future repairs, and wait an ample amount of time until your next roof replacement, maintenance is key. We want to help you achieve that goal, so we've written you a guide about ten roof maintenance tips you should be putting into action. So, let's jump right in!
Trim Your Trees
If your property is heavily wooded, you’ll want to make sure your trees are trimmed on a regular basis. Overhanging limbs can cause scouring or even rip the shingles right off your roof if they are allowed to grow unchecked.
If you want to avoid roof damage, you'll need to keep branches at least 10 feet away from the roof if you want to be safe. A passing thunderstorm can produce wind speeds high enough to whip tree limbs more than six feet.
Sweep Leaves and Debris Off Your Roof
Aside from limbs, trees are known to shed leaves and twigs from time to time. This leaf litter can accumulate on a roof to the point where it forms a dam that can undermine your roof system and/or clog the gutters.
Either way, standing water can work its way beneath shingles to soak the underlayment, warp decking, or even spawn leaks. The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly sweep off your roof and clean out the gutters. The best way to prevent standing water in your gutter from happening is to regularly sweep off your roof and clean out the gutters.
Is Your Roof Giving The Attic a Bad Case of Asthma?
Another problem that significantly reduces a roof’s effective lifespan is poor ventilation. Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can build up in the attic. If left unchecked, this can cause shingles to warp, lumber to rot, insulation to fail, and a roof to buckle.
If roof vents get blocked or attic insulation is insufficient, it can cause serious problems for your home’s roof. The best way around this is to install an attic fan to help your attic breathe easier, and have a professional roof inspection to make sure your attic is in good shape.
Look Up to Keep Costs Down
Unless there’s a roof leak, most people don’t give their home’s roof a second thought. But maybe they should. Especially after a windstorm or heavy thunderstorm passes through your neighborhood, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look up at the roof to see if anything is amiss. A quick scan is usually all it takes to note a fallen branch, as well as any obvious signs of roof damage.
Bats in the Belfry
If you haven’t poked your head in your attic in years, there are quite a few nasty things that can take place up there. Rodents and insects can enter an attic and make quite a mess which can undermine any roof system.
Leaks can get started which if left unchecked can cause you big problems weeks or months later. The best way to keep your attic from giving you nightmares down the road is to pop your head up there a couple of times a year to make sure that everything is shipshape.
Missing mortar or cracked bricks can not only spawn leaks but can also cause roof damage should a brick fall off the chimney. Part of an effective roof inspection should include checking the chimney and chimney cap for signs of wear and tear.
Everywhere a chimney, skylight, or vent protrudes through a roof, flashing is added to make a watertight seal. Time and weather can cause flashing to crack or warp, which in turn can allow moisture to penetrate into your home.
If you see dented, cracked, or discolored flashing anywhere on your roof, call a roofing contractor to have them inspect and either repair it before failed flashing causes further damage.
Not only can insufficient insulation reduce the lifespan of a roof it can cost you more every time you pay your utility bill. Attic insulation is designed to do everything from controlling heat loss and gain to preventing the formation of mold.
If you discover that your air conditioner just won’t quit running during the dog days of summer, this should clue you in that you may need to add additional insulation to the attic.
Fungus Among Us
Other things to note during a roof inspection are any streaks or discolorations. These can be the first telltale signs of mold, moss, algae, or fungus growing on your roof. If left unchecked, these growths can shorten the life of a roof and cause leaks.
Removing these growths may require you to contact a local roofing company. To prevent them from growing back you need to have zinc strips installed along the roof ridge. This will provide an eco-friendly barrier from mold, moss, algae, and fungus growth.
Cracked or Damaged Roofing Material
If you detect cracks in shingles, flashing, or caulking, don’t delay having them repaired or replaced. If left to their own devices, cracks can turn into leaks which can start a daisy chain of unpleasant things that won’t just reduce the lifespan of a roof, it can cause everything from water damage and mold to rot and electrical short circuits.
Should I Maintain My Roof to Extend its Lifespan?
Yes, you absolutely can and should maintain your roof to extend its lifespan. Your roof is one of, if not the most, important components of your home. It protects you, your family, and your precious belongings from the elements. Whether you want to or not, you need to take care of your roof. If you don’t, you’ll be dishing out some serious cash on a new roof prematurely.
In this article, we’ve given you 10 great tips on maintaining your roof for longevity. You’ve been given our best tips, so put don’t be shy and put them to use! Even though you're a roof maintenance guru now, you still need to keep up with your yearly professional maintenance inspections. If you’re due for your yearly check-up, schedule an inspection with RoofCrafters, today, and an eager professional will set up a meeting with you before you know it.
If you're curious and wish to learn more about roofing maintenance and other roofing services provided by RoofCrafters, feel free to browse the extensive resources listed in our learning center. We recommend reading "Prolonging the Life of Your Roof" next so that you can make sure you're taking the best possible care of your roof.
My name is David Toth and I am the lead estimator in North Florida with RoofCrafters Roofing. Originally from New Brunswick, I have called Florida home for the past 47 years. I enjoy cooking along with traveling to different historical areas in Florida when I have free time.