Maintaining your roof doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many things you can do that won’t cost you anything to maintain your roof, but will extend the lifetime of your roof. When you properly maintain your roof, you will save money.
Hiring a roofing expert to perform an inspection twice a year is the best way to identify minor issues early on and fix them before they become big problems. Here are the six things you can do to maintain your roof in between inspections:
#1 Remember to clean your gutters regularly.
Clogged gutters are a recipe for disaster. Not only can they damage your roof, but they can also cause water infiltration in your whole house.
The most common causes of clogged gutters are leaves and sticks. Once they get in your gutters, they form a plug and prevent the water from draining. Eventually, the water accumulates and penetrates underneath the roofing structure. Water damage on your roof needs to be addressed immediately. Otherwise, the water will get inside your house, damaging your ceilings and walls.
The easiest way to avoid this is to clean your gutters regularly. Safely go up on a ladder to reach your gutters. Use a scoop to remove the debris and put them in a bucket. Once you removed all the debris, flush the gutters with a garden hose. Use a high-pressure hose and start at the far end. Keep moving towards the downspout and be careful not to get any water underneath the roof shingles.
Make sure all the water you use to flush the gutters comes out of the downspout. If not, it means there is a blockage. Check for debris and remove them. If there is a clog, you can use a plumber’s snake to remove it.
Do this process at least twice a year. If there are a lot of trees near your roof, clean them more often because leaves and sticks will accumulate faster in your gutters.
#2 Maintain your roof by maintaining the environment around your home
Big trees around your house are beautiful but be careful not to let their branches get too close to your roof. Indeed, if they are directly above or near your roof, they are more likely to fall on it during a storm and cause damage.
Also, the more branches you have around your house, the more leaves are on your roof. They retain moisture and increase the risk of water damage. They can also accumulate faster in your gutters and cause them to clog and overflow.
Trim tree branches if they start growing close to your house or your gutters to prevent those issues. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire a landscaping company to help you. Also, make sure to get rid of the leaves on your roof if there are many. You can use a leaf blower or a roof leaf rake.
#3 Maintain and replace your shingles when necessary.
The elements can be rough on your roof and damage the shingles. Summer is especially hard on roofs because the hot sun cracks or shrinks shingles. If you live in an area where there are a lot of storms, check your roof regularly for missing shingles, as strong winds can easily tear them off. Maintaining your roof by replacing your shingles can save you a lot of money.
If you are missing shingles or if some of them are damaged, you need to take care of the problem immediately. Otherwise, you risk having moss or fungal growth and water damage to your roof. If you cannot fix or replace the shingles yourself, call a roofing professional to help you.
#4 Inspect the roof for moss.
Inspecting the roof for moss is especially important if you live in a humid climate. Moss can compromise the integrity of your roof. Moreover, it can accumulate under shingles, creating a space where water and debris can penetrate. This can cause leaks, and if you do not fix the issue quickly, it can eventually rot.
If you see moss on your roof, you need to get rid of it. There are many roof cleaning products available on the market that you can use. You can also make your own by mixing liquid chlorine bleach and water.
There are two things you should avoid when removing moss: scraping and pressure washing the roof. These methods can do more harm than good and break or crack your shingles.
#5 In the winter, remove heavy snow from the roof.
Clearing snow from your roof is not always needed as it can withstand normal winter conditions. However, it is best to do if your area experiences an unusual accumulation of snow, especially if there is a period of freezing rain.
When wet, snow can get heavy fast, increasing the risk of collapse. This is especially true if you live in an older home. Clearing snow also helps prevent water infiltration.
If you have to remove snow, do so carefully. Use a tool without sharp or cutting edges to avoid damaging your shingles. Do not completely remove the snow. Leave the bottom layer to make sure you are not damaging the roof.
You can remove the snow by yourself if you feel confident. However, it can be dangerous, and it might be best to call your roofing specialist. They have the expertise and equipment necessary to do the job safely.
#6 Do not forget about your attic!
You might think that insulating the attic is a waste of money, but the attic is a huge part of maintaining your roof. Indeed, heat goes up, which means it eventually ends up in the attic. In the winter, if the attic is not insulated, the heat will melt the snow on your roof. As the temperature drops outside, the snow will freeze again. If this cycle happens too often, the risk of water damage to your roof and your house increases.
The attic is also a great place to inspect to identify any issues with your roof. Look for any signs of water infiltration or mold. If you see a spot brighter than others in your attic ceiling, you could have a missing shingle on your roof.
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