You roof tends to be one of the biggest investments you can make in your home. The roof protects your home and everything inside it, making it one of the most important investments as well. This makes taking good care of your roof a no-brainer. Every homeowner should take the steps necessary to increase the longevity of their roof, and keep it performing at it’s best.
This post is intended to give homeowners a well rounded list of seasonal tasks that can be done around your home to care for your asphalt shingle roof. Most of the tasks listed here won’t take up too much of your time, but they will go a long way in keeping your roof in good shape for longer. If you complete all of the simple chores listed here every season, you can save yourself a big chunk of dough down the road.
- Keep Traffic on the roof to a minimum:
- Most shingles are coated with special granules made from asphalt that add color protect them from the elements. Too much walking around on the roof can knock these granules off, reducing their longevity. Walking around on the roof can also dislodge or damage the shingles themselves, so it’s best to keep foot traffic up on the roof to an absolute minimum.
- Observe best roofing safety practices
- Anytime you are doing work up on the roof there is a serious of injury. Anyone can fall at any time if they are not extremely careful. Hiring a professional roofing contractor is usually the best way to go, as they are specially trained and have all the proper safety equipment. If you must do any work up on the roof yourself, makes you use the utmost caution.
Fall Roofing Tasks
Certain tasks should be performed annually in order to keep your roof in the best working order all year round.
Clean Your Gutters
The gutter system on your home has a very important purpose, and therefore it is important to keep on proper gutter maintenance. The gutters are intended to direct rainwater runoff from your shingles and guide it away from your house, but if the gutters become clogged with leaves and debris, sanding water can accumulate and find it’s way under your shingles possibly leading to water damage.
Remove Excess Debris
While trees are great when it comes to improving your landscape’s appeal, they are also a constant source of debris and upkeep. Pine cones, helicopter seeds from maple trees, and leaves dropping from deciduous trees in the fall are all a source of debris that could find its way up onto your roof.
All of this debris accumulating on your roof has the propensity to absorb or otherwise inhibit the flow of water down into the gutter system. All of that moisture gathering up on your roof for an extended period of time can cause damage to the shingles or the roof deck. Furthermore, debris that is on the roof can easily be washed down into the gutters clogging them up. The point is, you are going to have to get rid of this debris one way or another.
We recommend removing excess debris from your roof biannually. Once during summer and once towards the end of fall once the leaves in your neighborhood are mostly done falling (just be sure to complete this project before freezing temperature for safety’s sake). A leaf blower is the best too for this job, but you can use a broom as long you as you are sure not to get too aggressive.
Prune Nearby Trees
If you have trees near your house with overgrown branches, they could be posing a hazard to your roof. They could be rubbing against the shingles and disturbing those important asphalt granules, or they could potentially dislodge or damage the shingles. Branches hanging over the roof can also be a source of debris that you will need to clear away later, so its best to trim large tree branches in such a way that keeps them away from your house.
Watch Out For Moss
Certain conditions can contribute the growth of algae and moss on your roof. Some of these include a very wet climate, an excess of shade, and a roof that faces north. Moss can cause damage to your roof by growing under the shingles and dislodging them, allowing water to penetrate down to the roof deck. Not to mention, moss acts like a sponge and can hold alot of water, and standing water on the roof is never good.
Roofing Inspection Checklist
It’s important to make sure that all aspects of your roof are in good working order on a regular basis. While it is best to hire a professional for your regular roofing inspections to ensure that nothing gets missed, there are a few things you can look for on your own.
Check Potential Problem Areas To Ensure They Are Watertight
If you experience heavy rainfall or a rainstorm in your area, its good idea to do a simple walk around of your home after the clouds have cleared. Your goal should be to look for areas that show signs of excessive moisture. You can look out for gutter issues by looking for streaks of dirt on exterior walls. Check the seals around windows to look for gaps in the caulking or signs of water infiltration.
Flashing is used to create a waterproof seal in the seams where to planes of the roof join. You’ll often find flashing where roof vents are poking out. It is also found at in places where the roofing slopes join with a wall or meets another slope at a different angle. Flashing can be evaluated from the safety of an upstairs window. Look for any signs of damage like rust, dents, and missing fasteners or sealant.
Look Out For Ice Dams!
This is an issue that homeowners should be looking out for every winter. Anytime there is freezing temperatures and especially snow accumulation on the rood, there is a risk of ice dam formation. Ice dams form when the attic is improperly insulated or has insufficient ventilation. Heat rising from inside the home melts snow on the roof. The water then flows the edge of the roof and refreezes, leading to an ice formation on the roofs edge. These can cause damage to the roof by trapping standing water and due to excess weight on the roofs edge.
Take Good Care Of Your Roof
With proper care and maintenance, your roof will last for years to come. Most roofing maintenance tasks are not that difficult to perform, and many are just plain common sense. Follow these tips to increase the longevity of your roof, and be sure to schedule a regular roofing inspection with your local roofing contractor.