As one of the key components to protecting your house from the outside environment, your home’ roof needs proper maintenance to keep it functioning properly. Your roof is designed to work synergistically with the insulation installed beneath the rafters, and the ventilation system in the attic that constantly removes collected heat and moisture. When properly designed, your roof will repel moisture and standing water for years.
There are 9 things you need to be doing to maintain your roof and maximize its performance, including:
1. Perform a Routine Inspection – Early warning signs that your roof needs attention include cracked caulk, buckled shingles, blistered or curled shingles, flashing with obvious signs of rust spots, or collected grit from disintegrating asphalt roof tiles found in the gutters.
2. Routine Maintenance of the Gutter System – The gutter system on your house is designed to remove all collected rainwater through the gutters, through the downspout, and away from the home’s foundation.
3. Replace Missing Shingles or Tiles – With only a thin sheet of roofing paper between the plywood and the shingle, your roof is highly susceptible to damage.
4. Trim Overgrown Plants and Tree Branches – Overgrown vegetation that hangs over the roof can potentially do damage to your home during intense wind or severe storms. Tree branches and plants provide a quick and easy way for rodents and squirrels to make their way to your rooftop, to gnaw at the siding and roofing material.
5. Prevent the Buildup of Ice Dams – Homes in cold climates are often subjected to ice buildups on the roof, which can potentially cause severe damage to the roofing materials. Professional roofers can steam away built-up ice and remove any remaining snow.
6. Look in the Attic for Signs of Water Damage – Water spots on the rafters, plywood and insulation can indicate a damaged roof with leak problems.
7. Remove Ivy and Moss Overgrowth – Neglecting ivy and moss growth on your roof can dramatically shorten its life span. Buildup of moss on an asphalt shingle is known to generate significantly more freeze-thaw damage during the cold winter months. Additionally, the overgrowth is known to hold considerably more moisture when growing on wood, which can speed up the rotting process. It is been shown that moss has the ability to crack ceramic and cement tiles.
8. Repair Damaged or Outdated Roofs – Any asphalt roof that has aged 15 years, or is showing the signs of aging, needs to be replaced. New innovative materials are shown to hold up better than roofing materials used in the past.
9. Hire Only Licensed Contractors – Whenever you need work done on cleaning, maintaining, installing or replacing your roof, obtain at least three bids from licensed contractors that are bonded and insured.