Proper Roof Maintenance will extend the life of your roof, that is a fact you need to keep in mind.
Very few home improvement projects cost more than a new roof. This alone is enough reason to keep it in pristine condition for as long as possible. Regardless of the roofing material, the structure will eventually give in to wear and tear, exacerbated by extreme weather and the lack of proper maintenance—even the most affordable composite shingle roof costs at least $12,000. So, after investing your hard-earned money to install a new roof, you need to protect it.
You couldn’t be more wrong to think that a newly installed roof doesn’t need your attention. Again, proper roof maintenance will extend your roof’s life span.
Regardless of age, the structure must be regularly inspected to ensure that it’s in excellent condition. Appropriate maintenance will extend its life. But as someone who doesn’t really go up there to check what’s going on, you’re clueless about what comprises the term “proper maintenance.” Here’s what you need to know:
1 – Gutter Cleaning
Did you know that when your gutters are clogged with debris, the overflow can both go downwards and upwards? Aside from the wet basement and damaged paint on the side of your house, clogged gutters force water into the roof decking and rafters. Since these components are usually made from wood boards, the presence of water in them leads to rotting. That type of damage could amount to thousands of dollars in repair work.
You can avoid costly repair on your roofing components caused by water penetration by merely cleaning the gutters – do it every fall and spring. If you’re not up to the task, you can hire a contractor for a $100 job.
Pro Tip: Installing gutter protection, i.e., gutter guards and mesh, helps prevent clogging and reduce the need to clean the gutters.
2 – Mind the Moss
Some roofing materials are vulnerable to moss, i.e., wood and composite shingles. Moss looks like black algae, but you need to get rid of it from the onset, unlike black algae. Black algae affect the roof’s aesthetics, but it doesn’t hurt it. You’ll easily remove it with bleach and water.
On the other hand, moss must be dealt with right away because it traps water. If you ignore the buildup of moss on your roof, it’ll cause multiple problems such as added weight to the roof, rotting, and blocking the drainage points. Prevent the growth and eventual buildup of moss by using potassium salts of fatty acids. A more aggressive approach requires the use of chemicals like zinc sulfate.
Pro Tip: Put zinc strips on your roof to prevent the likelihood of another growth. Hire a roofer when using pesticide on your roof, especially when you’re near a river or lake.
3 – Find a Solution Against Ice Dams
Ice buildup puts all types of roofing material at risk. The pressure and weight take their toll even on the most durable and expensive roofing material. Although removing some of the snow in between storms provide a remedy, it’s wrong to try to pry off an ice dam. Doing so may damage the roof and cause a leak, which you wanted to prevent in the first place.
The key is finding a way to reduce the risk of ice dams forming on your roof. Start by improving attic insulation and sealing air leaks. You’ll notice a significant improvement in the next winter if you invest in better insulation.
Pro Tip: Use heated cables to prevent ice dams. Attach the cables along the roof’s edge using clips. The heated cables work by balancing the roof’s temperature by heating it from the outside. It’s an alternative to the traditional method of blowing in cold air.
4 – Detect Roof Damage
The roof is at its most vulnerable state after a hailstorm, torrential rain, or strong wind. The key to extending its life is to inspect it right after a storm hits. You don’t have to do the fixing yourself, but you must learn the signs of a damaged roof. Look for the telltale signs like:
- Damaged flashing around the chimney, skylight, vents, and all other roof openings
- Missing or loose shingles
- Visible water infiltration
- Broken gutters and downspouts
- Loose debris
- Granule loss
If you notice something out of the ordinary, call a local roofing contractor right away for a comprehensive inspection. The idea is to act on it as soon as possible. Most of the roof damage after a storm can be fixed at a cheap. The cost goes up if you continue ignoring it.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to call your insurance company. Figure out if the damage is extensive enough for it to be covered by your home insurance. If not, it’ll be more practical to hire a roofer directly to perform the minor repairs.
5 – Prevent Tree Damage
Preventing tree damage is a critical part of your roof maintenance routine. Trim overhanging branches to keep leaves from accumulating on the roof and gutters. By keeping a reasonable space between a tree and your roofing system, you reduce the risk of moss growth, too. Even a small branch can puncture a roof when it breaks. It’s best to get rid of an overgrown tree near your house.
Pro Tip: Maintain a gap of 10 feet between your roof and tree branches. If branches get any closer, they’ll act as a bridge for rodents to gain access to your home via the roof. If there’s a significant presence of rodents on your property, wrap the trunk of a nearby tree with a sheet metal bank to discourage them from climbing.
To Get Proper Roof Maintenance, Hire a Pro
Local roofing contractors offer a customized maintenance plan for your roof, so there’s no reason to get stressed out. Find one that suits your budget but see to it that you compare multiple quotes. It makes sense to spend on maintenance and repair instead of paying top dollar for a roof replacement job.