Regular roof inspections increase roof longevity and decrease repair costs. Try to have routine maintenance performed on your roof at least once yearly. However, twice a year is preferable. Not only will this identify necessary repairs, it can also lead to damage prevention by spotting weaknesses in advance.
Complete these roof maintenance tasks every year as needed:
1. Cut Trees Away From Roof Line
Trees can cause damage to roofs in one of two ways. Either from the collection of leaves pilling up and retaining moisture which can later lead to rot or from falling limbs during storms.
Cut back any tree limbs that are growing directly above your roof to significantly reduce the risk of damage. If you live in a particularly storm-prone location keep an eye on tree growth throughout the year.
2. Blow All Leaves and Debris Away From Valleys and Gutters
Any leaves and debris that has collected on your roof may seem inconsequential. But keep in mind that leaves and debris can move into gutters and cause clogs or get caught in the valleys of your roof.
If leaves get caught in valleys and aren’t cleared for a period of time they can retain water and cause shingles to rot.
3. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
The gutters and downspouts on your home are vital for the proper redirection of water from your roof. When clogged with debris, water may rise and pour back into the roof. This can eventually lead to weaknesses in the roof that will require repair.
Professionals recommend cleaning gutters twice yearly. The best times are in Spring and Fall. If you have trees surrounding your home, consider checking your gutters as much as four times a year to keep an eye on any buildup of debris.
When cleaning this area on your roof, pay attention to any loose parts. If your gutters are loose they may not correctly direct water due to a misalignment. You can have these problems fixed as part of your yearly maintenance.
4. Seal All Vents, Walls and Protrusions
If vents, walls, and protrusions are not properly sealed it can allow water to leak through and eventually lead to water damage and weaknesses in the structure of the roof itself.
Having these spots on your roof sealed once every two to three years can help to prevent potential future problems. Catching these problems early can save the hassle and expense of dealing with a leaky roof and water damage later.
5. Wash Roof
Algae and debris will buildup on your roof throughout the year. While this won’t cause immediate damage, algae can eventually begin to cause shingles to rot.
Approach this in two ways:
Wash with a 50:50 water and bleach solution or a biodegradable alternative
Install copper or zinc strips to the roof peak to prevent further growth
Don’t be alarmed by staining as this is normal for humid parts of the US, like Florida. However, take note of any spots that are warped or moist before cleaning. These are areas that need further investigation.
Note: Pay special attention to your roof’s warranty. There may be clauses around how often you must clean your roof to uphold your warranty.
Have a Professional Roof Inspection Conducted
While you can try performing more simple roof maintenance tasks on your own, it’s wise to hire a professional to perform a thorough roof inspection at least once a year.
If the professional comes across any concerning areas they will be able to complete the roof repair for you.
Check these spots on your roof yearly:
When inspecting your roof each year pay special attention to the following areas. Look for any signs of damage or weakness. It’s better to catch problems early than wait for them to progress.
After storms or periodically for yearly maintenance, take a look at your roof and search for any damaged shingles. If you spot any that may need to be replaced get into contact with a roofing professional immediately. They will be able to easily change out damaged shingles and prevent any long-term damage from occurring.
What You’re Looking For: Missing, curling, cracking, or peeling shingles
2. Attic and Ceilings
Keep an eye on your ceilings and attic as these can give obvious signs of roof leaks. If you notice water stains or other signs of cracks in your roof, it’s time to check the roof and search for any visible weaknesses.
What You’re Looking For: Mold, mildew, water stains, peeling paint, and cracking or rotting in beams
3. Check For Hail or Wind Damage
Check your roof for hail or wind damage to ensure that it hasn’t been compromised. Hail damage can be spotted in a number of ways, most notably in dented gutters and visible pots of impact where granules on shingles have come loose.
Wind damage, on the other hand, can come in the form of curled, lifted, or completely torn shingles. This is problematic as it exposes the roof to potential water damage.
What You’re Looking For: Curled, lifted, or lost shingles, and signs of hail impact on roof or gutters
4. Tracking Your Roof Records
Keeping track of roof records might not be your first thought for roof maintenance, but it’s an important task. Tracking all your records on roof maintenance and health will help you to better determine how well your roof is performing and how much longer it will last before potentially needing a full replacement.
You should try to keep these records from the time your roof is first installed.
What You’re Looking For: Documentation on re-shingling, restoration, gutter replacement, roof cleanings
5. Check For Nail Pops and Loose Nails at Vents
The roof will expand and contract based on temperature changes. This can result in nails popping out of place or loosening. You can find a situation of nail pops where shingles have raised. Shingles will raise when they are no longer secured by nails that have popped out of place.
To prevent nails pops and loose nails at vents seal your roof every two to three years.
What You’re Looking For: Raised shingles
When should you inspect your roof?
Regular roof inspections should occur once to twice a year. But, in the case of lakes or storms, the circumstances shift. It’s never good to wait on fixing a potential problem as damages can only get worse or more costly as time passes.
1. After Storms
Always check your roof after a storm. Strong storms can wreak havoc on your roof and it’s better if you catch signs of damage early. If you notice anything concerning try to get a professional to your home immediately to assess damages and solutions.
2. If You See a Leak
If you notice a damp, warped spot on your roof or leaking from the ceilings of your home it would be wise to address the situation as quickly as possible. Call a local roofing company to access the leak and determine if it is being caused by a compromised spot on your roof.
3. Standard Maintenance Periods
The best times of the year to have your roof maintenance performed is during the Spring or Fall. These times are after the more extreme seasons of the year when damage is more likely to have occurred.
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