Regardless of what type of roof you have or how durable the materials are, regular roof maintenance is required to prevent leaks and to ensure the quality of the roof for many more years. Even if you have just replaced or repaired your roof, there are many things you can do to make it last longer and keep it in excellent condition. In this article, we discuss the top roof maintenance tips for homeowners to make their roofs last for a long time.
Our roofing experts offer a free roof inspection if you need more than these basic maintenance tips.
Why Roof Maintenance Is Important
People tend to disregard their roofs when there are no obvious damages or leaks, which is why they are often one of the most neglected parts of the house. Most homeowners only check their roofs when there is a leak. As a general rule, you should have your roof inspected every year, but more often when:
A storm or disaster may damage your roof
Whenever gutters become overgrown with vegetation, such as wild vines and fallen leaves and twigs from trees
The roof on your house is more than ten years old
Roofs should be inspected regularly to avoid further damage to the roof. When left unattended, it can result in more extensive damage and more expensive roof replacement and associated repairs.
Do You Need Professional Roof Maintenance or Do It Yourself?
It is common for homeowners to do DIY roof maintenance to save money. Nonetheless, you should think about whether you can thoroughly inspect the roof or if you need a professional. If you DIY roof repairs and don't do it correctly, you might damage your roof, choose incompatible roofing materials, and end up spending more money over time.
Roof Maintenance Professionals
If you hire a professional roofer, you can be sure that your roof's condition is properly assessed for things like flashing damage (the material covering chimneys, skylights, and vents), surface wear, roof lap integrity, and overall degradation. APD Roofing advises on whether it is best to replace your roof or if it can still handle intensive weather conditions with certain repairs.
We provide a wide range of roof maintenance services, including:
A drone roof inspection uses high-definition cameras to inspect your roof from every angle and height.
A comprehensive roof repair report.
If you need roof repair, we can do it fast and at an affordable price.
Roof replacement if necessary, especially if an insurance claim is valid.
Make sure you address concerns when filing your insurance claim.
If you need a new roof and cannot afford it (or your insurance company won't cover it), we offer roof financing options.
We carefully analyze the roofing materials and take into account the roof's age. Properly maintained roofing materials can last for decades. For instance, tile roofs can be a bit more expensive at first, but they last a long time. Roofs made of tile are strong and environmentally friendly and can last up to 60 years with proper maintenance.
DIY Roof Maintenance
Roof repairs can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the damage and condition of the roof. However, the main concern is safety when it comes to DIY roof maintenance and repairs. It involves going up to your roof without the proper equipment and without the knowledge to accomplish the task.
Roofing professionals undergo extensive training related to safety, including fall protection. We at APD Roofing are equipped with safety gear and guardrails to prevent and handle accidents-and we are licensed and insured.
Pros of DIY Roof Maintenance
Compared with hiring a roofer, you can save hundreds of dollars
Repairs can be done immediately without scheduling with contractors
Cons of DIY Roof Maintenance
Buying roofing materials in retail can be more expensive than buying them in bulk.
Without assistance from a professional, you make the repairs yourself.
You lack the professional tools and equipment needed to do a quality job.
It is not safe for you to work on your roof without the proper safety gear.
It will take up a lot of your time, especially if you already have a full-time job or your own business.
If you plan to DIY roof repairs or general roof maintenance, make sure you decide which tasks you can do yourself and which ones you should leave to the professionals. Below are some minor roof maintenance tasks you may be able to do yourself without any problems:
Cleaning the gutters
The visual inspection of a roof leak or damage to the interior
Spray roof moss remover on most-affected areas
If you're willing to put in the extra effort, you can paint rusted areas with corrosion-resistant paint or any type of roofing paint that can be used in all weather conditions. The severity of the corrosion dictates how much paint you need. If sealants and roof paint can't fix the problem, it's time to contact a roofing professional.
Our Top Roof Maintenance Tips
As long as you know what the problem is and how it can be fixed, you can do some roof maintenance yourself. Below are some of the most common roofing problems discovered during an inspection:
Missing or cracked roofing materials
Rusted metal connecting the house foundations and roof
A leak in the ceiling or walls
Missing, damaged, curled, or cracked roof shingles
Roof decks that are sagging
You have water stains on your walls and ceilings
Water leaks inside the attic
Roof with rust spots
Paint peeling from exteriors and interiors
Gutters that are clogged
Improper roof ventilation
Algae growth on the roof due to wet areas
Brittle test - this is by breaking a shingle by bending it with little to no effort
Roof problems are not only visible from the outside. When there are leaks, moisture, and mold on the inside of the house, the telltale signs are usually found there. The following tips will help homeowners ensure their roofs are maintained correctly.
Tip #1: Clear Your Gutters Regularly
Rain gutter cleaning is a simple roof maintenance task most people can handle on their own. Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to pool and collect on the roof, eventually causing it to rust and rot.
Among the things that can clog a gutter are leaves, branches, sticks, debris from deteriorating shingles, and other environmental matters. In some instances, birds build nests on the gutter channels causing more obstructions. A pool of rainwater can cause further problems during winter if it freezes.
When cleaning gutters, use a sturdy ladder with a stabilizer. Keep safety in mind at all times. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and rubber gloves to prevent scratches. You can use an old spatula to scoop out the dirt and debris in the gutter channel. After it's clean, use a hose to flush out any remaining debris. Check the gutter structure for any sagging areas and anchor them if necessary.
Tip #2: Schedule Your Roof Maintenance During the Spring
When it comes to roof inspections, spring is the ideal time, because the weather will be favorable for any repairs that need to be made. During this time, the roofing business is often slower, so materials and labor costs may be lower. But, in reality, you should schedule maintenance when necessary.
As a result, you will feel more secure knowing that your roof will endure harsh weather conditions. APD Roofing provides professional roofing services at all times of the year to meet the needs of its customers.
Tip #3 Trim Vegetation and Trees Around Your Roof
When trees grow over and above the roof, they could be one of the main reasons for clogged gutters. Tree branches can break and fall on top of a roof during storms or other harsh weather conditions, causing it to collapse.
Every time your tree branches extend towards the roof, trim them. If the branches are not too high and you have the right tools, tree trimming is something you can do yourself. However, pruning a tree in the wrong season and area can kill it. To avoid this, hire a professional tree trimmer.
Trees aren't the only issue. Downpipes and gutters can be clogged with vines. If you find vines crawling around your gutters, remove them to avoid insects living in your gutters and causing damage.
Tip #4: Address Broken Gutters, Shingles & Leaks
If you see any cracks, broken shingles, or leaks, call a professional roof repair service. Damage caused by one broken part can lead to further damage if the problem is not addressed promptly.
For major leaks, the first thing to do is clear the area inside the house where the leak is and place a bucket beneath it. Contact a roofer right away to assess the situation and fix the leak.
SHINGLE: The most common problems with shingle roofs are curling, cracking, staining, and blistering. But not every broken shingle needs to be replaced. Applying a thick roofing sealant will fix minor cracks or tears. When the shingles are missing or damaged by water, you will need the assistance of a professional roofer.
The reason for emergency roof repairs is usually storm or fire damage. In case of an emergency roof repair, we can do a same-day or next-day roof inspection, depending on the weather conditions and how serviceable your area is.
Tip #5 Remove Ice Dams and Icicles
You may experience damage to your roof from snow and ice, especially if you live in a snowy area. Snow can form ice dams and icicles can pull the gutters off the roof due to weight. The buildup of snow can be extremely hard on your roof, putting stress and tension on the roof structure and the foundation.
Ice dams and icicles can be dangerous to people and pets because they can fall. Ice blocks can fall to the ground when loosened, and there is no warning when it may happen. Sometimes, the gutter will come crashing down with them.
You can melt the ice with calcium chloride - it works the same for ice on driveways. Be careful when using calcium chloride. Place it inside long socks or pantyhose, and place it vertically on the ice dams to slowly melt them. Rock salt is not recommended for roofs because it can damage the material and kill plants nearby.
Make sure you trust your judgment when it comes to deciding whether to enter the area. It is not recommended to climb on a roof with ice and snow unless you are professionally trained and certified to do so.
You should not hesitate to seek professional help if the task seems challenging or you aren't sure you're doing it correctly. Professionals have commercial steaming equipment that can safely and effectively remove ice dams.
Tip #6 Seal Roof Flashings
If your house has vents, a chimney, skylights, or exhaust fans, be aware that these structures are prone to leaks. Around chimneys, skylights, and vents, there is flashing, a thin material made of metal. By covering the crevices, it prevents water from seeping into the shingles.
When a roof flashing is showing signs of rust, corrosion, holes, missing nails, dried out sealants, or has loosened, it needs to be sealed. When you work with APD Roofing, we can tell you if the flashings can be sealed or if they need to be replaced.
Tip #7 Prevent Moss and Algae from Growing on Your Roof
As the weather changes, algae, moss, and lichen can grow on shingles and any other roofing materials, causing an unsightly appearance and damaging them. During warmer climates, these stubborn growths can be found on shaded areas of the roof.
Scrub and scrape these growths away, and apply preventive products containing copper and zinc to prevent regrowth after the area is dry. Maintenance should be applied annually.
The Bottom Line: Roof Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
Roof maintenance such as cleaning gutters or applying sealants can be done by yourself. However, you should have your roof inspected annually by a professional roofing team. Investing a few hundred dollars in annual maintenance can save you thousands in repairs and extend the life of your roof.
The roofing team at APD Roofing offers free roof inspections and guarantees professional service. Schedule a free inspection with us so we can inspect your roof, identify any concerns, and offer the best solution to your roofing issues. Feel free to contact us with questions prior to scheduling an inspection. We're always happy to help.
MELVYN HUCKABY II
Lead Claims Consultant, IICRC Certified