Your roof works hard to keep you safe and comfortable inside of your home, but it’s only as good as the maintenance it receives. While durable, roofs require mindful care and attention to perform at their best — and it’s ultimately up to you to make sure that happens.
Maintaining your roof is a big job, but following some basic rules can help to keep it in peak condition. Here’s a look at some roof maintenance practices you should definitely follow – and some that you should absolutely avoid.
DO: Keep Nearby Trees Pruned
Even the sturdiest roofs can be vulnerable to damage from trees. If you have trees on your property — especially large, mature trees with overhanging branches — it’s important to keep them pruned for the health of your roof.
Branches that hang over your roof can scratch shingles and create an entry point for moisture. Nearby trees with excessive limb growth can also create debris that collects in your gutters and roof valleys, blocking proper drainage. Simply keeping your trees trimmed around the perimeter of your roof can go a long way toward preventing potential damage.
DON’T: Forget About Ventilation
Ventilation plays a critical role in protecting your roof from mold, mildew, and rot. Without adequate airflow through the attic space, moist air can accumulate and create trouble for your roof as it ages, leading to premature deterioration.
Not sure if your home’s ventilation is up to par? An experienced roofing professional can take a look at your attic space and determine whether more ventilation is needed. They can also suggest solutions for improving the air circulation in your house, such as installing ridge vents or soffit vents that will help to reduce condensation and keep your roof healthy.
DO: Get Your Gutters Cleaned
Your gutters are responsible for collecting and moving rainwater away from your home’s foundation. Leaves, twigs, dirt, and anything else that finds its way into the gutters can cause blockages and impair their ability to do their job. This can lead to water damage in vulnerable areas of your roof or cause a harmful buildup of moisture around the eaves.
To ensure that your gutters are functioning properly, be sure to schedule regular professional gutter cleanings. Ideally, you’ll want to do this at least twice a year: once in the fall to get rid of any lingering debris from summer and again in the spring when trees are leafing out.
DON’T: Ignore an Aging Roof
All roofs have a limited lifespan, and yours is no exception. The average lifespan of an asphalt roof can range anywhere from 15 to 30 years, depending on the quality of the roofing material and how well it’s been maintained over time.
If your roof has been in place for more than two decades, you should pay special attention to any signs that it’s reaching the end of its service life. Look for warped, curling, or missing shingles, sagging of the roof deck, and visible leakage in your attic space. These can indicate that it’s time to consider replacing your roof before more significant damage occurs.
DO: Stay on Top of Moss Removal
Moss can be more than just an unsightly eyesore. It’s often found in damp, shady areas on lawns and roofs, and it can cause serious damage if not addressed quickly. Moss growth creates an uneven surface that can tear away at roofing material, leaving behind holes where water can leak into the interior of your house.
You can often spot moss growth on your roof by looking at it from the ground. It may appear as a greenish-black discoloration on the roof’s surface. If you see any signs of moss, get in touch with a local roofing professional to have it removed safely and effectively. You can also prevent moss from growing in the future by keeping your roof clear of debris and having a professional install zinc strips at the roof’s ridge line.
DON’T: Walk on Top of Your Roof
It may be tempting to climb up on top of your roof to inspect it for damage, but this should be left to the professionals. Not only is there a risk of slipping and falling without proper equipment, but walking around on a roof can cause further damage. Over time, foot traffic on a roof can put extra strain on shingles that are already weakened or cracked from exposure to the elements.
If you have concerns about your roof, the inspection is best left to the experts. Professional roofers have specialized equipment and training that allows them to safely inspect your roof without the risks of doing it yourself.
DO: Address Leaks Promptly
Leaky roofs don’t just cause discomfort; they can also lead to serious structural damage in your home if left unchecked. When you notice any signs of water infiltration, such as discolored patches on ceilings, dripping from your ceiling or walls, or the sound of running water in your attic, it’s important to act fast.
Waiting too long to address a leaking roof can allow the damage to spread throughout your home. As soon as you notice any signs of leaks, contact a reliable roofing professional for assistance. They’ll be able to identify the source of the problem and suggest appropriate solutions before more significant damage occurs.
DON’T: Attempt DIY Repairs
No matter how small the repair may seem, it’s best to leave roof repairs to a professional. Not only do they have the experience and knowledge needed to identify and fix any issues safely, but they also have the right tools for the job.
Attempting to handle repairs on your own can often lead to more costly damage down the line due to incorrect installation or repair techniques. Save yourself the hassle and the potential for more extensive damage down the line by having a professional handle any and all roof repairs.
DO: Schedule Regular Roof Inspections
When you consider just how much your roof does for your house, it makes sense to invest in regular inspections. Scheduling a comprehensive roof inspection at least once a year can help to identify and address any potential issues before they get out of hand.
During an inspection, a roofing professional will check for signs of wear and tear, such as loose or missing shingles, cracked rubber boots around vent pipes, and damaged flashing. They’ll also make sure that the structural integrity of the roof is still intact and that all drainage systems are in good working condition.
When it comes to roof maintenance, a little bit of caution goes a long way. And with the right roofing professionals on your side, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your home is well protected from the elements. Warren Thompson & Son Roofing & Siding has been providing superior roof repair and replacement, siding, and gutter services to homeowners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1973. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help to keep your roof in tip-top shape with reliable maintenance services.