We maintain our bodies by exercising, eating nourishing foods, drinking water, and getting check-ups with our doctors. Other important items in our life also need maintenance, such as:
- Cars 🚗
- HVAC systems ❄️🔥
- Pools 🏊
- Gardens + lawns 🌿🌷
- And roofs! 🏠
As a homeowner, the last thing you enjoy dealing with is unexpected home repairs. So, if you’re not in the mood to frequently fork over cash for repeated roof repairs, it’s in your best interest to perform regular roof maintenance. Follow these 9 tips to keep your roof in top shape!
1) Check for Water Damage Inside Your Home
One of the best ways to tell if your roof is functioning properly is to actually inspect the interior of your home. Your roof is supposed to keep your home protected from water damage, so if you see any signs of water damage, then you know to act fast to get the necessary roof repairs.
Keep an eye out for signs of a roof leak, such as:
- Water stains on your ceiling or walls
- Bulging patches on your walls
- Musty smells in certain rooms
- Peeling or cracking paint
- Visible mold on your ceiling or walls
If you notice any of these signs, you should promptly call a professional roofing company to come locate and patch the leak before the situation worsens.
2) Keep Tall Tree Branches Trimmed
Trees that extend over your roof can cause a myriad of issues. During intense storms, the branches can break off and damage your roof (or your yard or car!) by denting shingles or even lifting them free.
Tall trees over your roof can also cause a lot of leaves to pile up on your shingles. If the leaves don’t get removed, they will absorb moisture that eventually causes your roof to rot.
Stay diligent about keeping your tree branches trimmed. You’ll likely need to hire a professional tree trimmer for larger trees so that you don’t risk injury.
3) Clean Your Gutters at Least Twice a Year
Your gutters are one of the most important parts of your roofing system. They effectively channel water away from your roof and direct it to appropriate areas away from your home’s foundation. But in order for gutters to function properly, they must remain clean and free of debris.
Clogged gutters make it simple for water to seep under your shingles and result in a roof leak and a major headache.
Cleaning the gutters is a DIY-friendly roof maintenance task. We recommend cleaning them twice a year— once in late spring and once in early fall. As long as you feel comfortable standing on a ladder, you can slowly make your way around the perimeter of your roof and remove debris from your gutters. Just be sure to wear gloves!
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this task yourself, many roofing or gutter contractors would be happy to provide the service for you.
4) Keep an Eye on Your Shingles
Your shingles are your first line of defense in your roofing system. If you have damaged shingles, the rest of your roof (and your home) are in jeopardy. It’s important to regularly inspect your shingles— especially after heavy winds or big storms.
If you’re comfortable getting on a ladder to inspect your roof, that’s an effective way to get a bird’s eye view. Just be sure to follow ladder safety rules.
If you’re not comfortable getting on a ladder, you can stay on the ground with a pair of binoculars. No matter which method you prefer, keep your eye out for damage like:
- Missing shingles
- Cracked shingles
- Curling shingles
- Peeling flashing
- Granule loss (bald spots on your shingles)
If you notice shingle damage, be sure to have a professional roofing contractor take a look as soon as possible.
5) Schedule Annual Roof Cleaning
In addition to leaves, twigs, and other debris, your roof can get dirty with algae growth. If you leave algae untouched long enough, it can cause your roof to rot and discolor. Let your roof breathe by washing it.
You can either create a DIY roof-cleaning solution with equal parts water and bleach, or you can schedule a professional roof cleaning service. Always put your safety first, and opt to clean your roof once a year.
- Pro tip: Avoid using a pressure washer if you clean your roof yourself. It will cause more harm than good.
6) Insulate Your Attic
Your roof needs to breathe just like you do! Ensure your roof has proper ventilation and insulation, especially in your attic. If your attic doesn’t have the proper insulation, heat will easily escape from your roof.
Especially in the colder months, ice on your roof can start to melt, allowing the water to refreeze under your shingles. This causes an ice dam, which can be detrimental to your roof. Sound attic insulation is one of the best ways to protect your roof against ice dams.
And in our humid climate in North Carolina, heat and moisture can cause roof sheathing to rot and shingles to warp if your attic isn’t properly insulated.
7) Watch for Spikes in Your Energy Bill
This next maintenance tip goes alongside the attic insulation tip. Keep your eye out for spikes in your energy bills. This can be a clear indicator of poor attic ventilation or a roof leak.
If your insulation gets wet because of a roof leak, its effectiveness will quickly go out the window. An unattended roof leak or poorly insulated roof means your home will require more air conditioning in the summer and more heat in the winter.
If you notice unusual spikes in your utility bills, be sure to set up an appointment with a professional roofing contractor because you may be in need of roof repairs.
8) Remove Snow From Your Roof
Here in Raleigh, we tend to get more ice than snow in the winter months, so this tip may not be as applicable for homeowners in warmer climates. However, homeowners in colder climates that receive frequent snowfall in the winter should try their best to keep snow from piling up on their roofs.
Ice or snow that melts and then refreezes poses the risk of causing an ice dam on your roof. Plus, if you have an older roof that’s near the end of its lifespan, heavy snow can cause it to sag (or even collapse!).
Remove the snow by carefully scraping away any amount you can reach with a snow rake. You can stay on the ground if your rake reaches far enough or have a buddy help you with standing on a ladder so that you don’t slip and fall.
- You don’t have to get all the snow off to make a difference.
- Even removing a little bit will help alleviate the weight on your roof.
9) Schedule a Professional Roof Inspection
The most surefire way to stay on top of yearly roof maintenance is to leave it to the pros. Some reputable roofing companies offer a roof maintenance program that you can sign up for. If you sign up for a program like this, a professional will frequently inspect your roof. This could be once a month, once every few months, or once a year.
The investment in regular professional inspections is worth it, especially if your roof is over ten years old. Even though all the other maintenance tips on this list are important to keep up with, it can be difficult to spot a problem with an untrained eye.
A professional roofer will be able to spot any issues you may have missed as well as educate you on the necessary steps going forward. It’s always better to fix a leak before it happens rather than dealing with expensive water damage down the line!
Even if you don’t sign up for a regular maintenance program, it’s still a wise idea to schedule a professional roofing inspection once a year.
Check Out the Roof Maintenance Program at Scro’s!
Roof maintenance is an important part of homeownership. You want to keep your investment in good shape so that:
- A) You are safe and comfortable in your home, and
- B) your home value goes up instead of down.
Scro’s Roofing has been serving the greater Raleigh area for decades, and we’d love to help you out with our residential roof maintenance program. Reach out today with any questions!