Your roof protects the structure of your home, your belongings, and most importantly, your family. If properly maintained, your roof can last up to twenty years or more. That’s the reason we compiled this list of roof maintenance tips to help extend the life of your roof, your home’s most important structural system!
Warning Signs to Look For:
Visually inspecting your roof from ground level is an easy and effective way to check the health of your roof. Another helpful tip to visually inspect your roof is to take pictures of the roof and zoom in on the images to get a better look to see what condition your roof is in.
Complete a Visual Inspection:
- Look up at your roof to assess the health of it.
- Is there moss or algae growth that is visible?
- Are there shingles missing/lifting/cracking?
- What are the conditions of your gutters?
Clean Out Your Gutters
Even though this is most homeowner’s least favorite chore, cleaning your gutters can help maintain the longevity of your roof. Whether you clean your gutters yourself or pay someone to do it for you, cleaning your gutters is essential! If you do not keep up with cleaning your gutters, the build-up in your gutters could lead to rainwater seeping under the structure of your roof, since you are not leaving anywhere for it to go. We recommend that you clean your gutters twice a year (once in late spring and again in early fall). Gutter maintenance will ensure that your gutters are working efficiently!
Check Your Gutters for Shingle Debris
When cleaning your gutters, if you notice small grains like sand, those are granules from your shingles. If your shingles are missing granules, they are losing their integrity. This is another sign that it is time to replace your roof!
Clean Off Any Debris
You do not want anything sitting on your roof. Whether it is a tree branch, leaves, or any other debris, you should remove it from the roof. A common area that you will see sitting debris is around your chimney area. You do not want any debris comprising your roof in any way over time.
Check Roof Flashings
(chimney flashing, skylight flashing, other vent openings)
If your roof is not properly flashed, over time the flashing can become damaged. If the flashing is damaged, it could potentially let water or other outside elements into the interior of your home. Flashing is applied to your roof to protect any protrusions from leaking (such as chimneys, plumbing pipes, attic vents, etc.) that are strips of steel. Check the areas that are flashed for any cracking, or growth such as moss or algae) If there is any flashing that is cracking, you can re-caulk the flashing to help prevent water from getting through those areas and into your home.
Look for Any Leaks in the Attic and/or Ceiling
Have you noticed any signs of leaks or water damage on the interior of your home? This will tell you that an area of the roof is compromised. Therefore, your roof is no longer protecting your home from the elements.
Check Your Attic Ventilation
Attic ventilation is a key factor in indicating the health of your roof. Your roof needs to be able to properly breathe. There should be a 2:1 ratio when it comes to exhaust and intake for your home. If there is not enough ventilation or an inconsistent flow of air, this could cause your roof to be exposed to the elements and negatively affect the roof’s integrity.
Remove Any Overhanging Branches
If there are any branches hanging over top of your roof, they could be casting too much of a shadow, which is not allowing the water on your roof to evaporate. Any water that your roof retains from the natural elements, should evaporate with enough sun exposure. If the tree branches are casting a shadow on your roof in certain areas, moss growth could occur since the water is sitting on the roof. The moss will continue to grow and spread its roots underneath the shingles, causing the shingles to lift from your roof.
Inspect the Health of Your Shingles
Your shingles are your roof’s first line of defense. Therefore, it is important to maintain the health of your shingles, to increase the lifespan of your roof. You will be able to get a better look at the condition of your roof’s shingles by getting up on the roof. When checking your shingles, look for any signs of damage or excessive wear. If you notice the shingles missing any granules, the shingles are losing their effectiveness and it will soon be time to replace your roof. If you notice any of your shingles starting to lift, this means that you have popped nails, which tells you there is moisture in your decking. If there are any shingles lifting, or even missing from your roof, give us a call and we will come out and assess further.
Is There Streaking on Your Roof?
If there is any streaking occurring on your roof, you will be able to notice it from ground level. Streaking looks like dark staining on our roof. Streaking occurs over time from the water cycle. Over time, blue/green algae build-up will cause that dark streaking to occur. Not only is the streaking causing your roof to look unsightly, it is also comprising the shingles. If you have streaking on your roof, this is a sign that your roof is aging and it is time to replace it.
What Should I Do When It Is Time to Replace My Roof?
After going through this maintenance checklist on your roof, you will be able to decide if it is time to replace your roof or not. These roof maintenance tips are great to extend the life of your roof. However, if you are experiencing these warning signs, we recommend you give us a call and we will come out to inspect your roof. Here at Volpe, we do offer both roof replacement and roof repair. Not only do we replace your roof, but we also use products that will act as a long-standing solution to these common warning signs!