No matter what type of roof you have and how durable the materials are, roof maintenance is essential to prevent leaks and make the structure last longer. Even if you just replaced or repaired your roof, there are many things you can do to make it last longer and keep it in excellent shape. In this article, we cover the top roof maintenance tips for homeowners to make your roof last and keep it in good shape.
If you need roofing work beyond these basic roof maintenance tips, we offer a free inspection so you can get a proper assessment from our roofing experts.
Why Roof Maintenance Is Important
Since most people assume that their roof is fine as long as there are no visible damages or leaks, roofs are often one of the most neglected parts of the house. Most homeowners will only have their roof checked when there’s already a leak. However, you should have your roof inspected every year, but more so when:
- A storm or natural disaster occurs, and your roof may have been affected
- When there is an overgrowth of vegetation in gutters, such as wild vines and fallen leaves and twigs from trees
- Your roof is more than ten years old
It is crucial to regularly inspect roof conditions and immediately repair any minor damage because it can lead to more severe problems. For instance, clogged gutters can overflow into your home’s foundation, which can lead to cracks. If neglected, it can result in more extensive damage and a higher cost of having to replace your roof and complete additional associated repairs.
Professional Roof Maintenance or DIY Roof Maintenance?
Many homeowners do DIY roof maintenance to save money. However, you need to consider whether you can check the roof thoroughly or if you need a professional to spot any damage. If you DIY roof repairs and don’t do it correctly, you might end up damaging the roof, choosing incompatible roofing materials, and end up spending more in the long run.
Professional Roof Maintenance
Hiring roofing professionals ensures your roof’s conditions are properly assessed for things like flashing damage (the covering in gaps of chimneys, skylights, and vents), surface wear, roof lap integrity, and overall degradation. At roofclaim.com, we advise on whether it is best to replace your roofing or if it can still withstand intensive weather conditions with repairs.
We offer a wide range of roof maintenance services, such as:
- A drone roof inspection using high-definition cameras to thoroughly inspect the condition of your roof at every height and angle.
- A comprehensive report detailing what parts of your roof need repair.
- Fast and affordable roof repair should it be needed.
- Full roof replacements if needed, especially if there’s a viable insurance claim.
- Address concerns when filing your insurance claim to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
- We offer roof financing options if you need a new new roof but can’t afford it (or your insurance company won’t cover your roof replacement)..
We carefully assess your roofing materials and factor in the roof’s age. Some roofing materials can last for decades with proper maintenance. For instance, tile roofs are a bit more costly at first, but they can last a long time. Tile roofs are solid and environment-friendly, and with proper maintenance, they can last a minimum of 60 years.
Another example of durable material is metal roofing. Metal roofs have different types, including copper, tin, steel, aluminum, and zinc. Its flexibility makes it a favorite choice for most contractors for houses and buildings. Like tile roofs, they can be expensive, but they can last a minimum of 40 years with proper maintenance.
DIY Roof Maintenance
Homeowners know roof repairs can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the gravity of the damage. However, the main concern about DIY roof maintenance and repairs is safety. It is a hazardous undertaking because it involves going up to your roof without the proper equipment and without the proper knowledge to complete the work.
According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health, roofing jobs have the 5th highest death rate in construction-related work. This is mainly due to a lack of safety gear and fall protection knowledge.
Professional roofers undergo robust safety-related training, including fall and electrical safety. At roofclaim.com, we are equipped with safety gear and guardrails to prevent and handle accidents–and we’re fully licensed and insured.
Pros of DIY Roof Maintenance
- Cost savings compared to hiring a roofing professional
- You can repair immediately without scheduling with contractors
Cons of DIY Roof Maintenance
- Roofing materials can cost more if you’re buying in retail than contractors who buy in bulk.
- You do the repairs alone without help or assistance from a professional.
- You lack the professional tools and equipment to do a quality job.
- You lack the safety gear required when working on your roof.
- It will take up a lot of your time, especially if you have a full-time job or a business to run.
If you’re planning to DIY roof repairs or general roof maintenance, be smart in deciding which tasks you can do yourself and which ones to leave to the professionals. Here are some minor roof maintenance tasks that you may be able to DIY without any problems:
- Gutter cleaning
- Visual inspection of roof damage or indoor leaks
- Spray roof moss remover in areas affected by moss
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can also paint rusted areas with corrosion-resistant paint or any all-weather type of roofing paint. Painting the damaged area depends on the severity of the rust. If sealants and roof paint cannot address the problem, it’s time to contact a roofing professional.
If you plan to do some DIY, invest in a high-quality roofing ladder. Roofers use extension ladders with wheels for easy movement and hooks to anchor it to the roof’s ridge.
CAUTION: Never anchor your ladder in the gutter or eavestrough. These are vulnerable areas that won’t hold the combined weight of the roofer and the ladder. For safety purposes, we always recommend hiring professionals to do this kind of work. You should only work on your roof, or any home improvement project that requires a ladder, at your own risk.
A roofing ladder can extend at a maximum of 40 to 60 feet. Purchase one with multiple layers to get the maximum length. Depending on your roof structure, you may need to buy two sets of ladders. For maximum safety, consider investing in some scaffoldings or guardrails if the work will be extensive.
Our Top Roof Maintenance Tips
Some roof maintenance is manageable to do yourself as long as you know the problem and how to fix it. Here are some of the most common roofing problems discovered during an inspection:
- Cracked or missing roofing materials
- Rusty metal connecting the house foundations and the roof
- Leaks in the walls or ceilings
- Broken, curled, cracked, or missing roof shingles
- Dirty, dark, and deteriorating shingles
- A sagging roof deck
- Water stains in your walls and ceilings
- Leaks inside the attic
- Rust spots on the roof
- Peeling of exterior and interior paint
- Clogged gutters
- Improper roof ventilation
- Signs of wet areas and algae growth on the roof
- Being able to break a shingle by bending it with little to no effort
Roof problems are not only visible on the outside. Usually, the telltale signs are on the house’s interior when there are leaks, moisture, and mold. Below are some roof maintenance tips for homeowners to be mindful of.
Tip #1: Clear Your Gutters Regularly
Cleaning the rain gutters is roof maintenance that most people can DIY because it is the most straightforward problem to resolve. A clogged gutter can cause the rainwater to pool and gather on the roof, eventually causing it to rust and rot.
The things that can clog a gutter are leaves, branches, sticks, debris from deteriorating shingles, and other environmental matters. Sometimes, birds can build nests on the gutter channels causing further clogging. When the rainwater pools and freezes during winter, it can cause more problems.
To clean the gutters, use a sturdy ladder with a stabilizer. Remember that safety is the priority. Use a long-sleeved shirt and rubber gloves to prevent any scratches. Use any kind of scooper like an old spatula to scoop out the dirt and debris in the gutter channel. Once it’s clean, use a hose to run water through it to flush out the remaining debris. Check the gutter structure if there are any sagging portions and anchor them if needed.
Tip #2: Schedule Your Roof Maintenance During the Spring
The best time to do a roof inspection is during the spring, while the weather will be favorable if repairs are needed. It is also cost-effective as the roofing business is often slower during this season, and materials and labor costs may be lower. In reality, the best time to schedule maintenance is when you need it.
By doing this, you will feel at ease that your roof is ready during more intensive weather conditions. At roofclaim.com, we offer professional roofing services at all times of the year to meet our customers’ needs.
Tip #3 Trim Vegetation and Trees Around Your Roof
Trees are lovely, but when their branches grow over and above the roof, it could be the main reason why gutters are clogged. During storms or other harsh weather conditions, tree branches can break and fall on top of the roof, causing it to collapse.
Trim your tree branches every time they extend towards the roof area. Trimming is something you can DIY if the tree branches are not too high and have the right trimming tools. However, unknowledgeable pruning at the wrong season and in the wrong area can kill a tree. You can hire professional tree trimmers to prevent this from happening.
Trees are not the only problem. Vines and other vegetation can crawl up on downpipes and gutters. Check for crawling vines and remove them to prevent insects from living around your gutters and causing damage.
Tip #4: Address Broken Gutters, Shingles & Leaks
If you see any cracks, broken shingles, or leaks, this is a job for professional roof repair services. One broken part can lead to further damage if not repaired immediately.
LEAKS: The first thing to do for major leaks is clear the area inside the house where the leaks are and place a bucket underneath. Get in touch with a roof repair contractor to assess the situation and repair the leak immediately.
SHINGLES: The most common problems with shingle roofings are curling, cracking, stains, and blistering. But not every broken shingle needs replacement. If it is just a minor crack or tear, applying a thick roofing sealant will solve the problem. However, you will need the help of a professional roofer if the shingles are missing or have water damage.
A storm or fire damage is often the reason for emergency roof repairs. If you need 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
Snow and ice can damage your roof, especially if you live in an area with consistent snowstorms. Snow can form ice dams and icicles can weigh on your roof and pull the gutters loose. Snow buildup can be extremely heavy on your roof, causing stress and tension on the roof structure and the foundation of your home.
Ice dams and icicles are hazardous because they can fall on the people or pets walking underneath. When loosened, blocks of ice can fall to the ground, and there’s no warning when it can happen. Sometimes, the gutter will come crashing down with it.
What you can do: Use calcium chloride to melt the ice– it’s the same product used to melt ice on driveways. Do not pour the calcium chloride directly on the ice dam. Instead, put it inside long socks or pantyhose and position it vertically on the ice dams to melt it slowly. Do not use regular rock salt because it can damage roofing materials and kill plants in the area.
Use your judgment to assess whether accessing the area is safe or not. You will likely need to use a ladder, and climbing on a roof with ice and snow is never recommended if you are not professionally trained and certified to do so.
If the task seems daunting or you aren’t confident that you’re doing it correctly, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Professionals will have commercial steaming equipment that removes ice dams safely and effectively.
Tip #6 Seal Roof Flashings
If your house has vents, a chimney, skylights, or exhaust fans, be aware that these structures are prone to leaking. They have a flashing, a thin material made of steel surrounding chimneys, skylights, and vents. Its purpose is to cover the crevices and divert water towards the shingles instead of seeping into them.
A roof flashing needs to be sealed when it shows signs of rust, corrosion, holes, missing nails, dried out sealants, or has loosened. When you work with roofclaim.com, we can tell if the flashings can be sealed or need to be replaced.
Tip #7 Prevent Moss and Algae from Growing on Your Roof
As the weather changes, varied temperatures allow algae, moss, and lichens to grow on shingles and any other roofing materials, causing an unsightly appearance and damage to roofing materials. You can find these stubborn growths on shaded parts of the roof during warmer climates.
You can scrub and scrape these growths away, and once the affected area is dry, apply preventive products containing copper and zinc to prevent regrowth. For maintenance, these products should be applied annually.
The Bottom Line: Roof Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
You can DIY specific roof maintenance such as cleaning the gutters or placing sealants. However, you should get your roof inspected by a professional roofing team annually. Spending a few hundred dollars on maintenance every year can save you thousands of dollars worth of repairs and can extend the life of your roof.
We offer free roof inspections and guarantee professional service from start to finish. Schedule a free inspection with us so we can inspect your roof, identify any concerns, and offer the best approach to solve your individual roofing issues. If you have questions prior to scheduling an inspection, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help!