Tips for Roof Maintenance
Follow these steps to help protect and prolong the life of your roof.
Most homeowners will, at some point, either have to make some form of repairs or replace their home’s roof completely. Whether this is due to normal wear and tear or a result of storm or fire damage, a trustworthy credentialed roofing contractor can help restore and improve your roof. Keep in mind that there are preventative measures you can take, such as regular inspections, general maintenance, and proper upkeep, to help maintain a sturdy roof and make it last as long as possible.
Elements to Protect Against
There are a number of factors—mainly weather-related—that can affect the lifecycle of a roof. While you can’t stop the rain (or wind or hail); you can help protect your roof by reinforcing it with certain repairs, products and procedures. A thorough inspection will help determine if your roof is in need of repairs caused by the following elements. If needed, hire a roofing contractor to have the appropriate areas repaired.
Rain may seem harmless but after an extended period of time the water can begin to affect a roof, especially if certain precautions aren’t taken or if problem areas aren’t addressed. Several parts of a roof can be damaged by rain, so make sure to pay attention to the whole roof and not just the shingles.
- Leaks – The best place to check for leaks is in the attic. Water spots on walls and ceilings are another telltale sign of a leaky roof. A leak—whether caused by heavy rain or another issue—should be fixed as soon as possible to ensure that it won’t become a bigger problem. Depending on the size and scope of the leak, it may be best to have a roofing contractor fix the issue.
- Flashing – This is a waterproof seal installed in various areas on a roof to prevent water from penetrating any seams/joints. Metal and rubber are the most common materials used for flashing. Look for loose, broken, or missing flashing in valleys, drip edges, where the roof meets a wall (headwall flashing) and where the sloped portion of a roof meets a wall (sidewall flashing), since these areas usually get hit with more rain than others.
- Gutters and Downspouts – Remove leaves and debris in gutters so they won’t clog and block excess rainwater from moving away from the roof through downspouts. You should also trim back any trees near gutters to reduce the amount of leaves that accumulate.
One guaranteed way to protect against hail is by replacing your entire roof with a material—such as modified asphalt shingles, concrete tiles and synthetic roof coverings—that is impact-resistant and can hold up well in a hailstorm. You could also consider upgrading the shingles to layered panels or having a sealant applied to specific areas of the roof (think: flashing), which can help it better withstand hail.
High temperatures, UV light and radiation caused by the sun are all culprits that contribute to roof damage. As a result, your roof starts to deteriorate, the flashing cracks and shingles warp or decay. This can lead to more significant problems such as failures and leaks in multiple areas of your roof. In order to protect your roof against the sun’s harmful rays, have a professional apply a roof coating with high reflectivity, which acts like a sunblock for your roof. Most of these sealants are also waterproof so they’ll protect against rain and they can also help make your home more energy efficient because they reflect the sun and lower the temperature inside a house.
Pay attention to the roof deck—the foundation/base which the entire roof structure is built on—since it is the main component that is affected by heavy wind. The thicker the roof deck, the more likely it will be able to stand up against strong winds. One of the best ways to make your roof more wind-resistant is to reinforce shingles, flashing, and other parts with heavy-duty adhesive, nails/screws or fasteners.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
If you find your roof is in need of repair—whether it’s replacing a few shingles or restoring the entire structure—there are roofing contractors and other professionals that can assist you with inspections, restoration/repairs, cleaning and a number of other services to get your roof in optimal shape. A roofing contractor will be the person you’ll want to talk to for major jobs, as they have experience specifically dealing with roofs. If you’re dealing with a situation other than general roof maintenance—such as roof damage from a storm or fire—be sure to contact your insurance company to figure out the next best steps.
The information and advice contained in this article is intended as a general guide for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your personal situation. While we at Resolve have significant experience and history operating in the home restoration industry and working closely with construction contractors, we are not licensed as a general or specialty contractor. We encourage you to consider the information we’ve provided but urge you not to rely upon it in place of appropriate professional advice from a licensed, experienced construction contractor.