Your roof system is an important investment. It provides protection for years and creates a comfortable environment for you and the family. It is important to maintain it as with all other components of your home.
Roof Maintenance Checklist
To help maintain your asphalt roof in top condition over its lifetime, we have compiled a list. These tasks, like many seasonal chores, won’t take too much time.
11 Things to Do to Keep Your Roof in Good Condition
There are three main categories for roof maintenance tasks:
- Seasonal Roof Care
- Regular inspections
- Smart Practices
Safety at Roof Work
Before you start any roof work, safety should be your top priority. You must complete some maintenance tasks from the attic, or by climbing up a ladder. Hiring a roofer will ensure that the job is done correctly without putting you and your family at risk. Roofers are more familiar with roof hazards than DIYers and can spot potential problems before they become a problem.
Reduce Roof Traffic
Tiny granules are used to protect asphalt shingles from UV damage and add a 3-dimensional color element. Too much foot traffic can cause granules to become scratched. You can also catch the edge of the shingle by walking on it, which can cause it to crack or lift. It’s best not to walk on the roof more than necessary.
Seasonal Roof Care – Every Fall
1. Clean Gutters
Your gutter system collects water runoff from your roof and directs it away from the foundation. If your gutters get blocked, water can build up under your shingles and flow onto your brick or siding.
Make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris
Make sure your gutters are free of debris and securely attached. Be sure to pay attention at the right angles where the gutter meets the wall.
In vulnerable areas, you might need gutter splash guards or kick-out flashing.
2. Limit Moss & Algae Growth
Moss and algae growth can be caused by environmental factors, such as a north-facing roof if you are in the northern hemisphere or lots of shade trees. Large clumps of moss can cause damage to shingles. They will raise the edges of the shingle and expose the underside to water.
Algae can leave dark streaks on roofs. Algae spots can be reduced using a mixture of chlorine bleach and water. Regular treatments may be the best option if your roof is prone to algae and moss.
Pro Tip: StreakGuard(tm), an Algae Resistance Protection for Owens Corning(r), shingles, is possible by using a specialized copper – lined granule from 3M. 3M is a major producer of roofing granules.
3. Take Out Branches from Nearby Trees
Trees can rub against shingles and cause roof granules to be disturbed, similar to what happens when you walk on a roof. You should trim branches as often as you can so they don’t touch your roof or gutters, even when it is windy.
4. Clear off Organic Debris
Shade in summer is provided by trees, and they add beauty to your landscape. They can also be a source of debris from fallen leaves in fall to maple leaf helicopters in spring. Your shingles can remain in contact for long periods of time with water because organic matter can absorb water. Rainwater can also pick up debris and settle on your roof.
You should remove organic material from your roof at least once a year, or more depending on the activity of your local trees. You might be able to remove the debris gently with a broom, leaf blower, or a vacuum depending on whether you have access to your roof from an upstairs window.
Don’t rub the shingles’ surfaces with a tool because it can cause granules to be dislodged.
When it was new, your roof might have provided excellent protection against the elements. Even the most well-designed roofs can be affected by weathering and natural aging. It’s a good idea to check vulnerable areas regularly.
5. Check that Windows and Wall Cladding are Watertight
It’s a good idea to inspect your exterior after a severe rainstorm or prolonged period of precipitation. You should inspect areas that are still moist or have streaks of wetness. Gutter or soffit problems could cause water to pool on your walls and not the downspouts.
Also, make sure to inspect your windows for any warping or loss.
These are the areas that could lead to moisture infiltration.
6. Examine Flashing
Flashing is used to seal areas where two roofs meet. Flashing can be found where vent pipes or chimneys meet. Flashing is usually found in roof valleys, which are the channels created when two roof slopes meet.
You should find a safe and comfortable place to view flashing. Contact a roofing contractor if you notice flashing that is damaged, rusted or missing fasteners, or is rotting away. A roofing contractor can inspect flashing more closely to determine if it needs repair or replacement.
7. Take a look at the soil stack
Rubberized gaskets are used to seal vent pipes. The gasket or the sealant that came with it can become brittle and dry out over time. Check that roof penetrations are properly sealed against the elements.
If you see it from a safe position, contact a contractor for an official inspection.
8. Ice Dams: Beware
The risk of ice dams could increase with snow on the roof or cold temperatures.
Ice dams are formed when roof snow melts (due either to heat transfer from the roof deck or sun exposure), and trickles down your roof before settling over the eaves.
Illustration showing the risk of ice damming from roofs with low and high risks.
The snowmelt eventually has no place to go and begins to pool on the roof deck. This can cause shingle decay and water infiltration onto the roof deck.
It is best to have an expert inspect your attic for proper ventilation and insulation. Ice dams can be prevented by proper insulation and balanced attic ventilation.
- A balanced attic ventilation system allows moisture-rich warm and dry air to escape via exhaust vents. These vents are usually located high up on the roof ridge. Cooler, dry air can then take its place thanks to intake vents running along the soffits.
- Properly placed attic insulation prevents heat transfer from your home’s conditioned spaces into your attic.
Barriers made of Ice and Water
You can further seal your roof from moisture infiltration by ice damming by using an water and ice barrier product which adheres directly to the roof deck below the shingles.
This post was written by a roofing professional at KCG Roofing. KCG Roofing is a premier roofing contractor that does roof repair in Sarasota! KCG Roofing has the experience and expertise to replace or repair your roof with quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. All our roofs are backed by a 15-year leak-free guarantee, the highest in the industry. We have been family-owned and operated for over 40 years.