Preventative maintenance can prevent very expensive roof repairs. When maintained, roofing can last for decades. But if it’s neglected, problems can build up to the point that you’ll need a new roof in just a few years. Here are a few of the most important preventative maintenance tasks that you should do to add years to your roof.
Keep Your Rain Gutters Clean
Leaf litter clogging your rain gutters causes the gutters to overflow. In turn, this overflow causes roof damage. The purpose of rain gutters is to drain rainwater away from your roof and walls. When this doesn’t happen, water not only fills the gutters but will also begin to damage the edge of your roof.
Wet, rotting leaves also encourage mold growth which can then spread to the wet wood along the edge of your roof. Keeping your rain gutters free of debris and functioning properly will help to preserve the edge of your roof, so do this at least once every spring and fall.
Maintain Your Metal Roof Flashing
Roof flashing, pitch pockets, and expansion joints need to be maintained. These metal pieces are placed over points in the roof that are most likely to leak. Flashing is usually placed around skylights, vents, and chimneys. The purpose is to channel water away from these roof vulnerabilities. If the flashing is damaged, rainwater can leak into your roof. You can maintain it by painting over any rust and keeping any seals intact. If the sealant looks worn or damaged, use roof sealant to fix it.
Check Around the Things Installed on Your Roof
Things like air conditioners, solar panels, and satellite dishes need to be sealed in a similar way to flashing. Also, if anything new has been installed on your roof, check to make sure your roofing wasn’t damaged in the process. Go around any bolts and seams with roof sealant to keep the area waterproof. If you aren’t comfortable maintaining your roof yourself, contacting a roofing contractor like those at Top Ridge Roofing & Restoration, is a good idea.
Keep Your Roof Clear of Ice and Snow
A heavy snow load puts stress on the roof and can cause it to collapse. Melting snow can also create ice dams, which can severely damage your roof. If you see icicles hanging from your roof, you likely have an ice dam. If left to accumulate, the ice will work its way under the shingles, lifting them. Ice dams can also damage your rain gutters. Clearing these hazards as part of your winter roof maintenance is very important.
Inspect Your Roof After a Storm
Hailstones, high winds, and heavy rain can also damage your roofing. Once the storm passes, take a look at your roof for signs of damage. While it may be dangerous to climb up on the roof yourself, especially if there is any snow or ice, do a visual inspection from the ground. If you have reason to believe that there is damage, contact a roofer. Waiting until spring could lead to worse roof damage.
Regularly maintaining your roof can add decades to its life and ultimately save you a costly roof replacement.