Tips for Maintaining Your Roof

by Matt Solis

If installed properly, most roofs will last for decades without having to be replaced, but to extend the life of your roof and ensure it won’t break down prematurely, it’s still a good idea to adhere to a regular maintenance schedule. To maximize the efficiency of your roof, consider the following maintenance tips (if conditions make it unsafe to perform these maintenance procedures yourself, contact a professional):

Inspect. Thoroughly scan your roof for any signs of damage, warping or discoloration. Spray the roof with a hose and identify potential trouble spots by making a note of where water collects. Also, pay immediate attention to missing or damaged shingles, spots where there’s noticeable bubbling and places where the roof material is actually lifting.

Clean moss and mold. Moss and mold can cause considerable damage to your roof, so it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. Avoid using a power washer when removing moss

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Don’t let trees grow too close. Trees can cause numerous problems for all types of roofs. Leaning branches can scratch and gouge roofing materials when they’re blown by the wind; falling branches from overhanging trees can damage or puncture shingles; and falling leaves can clog gutter systems, causing water to back up into the house’s attic or living spaces. If you have trees growing near your home, take immediate steps to trim them back from the roof.

Clean gutters and downspouts. Ideally, you should clean your gutters every six to 12 months. Also, don’t forget to clear the entrance and exit of your downspout. Flush your gutters and downspout with water to make sure they’re draining properly and away from your foundation.

Fix flashing and sealants. Flashing is the strip of metal that connects your skylights or chimney to your roof. Wind and weather can get underneath the flashing and rip it loose, causing mold and water damage. Check for loose flashing and tack it back on tight. Similarly, check for cracked or weakened caulking. Remove old caulking, scrape the area clean and apply fresh sealant.