Just like cutting grass and changing air filters, roof maintenance is an important part of owning a home. Sadly, many homeowners don’t know how to maintain their roof well, and as a result, damage piles up and results in the need for extensive repairs, or a total roof replacement. The good news is that whether you just bought your house, or you have owned it for decades, it’s never too late to learn roof maintenance, and who better to learn from than central Virginia’s top roofing company? Here is our checklist of DIY roof maintenance tasks, and an explanation of why they matter.
One of the most simple tasks you can do as a homeowner is to regularly inspect your shingles. Shingle inspection can start from the ground. Get in the habit of regularly looking at the shingles that are visible from the ground, and pay attention to how it looks. Are there any areas that look streaky, or any shingles that look like they have been cracked or been damaged?
In addition to looking at your roof from the ground, it is also important to routinely inspect your shingles from on top of the roof. Many times, damage isn’t visible from the ground, and doesn’t show itself until someone is up on top of the roof and able to get a better look. If climbing on top of the roof makes you nervous, that’s okay! In that case, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional roof inspection. This way, a qualified professional can climb on the roof and make sure everything is in good condition.
While you’re inspecting the roof, don’t forget about the areas surrounding any chimneys, skylights, or vent openings. These areas are particularly susceptible to water intrusion because they introduce openings into the roof. During the installation process, these openings in the roof are sealed, but over time, they can begin to leak. It’s important to pay extra attention to these areas as you inspect your roof, so that if there is any sign of damage or leaking, it can be caught early, before extensive repairs become necessary.
The next DIY task important to roof maintenance is to clean off the leaves, twigs, and other debris that accumulates on the roof. Whether it’s due to falling leaves, a windstorm, or twigs that fall during a rainstorm, debris naturally accumulates. Pay special attention to valleys and areas behind chimneys and skylights as debris tends to accumulate there. Cleaning it off is a simple task that can make a huge difference in allowing the water to drain freely off your roof. A leaf blower works well for this task. As always, use extreme caution when working on a roof, especially while using power tools like a leaf blower. If you are nervous at all, it’s better to call a professional.
While on the topic of debris, it is also important to check your gutters for excess shingle debris. The presence of large amounts of shingle granules or other debris in the gutters can indicate that the shingles are nearing the end of their useful life. If shingles have lost the majority of their granules it means that they are susceptible to damaging UV rays that will cause them to crack and allow water intrusion and damage to the interior of your home.
Whether or not there is shingle debris in the gutters, it is important to clean them out as part of your roof maintenance. Gutters that are full of debris will become clogged. During a rainstorm, the water won’t be able to flow through the system correctly, and can result in water damage to the roof, fascia, soffit and foundation of your home.
As you’re inspecting your roof, be sure to check for the presence of moss or other green growth on your roof. Moss is particularly dangerous for roofs because once it takes root, it spreads very quickly, and causes the shingles to lift. If moss is left untreated, it can quickly cause damage so extensive that a total roof replacement is in order.
Roof maintenance doesn’t just involve the roof. An often overlooked DIY maintenance task related to the roof is trimming low-hanging branches near the roof. Branches that hang too closely to the roof can cause damage in several ways, from scraping the shingles repeatedly, to large branches actually falling on top of your roof in a storm.
The ventilation in your attic and home is a crucial part of your roofing system. If you’re doing roofing maintenance for the first time, be sure to check the ventilation in your attic. Many roofs don’t have adequate or appropriate ventilation, which can lead to heat damage, among other things.
While not an action item, this is an important part of DIY roof maintenance because of the implications it can have. Power washing introduces an immense force to your shingles that has the power to severely damage them, or even remove them altogether.
The last item on the roofing maintenance checklist is to check your attic for leaks regularly. Sometimes the water damage is not very visible from the roof, or the ground, but can be found by looking for discoloration, moisture, or puddles inside the attic. If any of these signs are present, it’s time for a professional roof inspection and repair work.
While performing routine maintenance tasks goes a long way in keeping your roof in great condition, even the best maintained roof will still have issues eventually. If you notice any signs of shingle wear-and-tear, gutter damage, attic leaks, or other types of water damage, it is time to get a professional involved. A professional roofing contractor has years of experience diagnosing and solving roof problems, and has probably seen it all. Professionals know how to identify the root cause of the issue, and can give you a solution that will take care of not just the symptom, but also the cause.
If you’re looking for a professional roofing company to handle repairs on your roof, Cenvar Roofing would love to help you. We are located throughout central Virginia, and specialize in roof repairs and replacements of all types. If you have questions and would like to schedule a further conversation with a member of our sales team, we would be happy to discuss your options with you. Please visit our website to contact our office and to schedule an appointment.