How to Take Care of Your Roof Properly: Here’s What You Should and Shouldn’t Do
Your roof is a vital part of your home. Take care of it – it will serve you well. Neglect it – you’ll need to see your contractor more often than you panned.
The average asphalt shingle roof lasts 25-30 years.
But without proper care, you’ll need to replace it much sooner, especially if the weather decides to test roofs in the area. And, of course, the older a roof gets, the more care it needs.
That’s why the first tip on this list is crucial.
Do At Least 2 Roof Inspections Per Year
“Better safe than sorry.”
How many times have you heard that? Thousands, right? Well, there’s a good reason – that sentence is one of the universal truths. It’s applicable in most aspects of life. Yet, people mostly use it to warn their loved ones to take care of their health.
But we’re roofers. We want your roof to stay healthy as long as possible. So should you.
And the simplest way to achieve that is to inspect your roof at least twice a year. It’s recommended to have 2 professional inspections, but you can do one on your own.
Look for missing, bent, or cracked shingles. Check your flashings as closely as possible. And check for any debris that may be laying on your roof such as leaves or tree branches. These should be removed as they can possibly result in leaking.
Those 3 factors alone are enough to notice issues. And DIY roof inspections don’t take 10 hours of hard work, so there aren’t any valid excuses for neglecting your roof.
Keep Your Trees Under Control
Trees are amazing, but they cause numerous problems for homeowners. Leaves and twigs clog gutters which is dangerous enough. But big branches are scary if they’re too close to the house.
Branches move under the wind and can hit the roof during storms. The impact causes mechanical damage (destroys shingles, damages gutters, damages penetrations).
In the worst cases, branches break and fall on the roof. The bigger it is, the more damage it causes. Since that usually happens during storms, rain takes advantage of the damaged roof to penetrate into the deeper layers of the roof. If you’re unlucky, the branch will also damage your underlayment. Then – you can expect leaks.
You’re taking risks if you let trees on your property grow too close. Let them close to your heart, but keep them away from your roof.
Clean Gutters More Often
We understand that gutter cleaning probably isn’t one of your favorite activities, but don’t neglect those gutters. Clean them regularly (you can do it before each roof inspection).
Overflows caused by clogged gutters are dangerous for your whole property, but fascia boards take the most damage. If you keep neglecting gutters, and rain keeps falling, fascia boards will start rotting.
Tackle Problems Before They Get Out of Control
“We’ll do it later. It’s not a big deal.”
And then a sudden rain and wind turn a decent roof into a mess. This tip is crucial for flashings and shingles. You must take care of them as soon as you see any signs of damage.
Everyone knows that flashings are very important and can sometimes be the weakest part of the roof when it comes to waterproofing your home. So if you notice rust on your flashings, don’t wait until it spreads. Water is ruthless. Leaks might surprise you sooner than you think.
The same goes for shingles.
If you notice a missing shingle, don’t wait until more of them go AWOL because that happens quickly. The domino effect is a thing. Roofs with missing and bent shingles are prone to blow-offs.
Take Maintenance Tip From Professional Roofers
This one is logical, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore advice from experienced roofers. Of course, don’t follow tips that have 0 sense. Yet, a good contractor won’t just feed you raw information. They’ll explain how to keep your roof in perfect condition for as long as possible.
And once you get tips from people who roof for a living, follow them. Otherwise, you might cause serious problems. Also, if you have a good contractor, call them when in doubt. That way, you’ll be sure what to do.
Don’t Reuse Old Shingle Material
Generally, you can’t reuse shingles because your whole roof must be covered with the same type. You can’t buy shingles and mix them with old ones. Even if you pick the same type, the difference in shingle condition makes a roof weak. Older shingles degranulate faster and break sooner.
Don’t Buy Low-Quality Materials
The best contractor in the world can’t help you if you insist on getting low-quality material just because you want to save money. There’s not much to say here other than that.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive roofing materials but listen to your contractor, especially if you pick someone from the area. Local roofers know what works and what just looks like it could maybe work. That’s one of the reasons why most homeowners always pick local crews.
Don’t Pick The Cheapest Roofing Contractor
Can you see the pattern already?
Don’t try to save money on contractors. We aren’t saying that the most affordable roofer you know doesn’t know how to repair or replace a roof. They probably know, but then you have to ask yourself what makes them so affordable…
Maybe they don’t pay for insurance or aren’t licensed in your area. Again, being affordable doesn’t necessarily mean a roofer is unprofessional, but we still suggest you don’t pick a contractor based on price.
Don’t Let Your Roof Become a Moss Garden
A couple of moss patches might give your house a nice touch, but we still advise you to get rid of it as soon as you see it.
Moss loves and holds water meaning your roof is slowly rotting under those beautiful green patches. Not only that, but moss grows and spreads. In the process, it damages shingles and opens space for more water.
Sooner or later, water will find its way around the underlayment, and then… Well, it’s a matter of time before the leaks show up.
Don’t Use Pressure Washers On Shingles
This one is dangerous, yet we see more and more people do it.
Don’t use pressure washers on your roof! Yes, it will seem like you helped your roof, but in reality, that much force will weaken every part of the roof. Don’t be surprised if shingles break while you’re washing them. Be even less surprised if you notice some missing shingles days after.
Don’t Try To Repair Serious Issues Alone
DIY roof repairs are okay. We first encourage homeowners to deal with minor issues, but (and that’s a big but)… Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
It’s one thing to replace 1 shingle, but replacing 10 of them is something else. Also, never, ever, ever replace flashings on your own. It may seem like you’re doing a good job, but months later, you might notice stains on your walls or faint from the smell when you go to your attic.
So be proactive, repair what you can and maintain your roof as much as you can, but when you notice real problems, don’t push yourself. Call someone who knows how to deal with that exact problem. The easiest way is to call a proven local roofer from Marlboro, NJ. Then you’ll be sure your roof is in good hands, and there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.