Your roof’s first and most important job is to protect you and the interior of your home from sun, rain, wind, hail, snow, and other weather conditions. This means that your roof experiences serious wear and tear daily. On average, a roof can last about 15 to 20 years without any need for significant repairs or replacement. While every roof will need repair at one point or another, there are maintenance tips that homeowners can follow to extend the lifespan of their roofs.
Clean Debris From Your Roof and Gutters
The slope of your roof helps water drain properly into your gutters and downspouts. You should regularly inspect your roof for debris like sticks, branches, leaves, and stones, especially after a storm. However, you should avoid climbing onto your roof, as that can pose a safety risk. If you can, use a roof rake to remove any debris. You should check your gutters as well since clogged gutters can cause water to back up and sit along your roofline, which could result in mold and leaks over time.
Make Sure Your Attic Is Properly Insulated
Insulation may not seem like it has any impact on your roof, but keeping an eye on your insulation is one of the most important roof maintenance tips every homeowner should know. Believe it or not, your attic’s insulation helps protect your roof from leaks. When properly insulated, your roof heats up more evenly; if you live in a colder climate, this allows snow to melt consistently and prevents the formation of ice dams. Adequate insulation also inhibits mold growth. When mold spores take root, it can quickly turn into an infestation. In turn, that mold growth can degrade your roof sheathing and cause serious structural damage.
Inspect Your Flashing for Cracks or Damage
Flashing is the metal or plastic lining surrounding your vent pipe, chimney, and windows, and it also lines any valley in your roof. This lining allows water to run down your roof and prevents water from getting under your shingles. If you notice any cracks, holes, or corrosion in your flashing, contact a roofing contractor right away. Attempting to fix or caulk your own flashing is often just putting a bandage over a larger wound.
Treat Your Roof for Moss and Algae
You should make it a habit to regularly inspect your roof for lichen, algae, and moss. Much like the mold in your attic, these growths can cause serious structural damage if left unchecked. You can have a professional remove the growths for you and treat your roof with a protective coating that prevents moss and algae from regrowing. If your roof is considerably vulnerable to algae growth, you may want to consider applying this treatment once a year.
Look Out for Damaged Shingles
One of the main reasons roof maintenance is so important for your home is that a poorly maintained roof just doesn’t look nice and can detract from your home’s curb appeal. A few damaged shingles here and there are normal and replacing them is relatively inexpensive. However, if your roof is covered in balding, cracking, warping, cupping, or curling shingles, you can bet that it’s going to seriously impact curb appeal. This is also a sign that your roof is getting old, and you may need an entire replacement.