Unlike the other parts of your home's exterior, the roof is not as easily viewable. Since a roof replacement is one of the more expensive home repairs, it's important to do what you can to take care of the roof you have now. Being proactive and aware of your roof and its condition can help you extend the life of the roof. Read on for tips you can use today to help your roof last longer.
Start with Routine Inspections
Don't wait until you notice a few missing shingles or discover water leaking from your ceiling. If you expect your roof to protect you and the interior of your home, you need to inspect it regularly. At least twice a year, get up on a ladder and look around. You might even need to walk on the roof to get a better idea of its condition. The best time to perform your inspection is right before the onset of cold weather. After the winter season is over, and especially if your area has a rough season, do another quick inspection. If you're not comfortable climbing a ladder, call a roofing company and schedule an appointment for them to come out and do an inspection for you. Even if you do find a few cracked or missing shingles, you can still replace them if you find them soon enough.
Clean the Gutters
You don't need to walk on the roof to clean the gutters. Grab your ladder, a trowel and a bucket for the debris. The garden hose, or a pressure washer if you have one, is also needed for this job. Remove leaves and any other debris you find. You might be surprised at what gets trapped in the gutters. The best time to clean gutters is at the end of the fall season after the trees finish dropping leaves. While cleaning it's a good idea to inspect the gutters for things like missing hooks, rust, and potential water flow issues. Get any repairs done before cold weather arrives.
Trees add beauty to any landscape, but they can also damage the roof of your home. You don't need to cut a tree down just because it's close to the house, but you should make a point of trimming any overhanging branches. The problem with overhanging branches is that in a windstorm, they tend to brush up against the roof and can damage shingles and gutters. Overhanging branches can act as a bridge for squirrels, raccoons, and other uninvited wildlife to get on your roof. If you have very thick branches, or you have a two-story home, you may need to have a professional tree trimmer do the work.
Keep it Clean
A clean roof lasts longer. When you don't allow leaves to build-up and remain on the roof for weeks and months, you prolong the roof's life. If you scrub any moss off the shingles, you're helping extend the years your roof provides protection for you and your family. You might also notice rust on the flashing. Since flashing is made from metals like aluminum, copper, or stainless or galvanized steel, it's not uncommon to find rust on it. Ignoring the rust is not an option. Allowing rust to remain on flashing means your roof may wear out more quickly. If you take time to do routine maintenance, your roof should give you many years of service.