Roof Maintenance Tips
You can help extend your roof’s lifespan with regular maintenance. Both new and well-seasoned roofs can benefit from these steps. Take care of these tasks, and you’ll be less likely to have to spend on a new roof sooner than you have to.
1. Clear Leaves and Branches Away
Leaves, sticks, and all kinds of debris make their home on your roof during fall and winter. Don’t let them get comfortable. Take advantage of those warmer, sunny days to get up on a ladder while you clear out the gutters and valleys. Always have someone else hold the bottom of the ladder while you climb.
2. Inspect & Make Repairs
These trouble spots tend to need attention when you’re taking care of roof maintenance:
- Water stains on the ceiling or in the attic
- Missing shingles – also fix shingles that are sticking up or loose
- Mossy, moldy, or worn areas on the shingles
- Missing flashing, loose flashing, or loose nails
Fix all the shingle damage you find right away – or simply replace entire shingles. Tighten your gutter brackets and ensure that your flashing is secure.
Note: if you have peeling, curled up, or lifted shingles on your roof in several places, you may need a new roof. Schedule a professional roof estimate to assess the condition of your roof.
3. Eliminate Moss & Mold
Use a hand sprayer to apply moss remover and a cleaning solution to mossy and moldy spots on any shingles that need it. Pay special attention to any directions on the cleaner, particularly how long you need to let the cleaner sit on the shingles. After it’s finished, use a soft broom or brush to gently remove the moss or mold. Never use a power washer or hard-bristled brush when you clean your roof. Rough cleaning strips the UV-resistant granules off the shingles.
4. Clean Gutters, Downspouts, Soffits, & Fascia
Well-cleaned gutters make up the foundation of roof maintenance. Remove all leaves and debris from all your gutters and downspouts. If you need to, use a soft-bristled brush to sweep away excess dirt. After you’ve removed as much as you can, run water through the gutters with a hose to flush out any remaining dirt and debris.
After they dry, inspect the gutters for degraded caulk, peeled paint, rotten soffits or fascia, holes, and cracks. If you haven’t already, tighten loose brackets and gutter sections, replacing any missing hardware. Leaky gutters make wood rot incredibly quickly. Don’t delay repairs.
Note: you can protect your hands from rough roof granules and harsh chemical build up in the gutters by using protective gloves.
5. Repair Vents, Chimneys, & Skylights
You’re almost done with your roof maintenance. Now, let’s take care of the chimneys, vents, and skylights. Not all homes have all these features, so feel free to skip past anything that doesn’t apply.
- Make sure the chimney flue is closed
- Brush the creosote off the chimney interior
- Check the outside of the chimney for damage
- Repair cracked bricks and mortar
- Seal the outside of the chimney bricks with a water-repellant solution
Now, wash the vents and skylights with a mild, soapy solution and repair them if needed. While you’re on the roof, use extreme caution. Many homeowners use a harness to secure themselves to the chimney in case they slip.
Having a professional repair or replace your roof can be expensive. But you can extend the life of your roof by by doing regular maintenance. Help it last as long as it’s designed to.