You don’t have to climb on top of your roof to take care of it. By doing what you can from the ground and by hiring the right professionals, you can maintain a functional and serviceable roof. Here’s what you need to know about roof maintenance.
1. Perform Regular Inspections
Walk around your home’s perimeter and investigate your roofing shingles at least once per year. If you have asphalt shingles, look for curling or cracking, and signs of corrosion around the flashing. You may also notice missing shingles, which you can see by the dark spots that they leave behind.
Loss of granules is another sign that your asphalt shingles are degrading. Many homeowners look for granules in their gutters to see if this happening to their roof. This would require you to get on a ladder, but you don’t have to do it that way.
Another way to check for loss of granules is to look at the base of your downspouts. Even if your shingles are in good condition, you may notice a few granules on the ground. Large collections of granules are an indication of a problem. In our climate, asphalt shingles typically last for about 20–25 years, so if your roof is two decades old, it’s probably time to start planning for replacement.
If your home has concrete or clay tile, look for cracks in the tiles and missing tiles. Roof tiles can last for decades if properly installed and maintained, so if your house is very old, you may not have any idea how long your roof has been in place. The easiest way to tell is by monitoring the condition of your tiles. Keep in mind that if the roof has been in place for 20 or more years, it’s highly likely you need the tile underlayment (generally #30 felt) replaced.
2. Look in the Attic
If your roof is leaking, you should see evidence of it in the attic. If your attic is accessed only by a steep ladder, you may feel uncomfortable going into the space. If this is the case, pull down the ladder and stand on the bottom three or four rungs, just high enough that you can poke your head into the attic with a flashlight.
Look for dark spots and cracks in the rafters. Check for evidence of dry water trails running down the roof trusses, or dark spots on the roof insulation which can indicate water dripping. Turn a full 360 degrees to inspect everything you can see in the attic. If you see evidence of a problem, contact a roofer to investigate more thoroughly.
3. Take Care of Trees
Trees that overhang the house can cause damage to a roof by rubbing against it when the wind blows or if a branch breaks off during a storm. Prevent this from happening by hiring an arborist or a qualified landscaper to remove branches that hang over your house. Doing this will also help keep your gutters clean, which will enable water to drain properly from your roof.
4. Get the Gutters Cleaned Regularly
Many people clean their own gutters, but if you’re not comfortable on a ladder, hire a professional gutter cleaning company to do it for you. Do this at least once annually, or more frequently if you have many trees in close proximity to roof gutters.
5. Choose Your Roofer Carefully
One of the best things you can do for your roof is choose your roofer carefully. Whether you need maintenance or a new installation, hire someone with experience and training. Hiring the right roofer will help minimize maintenance problems.
For more information about how you can maintain your roof without getting up on a ladder, talk to an expert. At SUNVEK, we’re happy to answer your questions for you. Call us today for more information or to make an appointment.