Maintaining your roof is an important part of protecting your home’s overall vitality. In fact, aside from windows and heating and cooling systems, your house’s roofing may just be the most important thing to keep track of as a homeowner. After all, what good is a roof over your head without the actual roof itself?
The good news is that, although it may seem daunting, maintaining a roof doesn’t need to take a lot of time or money. Fortunately, there are small steps that you can take to make sure that you are taking the best care of your roof. Taking some time to learn the basics of simple roof upkeep and investing in some low-costing changes can help save you some serious money and headaches in the long run. Here are five easy fundamental parts of roof maintenance that any homeowner can start to take today to protect their house roofing in the long run.
Five Easy Tips To Maintain Your Home Roof
1. Maintain the Trees on Your Property
When shopping for a home, mature trees can be a huge selling point for many people. Not only does greenery provide curb appeal — and in turn increase property values — but they also cool down rooms, help prevent soil erosion, and even cut down your electricity costs.
Usually, having a tree in your yard will not do any harm to your roof. However, if your branches hang over your rooftop, you may run into problems. The reasons for this are basically twofold. On one hand, strong winds can send branches and leaves tumbling onto your rooftop, which can result in some damage to the shingles. On the other hand, falling leaves may gather in your gutters, which can lead to blockages and other problems down the line (we’ll touch on this later).
The easiest way to prevent the kind of damage to your rooftop that is caused by falling branches is to trim the trees that are closest to your roof. However, it’s not as simple as taking a chainsaw to the branches that are closest to your roof. It’s very important to be precise when trimming your nearby branches, as one wrong cut could send a tree’s limb barreling down which could result in more damage.
2. Keep Up With Chimney Maintenance
Chimneys — great for Santa, not-so-great for house roofing. Although a chimney can bring ambience and coziness to your living area, it is important that you take proper care of your chimney to make sure that it doesn’t cause problems for you down the road.
One easy way to get started is to check your chimney for any apparent cracks or gaps between bricks. If you do notice that the mortar of your chimney is starting to pull apart, it is important you hire a professional who can help you seal up the cracks (or do it yourself, if you’re handy).
Another thing to look for is for leaning or slouching in your chimney. If you do notice this, it could be the sign of a more serious issue, such as a sinking foundation. It is advisable that you hire a contractor for an inspection as soon as possible if you notice a leaning chimney.
Aside from visible signs of damage on the exterior, it is also important that you take the proper steps to maintain the life of your chimney from the inside. This means inspecting and cleaning all vent outlets throughout the entire chimney. Your chimney and roof enjoy a symbiotic relationship, so by taking these preventative steps, you will also be protecting the integrity of your rooftop.
3. Invest in a Roof Inspection
This may be the most obvious entry on this roof, but it goes without saying. Although there are certainly small inspections that can be performed by yourself after a bit of self-education, there is really no replacement for a seasoned professional with years in the business.
A roof inspector will examine the health of your shingles, and determine if any are missing or loose. Also, they will check your shingles for any signs of cracks, curling, or even mould. The presence of any of these characteristics may be a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifetime. And, while they may seem easy enough unless you have professional experience it can be hard to know with confidence that you have checked for all signs of shingle damage.
It is a common misconception that a roof inspector will have to pull up your shingles and damage your roof in order to perform an analysis. This is simply not the case. Roof inspectors are professionals who use special tools such as infrared rays to determine important information about the integrity of your home.
4. Take Good Care of Your Shingles
We’ve talked a lot about shingles up until this point, and it’s not without good reason. Shingles are simply the best indicator of roof health. After all, they are what is protecting your roof from the harsh elements brought on by hail, wind, snow, and rain.
Not ready to climb up on your roof? It’s also possible to examine your roof’s shingles with a pair of binoculars. By looking up at your roof from your yard, you should be able to see signs of missing or cracked shingles. You should also try to see if you have any shingles that are in the process of peeling and should be on the lookout for any missing granules (the stone material that most shingles are made of).
5. Clean Your Gutters (and Your Rooftop) Regularly
You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? There’s a reason why most homeowners regularly clean their gutters. While there are certainly professional services that can get the job done very well, it is also possible to clean your own gutters by wearing rubber gloves and pulling the leaves and other debris out yourself. To finish up the job, use a soft brush to scrub down your gutters.
While you are cleaning your gutters, it is equally as important to clean your downspout. This can easily be done by angling your garden hose down your downspout and washing away any detritus. Be sure to be on the lookout for leaks.
It is also advisable to clean the top of your roof. This can be best accomplished through the use of a power wash and a soft-bristled brush.
Even with these best practices in mind, every roof will eventually reach the end of its lifetime. When the time comes, be sure to invest in the help of a reputable roofing company to ensure that your investment comes well-prepared for the future.