A little maintenance is all it takes to keep your roof looking and performing great. Periodic inspections are the best way to be sure your roof is maintained properly. A simple maintenance and inspection visit from a roofing professional can help identify any issues and complete minor repairs before any serious damage is caused.
Shingle, tile, and flat roofs all need periodic maintenance to ensure any broken, missing or cracked tiles or shingles are replaced and to ensure the flashing and underlayment are in good condition. Some maintenance, such as cleaning gutters or shingles, is ok to do yourself but tile roof cleaning and ridge cap repairs, skylight repairs, antenna removal and roof coatings are best left to the pros who can be sure the job is done right.
A little maintenance will keep your shingle roof looking good and performing well. It’s important to remove leaves, branches, moss and algae from your roof on a regular basis to keep asphalt, composite or architectural shingles from deteriorating. Roof flashings should also be inspected periodically to ensure they are in good condition and free of debris or moss. Shingles should also be checked occasionally to ensure none are damaged, loose or missing.
Tile roofs are long lasting and require very little maintenance, but it’s best to leave tile roof maintenance and repairs to a professional roofing contractor since walking on them can break them. The pros can keep your gutters and chimneys clean or paint your trim without damaging anything. To keep the tiles looking good, they need to be cleaned occasionally or moss and algae can discolor them. Older tiles roofs should be inspected to ensure the fasteners, underlayment, and flashing are in good condition.
Flat roofs can have a long lifespan, but only if they’re maintained properly. Flat roofs should be inspected at least every spring and autumn and after heavy rains or snows. Flat roof felting materials are vulnerable to splitting, slipping, blistering, and ponding. Regular inspection and repair can keep any issues from getting worse. Just like pitched roofs, it’s also important to keep flat roofs free of debris, moss, and branches, which can deteriorate the surface. Heavy snowfall can also damage flat roofs so it’s important to carefully shovel snow off the roof if it doesn’t melt right away.
Proper hip and ridge cap maintenance is important whether your roof is tile, shingle or metal. Ridge caps should last as long as your shingles or tile but they can be damaged heavily in severe weather. Ridge caps can separate and fail and should be inspected periodically to ensure they are in good repair. They should also be kept clear of any moss or debris that can trap water and deteriorate them. In some homes, ridge cap covers can be installed to help prevent tile and shingle deterioration. Failing ridge caps need to be repaired or replaced immediately to prevent leaks.
Keeping pipes and vents free of debris is vital to preventing leaks and ensuring proper air circulation in your home and to keep plumbing functioning properly. Vent lines and openings make attractive homes for birds, squirrels and rodents and the occasional tennis ball or baseball can fall in and really muck things up. A plugged vent line is often the reason for poorly draining sinks, especially if the drain lines are otherwise clear. The flashing at the base of pipes and vents should also be periodically inspected to ensure it is in good shape and clear of debris. Rubber boots around plumbing vent flashing are prone to cracking and are a frequent source of roof leaks.
Tree debris is more than just an unattractive mess. Too much debris holds water against shingles and tiles, causing mold and algae growth and deteriorating roofing materials. Tree branches can scrape, scratch and pull shingles loose and need to be kept trimmed and clear of the roof and gutters. Excessive debris can also clog gutters, causing water and ice to build up and damage the roof and eaves.
Roof coatings are a convenient way to prolong the life of a roof. There are a wide variety of roof coatings available, including functional coatings, reflective coatings, and maintenance system coatings. Functional coatings can seal minor flaws in the roof membrane and provide added protection from the elements. Reflective roof coatings can extend the life of shingles by reducing the amount of UV light and heat they are exposed to. Maintenance systems include coatings and fabrics that provide a secondary waterproofing membrane.
Old antennas are not just an eyesore. They can cause leaks and need to be removed. Many antennas are bolted to the roof, then tethered with wires to keep them upright. If the tethers fail, a strong wind can bend or break the antenna and it can damage roof shingles or tiles. Bolts placed on the roof for the tethers and antenna mounting can deteriorate and should be removed and properly patched to prevent leaks.
Clogged gutters and downspouts cause water to overflow from the gutters, which can lead to costly repairs. Overflowing gutters damage fascia and soffits and cause leaks, which can damage the roof deck and your home. Professional gutter cleaning is relatively inexpensive. Gutter covers are a great choice for keeping gutters clear and reducing maintenance costs.
Just like any other part of your roof, skylights require periodic cleaning and maintenance. Leaks are the most common skylight maintenance and repair issue and are typically caused by cracked or damaged flashing. Skylights can also crack or break from falling branches or storm debris. Opening skylights should be tested to ensure the gears and motors are also in good working order.
Even the most durable and strong roofs require periodic maintenance and repair to keep them looking good and performing well. A simple maintenance and repair visit from a roofing professional can stop, and even prevent leaks which can lead to serious damage and costly repairs down the road. It’s also best to have your roof inspected following a severe storm or unusually heavy snow and rainfall.
Keeping your roof in top condition requires more than the occasional cleaning. Skylights, vents and old antennas are a common source of leaks and clogged plumbing vents and gutters can damage your home inside and out. Prevention costs less than repair so sticking to a periodic maintenance and repair schedule can stop problems before they stop or become worse.
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