Roof Maintenance Tasks

A well-maintained roof will protect your home, increase its value, and help you avoid costly repairs or premature replacement. It also saves money on energy bills by providing insulation and ventilation.

Roof Maintenance

Homeowners often ignore minor problems with their roofs until they cause damage to the ceilings or walls. Regular maintenance can identify issues before they escalate into major problems. Visit to learn more.

One of the most important parts of any roof is the flashing. It’s the section of metal that connects the roof to the house at all of the seams (around dormers, chimneys, skylights and other projections). If moisture gets past this area of the roof, it can damage the interior of the home and create mildew or mold problems. This is where regular inspections come into play. The inspector will check for leaks or damaged flashing. This may be done as part of a full roof inspection, or it may be a separate task.

Checking the flashing is an especially important step when preparing for inclement weather. High winds can damage the flashing and lead to water intrusion in the roof and home. This can be expensive and difficult to fix, so it’s a good idea to prepare before the storm hits.

Most flashing is made of aluminum because of its anti-corrosion properties. But it’s still possible for it to corrode, especially if the caulk around it is deteriorating. Look for caulking that’s peeling, cracked or pitted and replace it if needed. Also, look for any loose flashing and tighten it if necessary.

Another maintenance item is to inspect the gutters and drains to ensure they’re free of blockages and in good working order. Check the condition of the gutter straps and make sure they’re securely fastened to the building to prevent them from becoming dislodged during high wind events.

Finally, check the seals and flashing around all penetrations to ensure they’re in good working order. This includes vent pipes, skylights, media installations and more. This is where the inspector will evaluate the conditions and make recommendations if needed.

While not the most exciting aspect of a roof, the flashing is important for the integrity of your roof and should be inspected regularly. This is why it’s a good idea to have regular roof inspections, which can catch small issues before they become major problems that require costly repairs.

Trim Trees

Trees add beauty to a landscape and also provide shade that helps keep energy bills in check. However, when they start touching or hanging over a roof, it is time for some maintenance.

The first thing to do is trim the limbs that hang over your home. This is best done by a professional, as the last thing you want is for a branch to fall on your house. This can result in costly damage and even injury to family members and guests.

When a branch extends over the roof, it can scrape against the surface and strip off layers of the roofing material. In addition, it can expose the underlying layer to water and create an ideal environment for mold. It can also cause gutter clogging. And finally, it can trap debris, making it harder for rainwater to move through the roof and down the drains.

The general rule is that the lower branches of a tree should be at least 10 to 20 feet from a structure. However, this may vary depending on the type of tree and how close it grows to a building. For example, some trees are more prone to damage than others, such as hickory, pecan, chestnut, and Osage orange, because they drop heavy nuts that can do severe structural damage to a roof.

In addition, some limbs can poke the outer roofing surface, causing it to gradually strip down to the base mat layer. This will allow moisture into the roof and cause serious structural problems that may require a full roof replacement.

The best way to prevent this is to regularly trim the limbs that hang over your roof and keep them at least 6 feet away from the structure. This is best done by a certified arborist who knows how far a branch should be from a roof and how to do it safely. They can also identify any other potential threats that are not visible to the untrained eye. These may include a buildup of leaf debris that could be caused by overhanging limbs, scratches on the roof from rubbing shingles, or damage to the gutters due to the presence of overhanging branches.

Clean the Gutters

Gutter cleaning is one of the less pleasant, but nonetheless important, roof maintenance tasks that every homeowner should perform. Gutters are crucial for diverting rainwater from the roof and away from foundations, walls, windows and doors, and other vulnerable areas of the home. If gutters become clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris, water may begin to seep under the shingles, and that can cause expensive damage to the roof and other parts of the house.

A clogged gutter can also encourage the formation of ice dams during winter storms. This happens when melting snow and ice can’t escape the blocked gutter, and it begins to build up behind the gutter. The resulting water pressure can cause the shingle edges to peel off, and eventually the shingles themselves will need to be replaced.

If you’re comfortable working at heights, you can clean the gutters from the roof by placing a ladder at an extension of the roof, and using a gutter scoop or another small plastic scoop (or even an old spatula) to remove gunk from the gutters. Be sure to wear a helmet and safety glasses, and be careful not to lean the ladder on the gutters themselves, as this can damage them.

Another method for gutter cleaning is to use a pressure washer to blast the gunk away from the roof and gutters. However, you’ll need a long ladder and a spotter to help keep you safe from falling off the roof.

If you don’t want to risk climbing a ladder, you can hire a professional gutter cleaner to do the job for you. These professionals can clean out the gutters and wash them to remove any remaining pollen, dirt or sludge. They can also clean out the downspouts and flush them to ensure that they are free of water. Then, they can install gutter guards to prevent the recurrence of clogged gutters in the future. For the best results, you should consider getting your gutters cleaned twice a year by a professional. This is especially true if you have overhanging trees, or if the roof is steeper.

Inspect the Shingles

A roof’s shingles provide the first line of defense against the elements and must be in good condition. The inspector should look for shingles that are cracking or curling, loose or missing. He or she should also check for popped nails that need to be reattached and moss or lichen growth, which may indicate that the underlying structure is decaying.

Inspecting the shingles is an important part of a roof inspection, especially in areas near openings such as chimneys, skylights and vents. A professional should also make sure that the flashing around these penetrations is properly sealed to prevent water leaks.

He or she will look for rust in the metal flashing that lines these openings. The inspector should also inspect the soffit boards and fascia boards, which cover the underside of a roof’s overhangs, for damage such as rot and warping.

The inspector will also survey the shingle surface for signs of damage, such as sun fading or curling and sagging sections of the roof. He or she will also check the shingles for black spots, which could be caused by a mold problem or mildew.

While these signs are usually cosmetic, they should be addressed as soon as possible to protect the structural integrity of a home and limit the impact of moisture on the interior. Fortunately, these problems can be prevented with routine maintenance and regular inspections. A well-maintained roof can improve a home’s value and speed up the sale process, as it will be more attractive to potential buyers. A poorly maintained roof can lead to costly repairs and even major structural damage. Performing these basic preventative maintenance tasks can help extend the life of a shingle roof and keep it in great shape for years to come. Whether you do the work yourself or rely on a professional, regular preventative maintenance and inspections can save you time and money. Contact a roofing contractor for further assistance. They can help you find the best solution for your needs. They can also offer advice on how to maintain your shingle roof in between professional services.