Roof Maintenance Tips For Homeowners

Most roof manufacturers have disclaimers that state that a roof must be maintained regularly or their warranties will be void. Performing regular preventative maintenance will save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.

Begin with a visual inspection of the whole roof. Look for shingles missing or with granule loss (texture). Consult a professional by clicking here at

roof maintenance

Debris Removal

When debris accumulates on a roof, it can create problems. Debris can block gutters, clog roof vents, and cause water damage. In addition, debris can also be a breeding ground for insects and other pests. It’s important to remove debris from a roof regularly, especially after storms or high winds. Debris removal can be a tricky task, and it’s often best left to professionals who have the equipment and safety measures to safely remove debris from your roof.

The most common types of roof debris include leaves, pine needles, seed pods, fruit, and twigs. These items often fall off nearby trees or are blown onto the roof by wind. Debris should be removed regularly to prevent the buildup of debris and to allow rain to flow through your gutters and downspouts.

In addition to removing debris, it’s also a good idea to inspect the roof for cracks and other damage. The shingles may need to be repaired or replaced, and the flashing should also be checked for cracks. A crack in the flashing can let water into your home, so it’s crucial to repair any cracked or damaged areas of the roof as soon as possible.

Other things to check for include moss or algae, which should be treated as soon as they appear on the roof. These organisms can penetrate the shingle and cause damage, so it’s important to remove them before they grow out of control. You should also check the mortar or caulk around chimneys, pipes, and roof penetrations to ensure that they are still in place and properly sealed.

Depending on the type of roof, you may be able to remove some debris yourself using a ladder. In other cases, it’s necessary to hire a professional roofer for debris removal and inspections. This is a service that is well worth the investment, as it can help to extend the life of your roof and avoid costly repairs in the future. When you do hire a professional, they will usually be able to handle many different maintenance tasks, including repairing leaks, inspecting and replacing shingles, cleaning out gutters, examining roof vents, and repairing any cracks or other damage.

Shingle Inspection

When it comes to shingle roofs, a professional roof inspector will check the condition of the shingles. They will look for bald spots or missing shingles, as well as cracked or rotted shingle tabs. They will also check the alignment of the shingles. They should overlap each other by at least 1/2 inch. This is critical for a water-resistant roof. Additionally, the inspector will look for moss and other debris that can hold moisture. They will also look for the flashing, which is the material that seals the roof to the gutters and other features of the roof.

A roof inspection will also look for the presence of mold, fungus, and algae, which may indicate that there is a problem with the roof structure or ventilation. They will also look for stains and streaks on the ceilings and walls, which may indicate that water is seeping into the home. The inspector will also check for improper attic insulation or venting, which can lead to the buildup of heat and moisture in the attic.

If you have a solar installation, the roof inspector will look for proper mounting and installation. They will also look for leaks around any penetrations, such as ductwork, chimneys, plumbing vents, and skylights. Leaks are a serious concern for homeowners, as they can lead to structural damage and expensive repairs.

The inspector will also look for the presence of a chimney crown, which protects the roof from rainwater and snow. If it is rotting, the inspector will recommend that it be replaced. They will also check the rubber boots and seals of the penetrating items for signs of deterioration.

The inspector will also inspect the interior of the home, checking for water stains on the ceilings and walls and signs of rot or mold. They will also check the attic for proper insulation and ventilation, as well as check the condition of the roof sheathing and framing. Finally, they will look at the soffit and fascia to ensure that they are free from rot and damage. If there is any moisture in these areas, it could eventually cause damage to the shingles and the interior of the home.

Trimming Tree Branches

Keeping tree branches away from your roof will minimize the potential of damage during storms and clogs, as well as reduce the risk of trees falling on houses. It is a good idea to regularly sweep, blow, or wash debris off of your roof, as it can cause algae growth, damage shingles and create holes in the gutters. It is also a good idea to trim overhanging tree branches to keep them from touching or damaging your roof, as well as to keep them away from your property.

When trimming tree branches, it is important to use thinning cuts rather than just cutting them back to the trunk or main branch. The thinning cut will allow for better airflow in the tree while maintaining a healthy appearance. To thin a branch, start at the base of the limb and move upwards on a 2 or 10-o’clock angle from the trunk to remove the end of the limb. This will help prevent crotch angle weakness and splitting during heavy wind or ice loads.

Before making any pruning cuts, it is very important to locate the branch collar. This is a swollen area of bark on the lower side of the branch and is easily visible on many species of trees. This swollen area of bark is the natural wound covering a branch and provides a natural resistance to decaying organisms. When a branch is removed, it should be trimmed back to the first cut just outside of the swollen area of the branch collar.

The final cut should be made almost flush with the branch collar to avoid damaging the bark. It is very important to never seal pruning cuts with wood tar or other products as it does not help the wound heal properly and can promote decay of the branch and the tree.

It is recommended that most of your roof areas are surveyed monthly to remove any debris from drains and identify potential damaging conditions. It may be necessary to increase the frequency of these surveys at certain times of the year, or when an event such as a severe storm damages a large area of the roof.

Snow Removal

Snow removal is one of the most important aspects of roof maintenance. If left unattended, snow can cause structural damage to the roof and lead to leaks in homes and businesses. It’s also a very dangerous job for homeowners to take on. Working at heights, particularly from a ladder or on the roof surface in cold and icy conditions, is a high-risk activity with serious consequences for anyone not properly trained in safe work practices.

Using improper equipment or techniques to remove snow can damage the shingles, ballast, and roof membrane. Improper snow removal can also result in the development of ice dams, which can severely weaken the structure of a roof and lead to roof collapse or water damage inside the building.

When hiring contractors for roof maintenance, make sure they have experience and training in proper snow removal. They should use plastic snow rakes or shovels, rather than metal tools which can damage the roofing materials. They should also be knowledgeable about the different styles of roofs and how to safely navigate them. They should also know how to keep snow away from drains, scuppers, and gutters, and how to keep people away from icicles and other hazards while they’re on the roof.

As the seasons change, it’s a good idea to schedule regular inspections of your roof to identify problems before they become worse. Getting ahead of the curve can help you save money and prevent major problems, like a roof collapse or leaks into your building. It can also prevent costly repairs, such as a complete roof replacement or interior ceiling water damage.

When you have a maintenance program in place, you can track the snow level on your roof from anywhere. Having this information available to you will allow you to schedule repairs or snow removal services before your roof is damaged. It will also give you peace of mind that your roof is in good shape throughout the winter months. When you see a sagging roof or spots where the snow is collecting, call in the experts.

Gary Elkins