If you're a new homeowner, you may have little or no experience maintaining a roof. Luckily, most rooftops need attention only a few times a year. Knowing what to do to take care of your roof can help extend its service life and keep your home in good condition.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
Your gutters are a critical component of your home's water drainage system. By carrying water runoff away from your roof and down to the ground, your gutters help prevent roof leaks and water damage. As a result, gutter maintenance is closely tied with roof maintenance. Cleaning your gutters once in spring and once in the fall will help keep water away from your roof and will help prevent ice dams in winter.
To clean your gutters, put on work gloves, and stand on a free-standing ladder positioned over your gutters. With a bucket in one hand and a trowel in the other, scoop dirt and debris out of the gutters and into the bucket. When you're finished, flush the gutters with a hose.
Inspect Your Roof Annually
Take a look at your roof at least once every year in the spring. Look for:
- Curling or missing shingles. Curling shingles are a sign that your shingles are getting older and need to be replaced. Missing shingles could be a sign of age and deterioration or could also be a sign of poor installation.
- Unusual dips or bends in the roof line. This is a good indication that the roof has rot beneath the shingles.
- Moss growing on the roof shingles. Moss growing on the roof needs to be removed before it becomes a problem. Use a long-handled broom dipped in bleach water to clear away new formations of moss on the shingles.
- Shingle granules in the gutters. Small deposits of shingle granules are acceptable and expected, but large piles of granules are an indication that your shingles are going bare.
- Water damage underneath the roof in the attic. Go into the attic and look at the sheathing above the trusses. Dark spots in the wood are an indication of roof leaks.
Have Your Roof Inspected When It Shows Signs of Wear and Tear
If during your annual inspection you see signs of wear and tear on the roof (water damage, shingle granules, etc), have your roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor. He or she can come to your home, assess the condition of the roof and make recommendations for repair.
For more tips, or if you've noticed damage to your roof, contact a local roofing contractor.