A long-lasting roof saves you the money of replacement, but it depends on proper maintenance. The following tips can help you avoid frequent major repairs or premature roof replacement.
1. Perform Self Inspections
Whenever there is a storm, step outside the next day and have a good look at your roof. Look for obvious missing or damaged shingles, heavy granule buildup in gutters, and damage to eaves, roof penetrations, and flashing. If you spot something awry, call your roofer for a more in-depth inspection.
2. Repair Small Damages
A single blown off or torn shingle isn't a big deal unless you ignore it and allow a leak to slowly form. When ignored, water seeps in where the damage is and before you know it, the neighboring shingles are beginning to curl. Instead, promptly have small damage repaired before the problem becomes worse.
3. Clean Regularly
Moss, algae, and debris on the surface of the roof trap moisture, which can cause shingles to warp or age more quickly. Have the roof cleaned regularly, every one to three years depending on how quickly debris builds up. Avoid pressure washing, as this may damage the shingles. Instead, bring in a professional to do the job.
4. Clear Your Gutters
Dirty gutters cause water to backflow back onto your roof, which can cause it to leak under shingles in warm weather or form ice dams in cold. Clean gutters and downspouts in spring and fall. Also, make sure the gutters are aligned and in good repair.
5. Trim Your Trees
Tree branches blowing against the roof can scrape off shingles, plus there are issues with debris dropped from the tree and onto the roof. Keep your trees trimmed back so that they don't come in direct contact with your roofing shingles, even when the wind is blowing hard, and clear any debris that drops promptly.
6. Replace Damaged Flashing
Metal flashing seals the gap between your roof and any penetrations, such as chimneys and vent stacks. Flashing can wear out long before the main roof because it is more prone to damage from things like wind and hail. If your flashing looks warped or bent, replace it before a leak forms.
7. Protect Skylight Seals
Skylights are prone to leaking, but you can have your roofer install a simple water diverter to help prevent this. The diverter goes on the upslope side of the skylight and prevents water from collecting along the top seal of the window, thus prolonging the life of the seal.
Contact a local roofing service if you need help with any of these minor repair and maintenance tasks.