Your home’s roofing system is a complex system meant to protect you and the interior of your home from the outside elements your home faces regularly. A quality roofing system is one of the most important investments when it comes to your home protection, so it should not be surprising that proper and regular roof maintenance should be included in the care provided to your home.
Regular maintenance allows for a quality roofing system that lasts longer to keep your home safe from external factors. The frequency of maintenance depends on home to home based on the external elements your home may face such as hanging branches or amount of leaves that develop in gutters. Additionally, the frequency may increase if your home has faced major storm events that could have harmed your roofing system.
Look for Leaks and Signs of Moisture
Oftentimes damage goes unnoticed until your roof begins to leak and by that point the problem can become much worse without immediate maintenance. Take the time to look in places like your attic and corners of home for signs of moisture as this can often be a sign of future leaks.
Other common warning signs of a leak are bulging patches on the interior of your walls and spots may develop on the exterior of your walls. Additionally, sometimes musty odors may be present in certain rooms. If you notice any of these issues, it may be time to get your home inspected to have the leak patched and repaired. Some leaks may be signs of larger problems that could lead to the need for a full roof replacement.
Keep Your Roofing System Clean
Eventually, you may notice that elements of your roofing system need to be cleaned. The primary spots that you may notice issues are the shingles themselves and in your gutters.
Shingle Cleaning: With time you may start to notice moss, algae and mold growing on your home. While algae and mold may not cause any immediate damage, with time it can slowly start to rot your shingles. By spraying your shingles with a 50% mix of water and bleach, you will be able to kill the algae and prevent more from going with regular spraying. Some homeowners will install copper strips just beneath the roof’s peak to help kill off any algae that attempts to grow back. Along with moss, algae and mold buildup, your shingles may have grime buildup that we recommend be removed by a professional cleaner or roofer. The average cost to clean a roof is $400, but can vary based on the size and condition of the roofing system.
Gutter Cleaning: Keeping your gutters clean is important for maintaining a quality roofing system and provides an opportunity to check for other issues your roofing system may be facing. For the most part, gutter cleaning is the practice of regularly removing all leaves, seeds, twigs, and other debris found in the gutters that could eventually lead to clogging. When the debris in gutters is left unchecked, the gutters can overflow causing unwanted moisture to settle on your roofing system. Keeping your gutters clean, will help to prevent ice dams, water leaks, and structural damage from occurring due to unwanted moisture settling on top of your home.
Trim Tree Branches
Tree branches that go unkept and hang over your roof can cause major issues if they were to fall on your roof during severe weather. If you have tall trees near your home, make sure to cut off any large branches that are directly over your roof to reduce the chances of storm damage occurring on your roof. Even if branches do not hang directly over your home, it is important to trim any large branches that could come into the vicinity of your roof on a windy day or in a strong storm. Not only can these branches near your roof cause damage to your roof, but they also could cause structural damage if left too close to your home. While some homeowners may feel comfortable with trimming their own branches, we recommend to the average homeowner to call a local lawn and tree contractor to trim trees once they become problematic.
Check Your Roofing System for Signs of Damage
At times damage to your roofing system can be visually present, which is why it is good to keep an eye on the top of your roof as well for cracked, curled, or missing shingles. Along with looking at the shingles for damage, it is good to check your gutters for granular loss as this could be a sign of shingles wearing down. Another good place to look for damage is on the ventilation and guttering systems, after major hail storms vents and gutters may look dented and dinged up, which could be a warning of worse damage throughout the rest of the roofing system.
Keep An Eye on Sealants and Flashing
Roof flashing is an important element of your roofing system that helps to seal off cracks and bends in the roof, preventing water from entering your home. Flashing is most commonly found around the chimney, which is the first place to look for issues such as cracking or gaps around where the chimney connects to the rest of your roofing system. If it is apparent that there are cracks or other issues with the flashing, it is important to get this repaired as soon as possible to prevent any potential leaks from developing. Sealants can begin failing in two to five years, making it necessary to have touch up repairs every few years even after recent roof replacement. While making any repairs, we recommend having your roof inspected for any other issues just to help provide further peace of mind.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Aside from regular maintenance, it is also a good idea to have your home inspected on a regular basis even after a new roof replacement. The frequency of inspections for your roofing system depends on multiple factors such as weather conditions and the age of the roofing system. It is often recommended to have a roof inspection at least twice a year. Typically it is best to have your roofing system inspected in the fall and spring when the weather and temperatures are less volatile.
When the weather is milder and the roof is clear of exterior elements such as snow, the contractor providing the inspection may spot problems easier and be able to make small repairs with ease. Additionally, inspecting during the milder seasons, allows for preparing your roofing system for upcoming changes in temperature and more hazardous weather. In our local area of the Ozarks, it is important to get your home inspected in the earlier months of spring before the stronger thunderstorms and hail storms start to arrive followed by the strong heat waves in the early summer.
After A Storm
Aside from your regular inspections twice a year, we also recommend having your roofing system inspected after major weather events such as strong storms. Storms bring many external factors that can cause damage to your roofing system such as hail, heavy wind, and even downpouring rain.
After a storm, make sure to check your roof for any missing shingles or signs of granular loss in the drainage from the gutters. As we mentioned before, vents and gutters with dents are another sign that storm damage has occurred. With an increase of rain in the Spring, often homeowners start to notice minor leaks and if this is the case for you, now is the time to get your roofing system inspected! Even if there hasn’t been a leak noticed yet, if your home has been hit by recent strong storms, make sure to get an inspection to identify any issues before they become a bigger problem when the next storms hit.
Roof maintenance may not need to be as frequent as other home care, but it still remains an important factor in extending the life of your roofing system and protecting your home from the external elements. By regularly keeping an eye out for leaks and damage, cleaning your roofing system, trimming your tree branches, and scheduling regular roof inspections you can ensure the best quality of your roofing system and catch issues before they become huge headaches!
Advanced Restorations is a general contractor specializing in storm damage restoration for residential and commercial roofing, as well as multiple other aspects of property restoration.
As a part of the Ozarks community, we’ll be by your side every step of the way to ensure all damages are addressed and no corners are cut. From start to finish, we oversee the project to completion and ensure our homeowners are satisfied.
If you think your roof needs some work, call us at 417-229-0667 for a free inspection. We’ll come to your home in the 417 or any of the surrounding communities to evaluate your roof’s condition, as well as provide you with insight on all your options.