As a homeowner, knowing how to care for your roof can be an intimidating process. No matter what roof type your home has, you can ensure it lasts to its expected service life with the right level of care and maintenance. Committing to timely inspections and roof maintenance can prevent the need for extensive repairs from water leaks and other problems, and even the early replacement of your entire roof. These roofing tips will help ensure your roof lasts its expected service lifespan.
Thoroughly Inspect Shingles Each Season
Each season comes with problems unique to the weather patterns common during that time. Hot, humid months bring excessive sun damage and potential hurricane damage, and cold wintery months bring snow storms and potential for leaks caused by melting ice and snow. Therefore, it is important that you perform a thorough inspection of your shingles and other roofing materials each and every season. Look at the shingles for signs of excessive wear or damage, making sure to note any that are outright missing and need to be replaced. Check the integrity of the caulk around the flashing, as well as your vent pipes. Note any areas that have moss or lichen, as that indicates the potential for material decay beneath those shingles. Address any problems you find right away to prevent small, easily repairable issues from escalating.
Treat for Moss, Lichen, and Algae Annually
Allowing moss, lichen, and algae to grow on your roof can lead to extensive damage and an overall unsightly appearance. This often occurs during warmer months in shady areas of your roof. You can easily remove these growths by having your roof cleaned by a professional. Once your roof is clean and dry, you can apply preventative products containing zinc and copper that will keep the moss, lichen, and algae from growing back. When applied annually, these products effectively prohibit growth of all substances on your shingles.
Clean and Maintain the Gutters
When kept in great condition, your gutters protect your roof by directing water and debris away from your roof and home foundation. To ensure your gutters can do their job correctly, you must keep them free of leaves, sticks, and other debris. If you do not have trees close to your home, cleaning your gutters at least twice a year to keep water flowing properly. If you have trees on your property or live in an area like North Carolina that experiences semi-regular hurricanes, cleaning your gutters on a quarterly basis will keep them working correctly.
Remove Leaves and Debris From Your Roof on a Regular Basis
With the removal of roof debris, you effectively protect your home from damage and even prevent the growth of moss, lichen, and algae. Your gutters will not catch all of the leaves and debris that may land on your roof, especially after heavy storms. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your roof for debris and remove it promptly.
Trim Branches Hanging Near Your Roofline
Trimming large trees near your home, especially those that hang over your roof, can protect your home from damage caused by impacts and debris accumulation. Heavy storms and natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes can cause tree limbs to fly freely, potentially damaging your roof. Trim branches that hang too close to your roof or look like they might break in a storm. It is recommended that you check the growth of the tree branches around your home on an annual basis to determine when they need a trim.
Replace the Caulk Around Flashings as Needed
Your roof has flashing around the chimney and vent pipes to prevent water from leaking into your home. To ensure the flashing on your roof can protect against water leaks, you should inspect and replace the caulk on an annual basis. During the inspection, check to see if the caulk is missing or starting to lift up in any areas. If so, simply scrape away the old caulk and apply a new bead to fill the gap.
Ensure Your Attic Has Good Insulation
Without proper insulation, snow and ice accumulated on your roof during winter will start to melt at the lowest layer, allowing the water to refreeze around your shingles. If there is an ice dam on your roof, which prevents water from properly draining from the gutters, this melting process can cause extensive damage to the shingles and roof itself very quickly. The insulation in your attic helps to protect against this damage by keeping the heat in your home from escaping through the roof. Installing high-quality insulation, such as R-49 and R-60, in your attic space will go a long way in preventing this issue.
Understand the Impact of Sun Exposure on Your Roof
Sunlight over time can have a devastating impact on the condition of your roof. In areas with too much sun, UV rays relentlessly shine down on roofing materials, heating them up and dissipating their protective oils. Without enough sun, however, the risk of moss, algae, and lichen growth increases considerably. By understanding how the sunshine, or lack of, affects the condition of your roof, you can work with a roofing expert to mitigate those factors.
Have Your Trusted Experts Perform All Maintenance and Repairs
Only a professional will know if you should repair or replace your roof. As a homeowner the best decision you can make when it comes to roof maintenance is trust a professional specializing in residential roofing. There are many reasons why trusting a professional is beneficial to your home, but perhaps the most important reason is peace of mind. Roofing experts are skilled professionals who know what to look for, how to work with all roofing types, and keep detailed ledgers of their work. This gives you peace of mind that regardless or what type of roof your home has, the professionals will know what to do, and what’s been done, to keep it lasting.
At Pickard Rooﬁng, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Rooﬁng Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle rooﬁng in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.