Replacing a roof is certainly one of the most expensive outlays many homeowners might expect to face. Whether you have just purchased a home with a relatively new roof or have recently replaced your old roof, keeping this roof in good condition will help extend its life. Every extra year of roof life a homeowner is able to achieve thanks to careful maintenance means significant dollar savings over time.
Good roof maintenance requires regular tasks that many homeowners can complete on their own. Of course, if any projects require getting on a ladder or standing in high places, safety should be your number one priority.
Here are some examples of maintenance that homeowners can perform themselves:
Remove Loose Debris
If you’re comfortable on ladders, one important task for helping your roof last longer is removing any loose debris. As the seasons pass, leaves, branches, and other debris usually accumulate. The safest way to remove these unwanted additions is to enlist the help of a second person and to use an extendable ladder. Picking a sunny day when the roof is likely to be dry and wearing rubber-soled shoes and protective eyewear can help prevent falls or other mishaps.
Check for Loose or Missing Parts
Homeowners should check their properties for any signs of water seepage. This involves inspecting the attic, if there is one, or other type of interior ceiling. Water stains could be signs of shingles that are missing, loose, or lifted. This is also a good time to check shingles for mold, moss, worn spots, peeling, cracking, and curling.
Loose or missing flashing, nails, and roof bolts could indicate the need for a flashing or shingle repair or the need to adjust or replace roofing hardware. When shingles in more than one section of a roof appear to be peeling, partially lifted, or curling, it’s most likely time for a new roof. Typically, the sooner you find a problem, the better.
Remove Moss and Mold
Removing mold and moss is possible with a spray product. After reviewing the manufacturer’s instructions and allowing sufficient time for the solution to work, use a broom and a soft handheld brush to push away the offending moss and mold. Using a brush with hard bristles or a power washer can erode granules on shingles that protect them from ultraviolet rays.
Clean Debris from Gutters, Downspouts, Fascia, and Soffits
A homeowner should also maintain a roof by regularly removing debris from fascia, gutters, downspouts, and soffits. This requires donning thick rubber gloves and using the hands or a small scooping tool to remove all visible debris. The next step is scrubbing dirt with a soft-bristled brush. Once you have hosed off the area to remove any lingering debris, this is the time to looking for missing caulk, peeling paint, rotting fascia or soffit, any cracks or holes, missing parts of gutters or hardware, and leaks that link to gutters. Applying new caulking and paint should follow completion of all the necessary repairs or replacements.
Check Chimneys, Vent Openings, and Skylights
Roof maintenance involves periodically checking for potential problems with chimneys, vent openings, and skylights. The first step is closing the fireplace, followed by using a chimney brush to clean creosote accumulated in the chimney. It is then possible to check a chimney for cracked or missing bricks or other signs of damage, perform necessary repairs, and seal it. Using a safety harness is particularly helpful when checking and making repairs to skylights and vent outlets. Of course, most homeowners don’t have these tools on hand, and it can be tricky to do it yourself, so this certainly straddles the DIY/professional job spheres.
There is really no substitute for preventive maintenance when seeking to extend the life of a roof. For maximum savings, homeowners should perform roof maintenance at least once a year. The condition of a roof can change dramatically during that period. Many homeowners are unaware when shingles have fallen off or the heat of the sun has damaged parts of a roof.
Regular inspections help avoid expensive damage to a home from unexpected leaks and flooding water. If moving around on a roof isn’t a comfortable activity, or a homeowner doesn’t have the time for complete home maintenance, a roofing professional can perform excellent maintenance and repairs.
Is it time for you to get a professional opinion about the condition of your roof? If so, call Schneider Roofing and Remodeling today at 314-378-6623 to schedule an inspection.