Given how essential it is, you’d think homeowners would spend more time thinking about their home’s roof. Yet, for many, the roof is a classic case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. It’s easy to take a roof for granted: a properly installed roof should, for the most part, just work. However, your roof still needs maintenance and care from a proactive homeowner. In this article, we’ll review some of the ways you can take care of your roof, ensuring that it’s around to protect your home for decades to come.
Care for your roof
As any longtime homeowner knows, there’s a seasonal rhythm to home maintenance. Your home has certain needs in the summer (such as a lawn that needs to be mowed!) that it just doesn’t have in the winter. This same principle applies to your roof, and this seasonal pattern is mainly influenced by the weather. Your roof is most at risk during summer storms and winter snow. With either, it’s essential that your home’s gutters and downspouts are clean and ready to move moisture off of the shingles or tile. Any pooled or trapped water is bad news for your roof.
To keep your roof in its best possible shape, make sure you regularly clean out the gutters, especially in the fall when they’re liable to fill up with leaf litter. After a storm, walk around the perimeter of your home and look for any fallen roof shingles or tiles: these can be your first warning sign that the protective shield needs repairs. Also, if you have large trees on your property with overhanging branches or limbs, we recommend you regularly cut these down to avoid potential damage in a windstorm. Every few years, you may want to consider having an arborist out to diagnose any diseased or aging trees that need to be proactively moved or removed before they pose a risk to your home.
While it’s important to regularly clean out your home’s gutters and check for damage, you also need to know your own limits. Never climb up onto your own roof—without the right safety equipment or tools, you’re likely to do more harm than good. If you spot an issue, it’s better to call in a professional.
Schedule an annual inspection
In addition to regularly taking care of your roof, you should also have a home inspector out to your home at least once a year for a professional inspection. There’s just no substitute for the trained eyes of an experienced professional: they’ll be able to spot potential problems ahead of time, allowing you to address them before the situation escalates.
They can easily spot flashing that has been shifted out-of-place, which could potentially expose the underlayment to sun, wind, and rain. They’ll be able to help you assess how many more winters your shingles have before they need to be replaced. A professional home inspector is a great choice for this service, since they’re also qualified to check out other parts of your home as part of a more generalized inspection.
No matter what type of professional you end up hiring, be sure to follow up on their recommendations as soon as possible. Roofing issues tend to start small and become significantly more serious as time goes by. When you procrastinate on roofing issues, you only end up hurting yourself, your home, and your budget.
For a complete guide on how to best protect your home’s roof and what you should consider, check out this new infographic.