The roof is arguably the most important component of your home and is certainly worth maintaining, so that it will last as long as possible. After all, your roof protects you and your family, as well as the rest of your home from the outside elements. With proper care and maintenance it is possible to extend the lifespan of a roof, especially when compared to a roof that has not been carefully maintained. Fortunately, there are many things you can do, or hire someone to do, in order to make your roof last. We’ve put together a list of common roof maintenance practices that can help you extend the lifespan and overall function of your roofing structure:
Please note, we recommend the use of proper safety equipment and extreme caution before climbing or inspecting the outside of your roof or attic area. If you don’t feel comfortable performing these actions please contact a certified roofing professional to do them for you. Many roofing professionals including Big League Roofers offer free roofing inspections and will be happy to inspect these items for you. A certified roofing inspector is trained and experienced enough to easily spot any trouble areas.
Remove Moss, Algae, or Mold Growth
Central Kentucky is known for its ever-changing climates and wet seasons. Unfortunately for us, these conditions are conducive for mold and algae growth, as their spores travel by air and attach to wet surfaces. Aside from causing unsightly green or dark streaks to form down your shingle layer, moss, algae, or mold can retain water for longer periods of time. This will keep your roofing surface wet much longer than it should after every rain or dewy morning. As you know, sitting moisture on a roof is a big no-no and one of the main reasons why a roof degrades before its time. It is recommended that you clean and remove these contaminants before they have a chance to grow and accumulate. There are professional cleaning services available, as well as algae-resistant roofing shingles that are proven to inhibit mold growth altogether.
Keep an Eye Out for Leaks
When you’re trying to track down a leak, start by looking for any surface stains then examine the surrounding areas. The first thing to look for is any roof penetrations. Items that penetrate the roof are by far the most common source of leaks. In fact, it’s rare for leaks to develop in open areas of uninterrupted shingles, even on older roofs. Penetrations can include roof vents, chimneys, skylights or anything else that cuts through the roof. If you have attic access, the easiest way to track down a leak is to go up there with a flashlight and look for the evidence. Most commonly you will find water stains, black marks or mold on the underside of your roof decking or support beams. Also you may find wet, matted or even molded insulation just underneath a leak.
Trim Surrounding Trees and Clean Leaves and Debris from Gutters
Overgrown trees and foliage can cause impact damage to your roof in many ways. Broken or falling branches can puncture your shingle and underlayment and may even cause structural damage. Limbs that constantly rub the surface of your shingles or soffits can cause unwanted wear overtime and may introduce leaks that otherwise wouldn’t have formed. Another area for concern would be the accumulation of leaves in gutters and downspouts. Once gutters become clogged they are no longer able to channel water away from your roof and water will begin to spill over the edges causing potential damage to foundations and or water to leak backwards into the home. The best prevention is routine landscaping and tree trimming as well as cleaning leaves and debris from gutters at least once a year, depending on the prevalence of surrounding trees. We recommend hiring a local professional for assistance with tree trimming due to the dangers involved to you and your home. You may also want to consider installing leaf guard gutters to prevent leaf accumulation all together.
Watch for Missing Shingles
Sometimes missing shingles are easy to find when they are in visible locations, however sometimes they can be hard to spot. The only way to know for sure if your roof is missing shingles is to traverse the shingle layer and see for yourself. If you do notice cracked, lifted, curled, or missing shingles please know that your roof could be vulnerable to deterioration where the shingles are missing. A few lost shingles and minor damage is not a sign that you need a new roof, but you do need to make the repairs promptly to avoid further property damage. If you feel like your roof may be damaged or missing shingles please don’t hesitate to have it inspected by a certified roofing inspector.