Roofing Maintenance: How To Take Care of Your Roof

Photo: subsetsum

Summer is the perfect time to work on your roof. The snow has melted, the days are warm, and there is time to take on a big project if need be.

Think of your roof as the protector of everything in your home. That’s a big job that deserves a lot of respect. Take care of your roof, and it will take care of you and your belongings!

I have a couple of roofing stories to tell to illustrate the importance of regular roof maintenance.


How to take care of your roofing all year round

Here are a few things you should do every year to keep your roof in good shape:

1. Clean off debris, which holds water and causes deterioration. It collects behind all penetrations, like pipes, the chimney and skylights, as well as in valleys where roof sections meet at an angle.

2. Inspect the flashing to be sure it is solid and not deteriorating. Seal if need be, removing all old caulk and scrubbing the area clean.

3. Secure loose shingle tabs with a bit of roof cement. Replace damaged shingles.

4. Clean, inspect and secure the gutters. Replace if they are deteriorating and have holes in them.

5. Inspect and repair the mortar on the chimney.

6. Prune trees branches that touch or hang over the roof. This keeps them from rubbing on it, but also keeps squirrels and other climbing animals away from the house.

7. If you have any serious damage, hire a roofing contractor.


Roof inspection reveals roof replacement

My first house was a summer camp, a 22’ travel trailer with a large living room added onto it. One roof covered the whole thing lean-to style, and the slope was not very steep. I noticed there was no drip edge, so installing one was the first thing I undertook as a new homeowner. It was a small project, and a carpenter friend came over to help me.

The surface of the roof was asphalt roll roofing, not shingles. We pulled up the edge of the roofing to install the drip edge, and the plywood decking was starting to rot. We decided to replace that row of decking, but when we removed more roofing, we noticed it had been patched in a few places. As we removed more and more roofing, we saw the decking was rotting in several places, and my little drip edge project turned into a complete roof replacement! A $50 job became a $500 job!

Can you see how regular inspection and maintenance could prevent a scenario like this?

Roofing is a vital defense against the elements

When I bought the house where I live now, the shingles needed replacing. It was December, though, and nothing could be done about it for months. Our spring winds came and blew off shingles that landed in the backyard. While I was doing some financial finagling to get a new roof, a leak appeared in my bedroom. Then it moved to the west by about four feet. It was dripping on my brand new $8000 oak floor! The roof became the priority when I realized how important its role is. Why fix the inside if water can come running in and ruin your work?

Roof maintenance is a job for the pros

Consider hiring a licensed roofing contractor to do an inspection. A pro knows what to look for and will give you recommendations on repairs and upgrades. Yes, they are looking for the work, but, nevertheless, an inspection is a great source of information for you as a homeowner. It was only when I got a roofer up on my roof that I learned where my problem was! So I recommend using professionals when you are in unfamiliar territory.

Roofing care is a good investment

Roofing problems can be prevented with regular inspections and routine maintenance. Water coming out of the ceiling is a homeowner’s worst nightmare!

Photo: Frankphotos

Regular maintenance is a good investment and can save you from expensive repairs down the road. When you’re confident your roof is doing its job of protecting your whole house, you can start on your interior projects with peace of mind.

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