Updated: Feb 3
For each home, there are two main aspects of the structure that the entire house relies upon. The first is the foundation, the concrete that the house sits on, and next is the roof. Roofs are usually made to last between one and three decades before it will need to be reinstalled, but it will only perform well for so long if homeowners take the required effort to keep their roof in good condition. To inspect a roof or do repairs, you should rely on the help of a professional, but you can increase the health and longevity of your roof with these safe and easy maintenance tips throughout the year.
TRIM TREE BRANCHES
The first thing you can do is trim any overhanging branches from your roof. If this is not something you are comfortable doing yourself, hire a professional. A nice big tree in your yard is mostly a good thing, but if one of those massive branches was broken in a storm, hitting your roof could cause some incredible and expensive damage. Ensure no branches are hanging directly over the roof and don't let even little branches come in contact with the gutters.
CLEAN GUTTERS 2-4 TIMES A YEAR & CLEAR DOWNSPOUTS
Gutter maintenance is essential to roof health. Most homeowners clean their gutters once a year, and while this is better than not cleaning at all, you may have noticed that your gutters get astoundingly full when handled this way. When your gutters fill up with debris, water cannot flow properly through them into the downspouts. Water will pool, soak the debris and induce fungus and organic growth, and can cause gutters to overflow onto both the roof and the side of the house. If your downspout is what is clogged and you can’t seem to lightly knock it loose, a plumber’s snake will do the trick well, or carefully try a broom handle from the top or hooking and pulling debris out from the bottom. To keep everything in good working order, clean your gutters regularly. We recommend quarterly cleaning, and definitely twice during the fall and winter when the leaves are falling.
If you don’t feel like cleaning your gutters so frequently, and honestly who does?!, some homeowners choose to have downspout and gutter covers installed. Gutter covers do exactly as they imply: they cover your gutters to keep leaves, sticks, and squirrels out, but allow water through. Some cover products perform more ideally than others, generally the higher priced installations.
USE A ROOF BROOM TO SWEEP PILES OF DEBRIS
When you see a pile of something lingering on your roof, it needs to be addressed quickly. Often the debris will break up and move on in a few days, but when moisture is permitted to rest in a shaded area on your roof, it can lead to mushy spots in the shingles, where they have begun to deteriorate. This can lead to further moisture and rot problems inside the different elements of the roof and home. To fix the problem before damage occurs, all you need is a roof broom, made for use from the ground or the top of a secure ladder. Simply brush off debris and snow before they become a problem.
WATCH OUT FOR ALGAE AND MOSS
Even if you are careful about brushing off debris from the roof, if there is a shady area, it is likely that moss or algae will start to grow at some point. If left to get out of hand, moss and algae can do significant damage, but can be cleaned if addressed in a timely manner. Keep eyes on your roof often.
INSPECT SHINGLES, FLASHING, AND HARDWARE
You may not be comfortable doing a complete assessment of your roof, but keeping your eyes on it seasonally throughout the year will help you ensure the different aspects of the roof appear consistent. If there has been storm activity recently, safely take a look at your roof from a ladder or climb up on the roof and look at it. If you see damage, you will likely need repair in the near future. Ensure your gutters are properly fastened to the home, as they can become unusually heavy and pull away from the home if left clogged for extended periods of time with wet leaves and debris.
WALK THROUGH YOUR ATTIC
An important part of your roof is the sheathing, which can only be properly observed inside your attic. Every roof inspection should include a look inside the attic. If you see light coming in where it should be dark, this is evidence that the roof is in need of repair. If you see moist areas or signs of rot, these are signs of moisture intrusion, which means your roof is failing at its primary job.
REGULAR PROFESSIONAL INSPECTIONS
Homeowner maintenance and inspection are essential ways to extend the life of your roof and ensure that repairs are taken care of, but some aspects of roof care require the attention, skills, and tools of professionals. To ensure you are receiving unbiased information in roof inspections, call for a third party inspector, not the roofer who wants your business, to inspect your roof. Rhombus Inspection is excited to provide homeowners with unbiased roof inspections. Ensure your investment is protected by getting annual roof inspections by a professional inspector at Rhombus.