Your roof is an important part of your home, as it protects you, your family, and your home's interior from the outside elements. Keeping a long-lasting roof includes handling regular maintenance and completing repairs in a timely manner before they can cause further damage. Here are some tips to help you keep your roof long-lasting, strong, and durable.
Remove Roof-Damaging Debris
Keeping your roof and gutters clear of tree debris and trash is a first step to keeping your roof maintained. When debris is allowed to accumulate and sit on your roof's shingles, it traps and holds moisture on the surface of your shingles. Overtime, this can cause the debris and your roof to begin to decompose and deteriorate.
Keeping your roof cleaned off helps keep your gutters from accumulating debris. A clogged gutter can lead to it overflowing and water falling to the soil below, saturating the soil and seeping into your basement.
Experts recommend to clean out your roof gutters anywhere from two to four times per year. This number can vary depending on the type and number of trees you have surrounding your house. For example, trees that drop pine needles can allow excess debris to accumulate in your gutters as they shed their needles all year round.
Hire a roofing professional to clean off your roof and your gutters throughout the year and as needed. They can use the proper techniques to remove the debris without causing excess damage to your roof.
Prevent Winter Ice Damage
Damage to your roof can also occur during the winter when snow and ice accumulates on your roof. A roof warmed from your home's heat loss will melt the snow on your roof. Then, it will run down the roof and freeze as a layer of ice at the cold edges of your roof. As this process repeats each day, the layers of ice build up and grow around and under your shingles, causing them to lift and crack.
You can prevent ice damage to your roof by installing heating cables on the edge of your roof in a zig-zag pattern. You can also prevent the heat from escaping your home and into your attic by checking and supplementing sufficient attic insulation.
Prevent Human-Caused Damage
Despite all the snow, ice, wind, and wildlife that may cause damage to your home's roof and shingles, another source of damage can also cause harm to your roof. Anytime you climb upon your roof to inspect and clean it, walking across the shingles can crack or break them. Walking upon the shingles can also wear off the granules on asphalt shingles, reducing their protection barrier.
Take care when you walk upon your roof to complete any repairs, and don't slide your shoes unnecessary across the shingles. Always wear a safety harness and anti-slip shoes so you don't fall and slide down the roof. And most importantly, don't ever walk upon the center ridge of your roof. Walking upon the ridge of your roof can break off the edges of the shingles that are set on a high peak along the ridge.
If your roof becomes dirty from silt, moss, algae, or other residue, you can use water to spray its surface clean and remove the contaminants and preserve the life of your shingles. But be sure you only use a garden hose with a sprayer attachment to not cause harm to the surface of the shingles. Rinse off your roof with your garden hose moving in a downward angle and not upward to prevent the water from getting beneath the shingles.
Using a pressure washer on the surface of your roof is not recommended as it places too much force on the roof and wears down the shingles. A pressure washer can also push water up under your shingles and can lead to interior water damage. You can also hire a professional roofing company like Seagate Roofing and Foundations to help you with the maintenance and repair of your roof.