Your roof has the awesome job of protecting your house, your belongings, and your family from the harsh, outside world. It keeps you dry and safe when Mother Nature sends rain, snow, and ice your way. Keeping it happy and healthy is the least you can do in return. Luckily, this does not require much effort. Just 15 minutes or less here and there can get the job done.
1. Remove Debris: Debris, whether branches or a Frisbee, should be removed when it falls. Don't leave it up there for days or weeks on end. The foreign object can rub against the shingles, which could dislodge the protective gravel coating on the shingles, or worse, break off the corners. Removing debris as soon as possible protects your roof from further damage.
2. Cut Branches: Likewise, low-lying branches can rub back and forth against your roof during even the gentlest breeze. This rubbing action will scrape off the gravel coating that shingles have when they are first installed. This coating is designed to protect the shingles and prolong their life. Once the gravel wears off, the shingles can no longer effectively do their job and need to be replaced sooner, rather than later. Trimming back branches that overhang your roof is a simple job that can be easily accomplished in a short period of time.
3. Clean Mildew: Mildew, mold, and even algae can grow on areas of your roof that are shady. As expected, these growths undermine the effectiveness of your roof. It cannot simply be hosed off, however. Instead, it is necessary to clean the affected area with a scrub brush and a mixture of bleach and a mild detergent. Be careful not to spill the liquid as wet roofs can be very slippery.
4. Maintain Gutters: Cleaning your gutters doesn't have to be an all-day event. If you check on them monthly, the build-up is minimal and the job can be done in no time. Dead leaves, twigs, and even wasp nest can clog your gutters. Over the winter, this can cause ice to build up. The ice can damage your shingles and even back up into your attic. Clean gutters are key to a happy healthy roof all winter long.
5. Watch for Signs of Age: When you are cleaning the gutters and trimming overhanging branches, look for other signs of age on your roof. These could be missing shingles or damaged flashing around your chimney. When on the ground, check the bushes for broken shingles and the at the base of the downspouts for remnants of the gravel coating.
None of these tasks takes more than a few minutes and can be completed by a novice. There is just no excuse not to take care of your roof like it takes care of you.
If you find that your roof is in need of roof repair, contact a roofing contractor immediately.