Keep Your Asphalt Shingled Roof Covered With Proper Maintenance
So many responsibilities go into owning a home, and your roof is one small but important part of that. If your home has a roof made with asphalt shingles, you will want to take certain steps to protect it from the elements. These guidelines will keep your asphalt shingles in better condition so your roof will be keeping you and your family covered for years to come.
Go Into Spy Mode
The first step in taking great care of your roof is inspecting it regularly. Get out your ladder and climb up to see what's happening on your rooftop. Afraid of heights? That's okay. You can also use binoculars and carefully examine your roof from the safety of solid ground. Here's what you are looking for:
- Shingles that are broken or missing completely
- Shingles that are loose or buckled
- Moss or fungus growing on the roof
- Rust on any metal
- Cracks in flashing or broken flashing
- Missing or damaged caulking around joints, flashing or chimney
Pay particular attention to any debris you find in your gutters. One sign that a roof needs to be repaired is that the material from the shingles begins to flake away.
Make A Clean Sweep
Keep your roof clear of leaves or other debris that gathers there. You will need to go up a ladder for this project, so get some help if you aren't able to do it yourself. Sweep any leaves, twigs and other accumulated stuff off of your roof before it can fall into your gutters or even cause a fire hazard. You will also discourage birds from building nests in your gutters when you keep your roof clear.
Evict Unwanted Tenants
All kinds of rodents and pests can move into your house and begin causing damage. The roof is one place that these infestations can start. Clear any tree branches that hang over your roof and encourage critters to consider it home. If you have squirrels, raccoons or other fuzzy invaders living on and in your roof already, your local animal control can trap them and take them away.
Check Out The Attic
When inspecting your roof, you should be taking a look at the inside as well as the outside. Leaks in your roof often show up first as dark spots on your ceiling. Go up into your attic and look closely at the ceiling, taking note of dark places and anywhere moisture collects. If you have water in your attic, your most likely culprit is a leak in your roof.
Prepare For Winter
While your local squirrels are storing nuts for the long winter ahead, you should be preparing your roof. You may be able to get by in warmer weather, but winter is the season that will expose your hidden roofing issues.
Clear your roof of snow whenever possible. When snow collects on your roof, it can melt into small places. When it refreezes, it can cause cracks in shingles and other damage. Your gutters also need to be protected from ice and snow. If your gutters and downspouts are clogged with ice blocks, your gutter work can become damaged or destroyed. Make sure your roof is properly vented. This will help prevent the freezing, melting and refreezing cycle.
Call In The Professionals
You don't want to let roofing problems go too far because the costs and effort necessary for repairs can go up fast. This Old House reports that you can easily add hundreds of dollars to the cost of a new roof by ignoring small problems. If you are unsure about a roofing issues, or if you encounter a problem you cannot handle alone, call a roofing professional to learn more. If you get someone to inspect and fix your roof when damage is still minimal, the problem can usually be resolved quickly.