A Homeowners Easy Roof Maintenance Checklist

Homeowner Learning

Author: Amy Freeman | November 4, 2019

Taking good care of your roof throughout the year can help you avoid having to pay for significant repairs. Use this roof maintenance checklist as your guide to keeping your roof happy and healthy and recognizing when it's time for a replacement.

Homeowner checking the gutters
From cleaning the gutters to checking the shingles, here's how to take excellent care of your roof.

Keep the Gutters Clean

If leaves and twigs build up in the gutters, water can't drain away from your home effectively and there's a chance that the water can be absorbed by the roof sheathing and lead to rot, according to HouseLogic. Clear out the gutters along the edge of your roof at least twice a year.

Cleaning the gutters does mean climbing up on a ladder to reach them. If you don't feel comfortable working high off of the ground, you can hire a gutter cleaning specialist to do the job for you.

Be Proactive About Storm Damage

Storms can cause considerable damage to your roof. According to the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, it's a good idea to know the wind resistance rating of the materials used on your roof. Ideally, the manufacturer's rating should meet or exceed the recommended rating for your geographical area.

While you're checking out the wind resistance rating, it's also a good idea to verify your insurance coverage and see if your roof is still under warranty. Having those documents handy when a storm is on its way can save you some hassle if it does cause damage.

After a storm rolls through your area, check your roof for damage such as broken shingles or signs of a leak. A roofing contractor can help you identify any issues and recommend the best way to correct them.

Prevent Ice Dams

If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow and freezing temperatures, your roof maintenance checklist should include a plan for keeping ice dams from forming on the roof. According to the National Roofing Contractor's Association (NRCA), ice dams form when the temperature at the top of the roof is warm enough to melt any ice or snow. The melted ice flows to the bottom of the roof where it's colder and freezes again. Eventually, enough melted snow builds up that it starts to seep beneath the shingles, where it can cause water damage.

To help prevent ice dams, keep your roof cold by making sure the attic of your house is insulated and by having a special membrane installed on the roof. NRCA notes that there might be times when removing accumulated snow is necessary. Work from the ground (not a ladder) and use either a broom or a special snow rake to sweep the snow away. You want to avoid damage to the roofing surface, so it's important to use extra care when clearing snow from your roof.

Know When It's Time to Replace the Roof

Roofs do wear out and need replacement from time to time. The NRCA recommends a twice-yearly roof inspection to help you determine if it's time for a new one. You can take a superficial look by yourself before you hire a roofing contractor. Curling or buckling shingles, leaks, missing tiles and moss overgrowth can all be signs that it's time for an overhaul.

If you do see any signs of damage to your roof, it's a good idea to call a roofing contractor to perform a more thorough inspection. They can give you their professional opinion and let you know what your options are, from repair to replacement.

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