The Importance of Proactive Roof Maintenance

Homeowner Learning

Author: Barbara Horwitz-Bennett | May 15, 2020

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to maintaining your roof. Not only does proactive maintenance significantly impact the roof's value and longevity, but by correcting minor issues before they turn into big problems, homeowners can avoid serious damage and upheaval.

Moss-covered tiles in need of roof maintenance
Regularly scheduled roof maintenance can improve the roof's longevity and help avoid more costly repairs.

A simple rainstorm can turn a neglected roof leak into water damage to the structure and interior, and maybe even temporary relocation for your family. So how does a homeowner stay on top of roof maintenance?

Check Your Roof Regularly

One strategy is bringing in a qualified contractor for inspection on a bi-annual basis. If you live in an area with intense freeze-thaw cycles, harsh winters or heavy rains, it's best to schedule these checkups for the spring and fall.

During the rest of the year, homeowners should practice routine roof maintenance by implementing a few housekeeping measures. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris from the roof and gutters to keep drainpipes from backing up. Keep an eye out for broken or brittle shingles, dark stains and excessive granules in the gutters. Calling a contractor to repair a broken gutter and downspout that are dumping water into your front yard is reactive maintenance; calling them to replace one that is just starting to rust is proactive maintenance.

Along these lines, aging roof components may need to be replaced even before they start to crack or warp. Find out how old your roof is when you buy a property, and check with your contractor about that material's usual life span.

It's also important to make sure that other contractors who may be working on the roof — such as electricians, HVAC crews and window washers — are walking on materials carefully, and are not dragging heavy equipment across the roof.

Choosing the Right Contractor

While many homeowners assume that severe weather and regular wear and tear are the biggest threats to their roof, damage can also come from human error. In fact, Northern California-based Premo Roofing points out that a homeowner can easily damage their own roof through amateur repairs, mounting hardware such as satellite dishes or improper cleaning — so resist the urge to power up that pressure washer.

When you're choosing a roofing contractor to assist with your proactive roof maintenance plan, experience is paramount. A skilled contractor can find and fix small problems that homeowners cannot spot or safely access without the proper training and equipment.

Keeping small problems from turning into costly roof repairs will help improve your roof's life span, performance and appearance, and ultimately be the most cost-effective move in the long run.

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