Homeowner Tips: Maintaining Your Roof

Your roof is your home’s first line of protection against the environment.  It’s important that you maintain it properly; doing so will help ensure it does its job and looks its best for a long time.

We’ve compiled a few tips on getting the longest life from your roof.  Regardless of the type, there are several things you want to watch for:

  • Tree branches and shrubbery.  Are there any limbs or branches growing close to your roof?  Trees are frequently the cause of roof damage.  Their limbs can scratch or tear up your roof during storms. Strong gusts of wind can easily break branches, both large and small, causing them to fall on your roof.  Take a walk around your home and if you see any tree limbs or branches that could potentially harm your roof, trim them back as soon as possible.
  • Monitor your roof for signs of damage.  Your roof’s job is to protect your home, to weatherproof it from the elements.  Ask any builder you know and they’ll tell you, water is the biggest threat to your home.  If your roof becomes damaged, shingles are missing, or holes form anywhere – you are susceptible to water damage.  Not only can water damage your home’s frame, weakening its structure, but water brings with it all kinds of complications – from mold, mildew and fungus to unwanted pests that can be difficult to eradicate.  It’s a good idea to periodically inspect your roof for these potential vulnerabilities.  Having a professional out to repair a few shingles is less expensive than the damage that can be caused by ignoring this problem.
  • Watch for streaks or discoloration.  Any streaks or signs of discoloration could be an indicator of a problem bigger than aesthetics.  In areas of high humidity (like Austin, TX) roofs can begin to grow mold, algae or fungus.  Keeping tree limbs and branches near your roof trimmed can help promote air flow and keep your roof dry, making it less of an organism-welcoming environment.  Another option would be to use zinc control strips, installing these will keep mildew and mold from growing further.  If either of these options seems daunting, don’t hesitate to consult a professional and never forget that working up on the roof is dangerous; remember to take all safety precautions.
  • Don’t forget your gutters.  Debris including twigs and leaves can collect in your gutters and stop them from draining.  The added weight can loosen your gutters attachment to your home and the sitting water can promote insect activity.  Additionally, water back-up and overflow can cause damage your roof and foundation.  Fortunately, cleaning your gutters isn’t something that has to be done very often, but be careful not to overlook it altogether.  It’s recommended you perform this maintenance item twice a year.

It’s easy to ignore your roof as it’s out of sight and easily out of mind – but it’s so important in preserving your homes integrity.  Regular maintenance can mitigate huge problems and expenses down the road, so every now and then, don’t forget to look up.