Keeping Your Roof in Shape: The Top Asphalt Roof Maintenance Tips
The Beatles’ 1967 song Fixing a Hole begins with the line: “I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in…” The Fab Four understood the importance of keeping your roof in good shape, and so should you!
The average lifespan of an asphalt roof is about 15-20 years, but if you don’t perform proper roof maintenance, you could drastically shorten the lifespan of your roof. Roof replacement is not an expense that you want to pay for if you don’t have to.
We put together this handy list of some of the regular maintenance items you should perform to keep your roof in tip-top shape. Read on to learn what they are!
1. Trim Nearby Trees
It is very important to keep the trees around your house from getting out of hand. There are several issues that unkempt trees can cause for your roof.
Storms can cause large branches to fall from nearby trees which can do a lot of damage to your roof. Any trees whose branches extended over your house could potentially be an accident waiting to happen, so it’s important that you keep them trimmed. If you do have a tree fall on your roof, the resulting damage may not even be covered by your homeowner’s insurance if you neglected to trim your trees.
Even small trees or bushes that grow over your roof can be a problem. Trees that are not kept trimmed away from your siding and roof can become a sort of “bug highway” for invasive pests like carpenter ants and termites who can set up shop in your attic and spread to cause major damage throughout your home.
2. Clear Off Debris
Whenever there is a storm, it is also a good idea to check the roof for any fallen debris. Even if there was no damage to the roof itself, leaving debris to accumulate on your roof is not good for it.
Collected debris can affect the drainage on your roof and cause water to collect in places it should not, or to flow into areas that it shouldn’t. This can result in leaks and other damage. Even if there has not been a recent storm, it is still a good idea to check your roof periodically for debris and clear it off when you see it.
3. Clean Out Gutters
You should clean your gutters out at least twice a year. Generally once in the spring, and once in the fall when the leaves have fallen from the trees. Allowing your gutters to fill up with leaves and other debris can cause them to overflow back onto the roof and that can let water leak in behind the fascia boards and into your walls or attic.
When you clean out your gutters, take notice if you see a lot of small bits of asphalt in your gutters. Your asphalt shingles will shed a little over time, but if you start to see large quantities of asphalt in your gutters, that may be a sign that your shingles are at the end of their lifespan and that you need to replace them.
4. Remove Moss
If you live in a humid area, or part of your roof is in shade for a large portion of the day, you may be at risk of moss growth on your roof. In addition to the fact that the green splotches of moss can look unsightly on your roof, the moss can actually damage and break down your shingles over time. If you notice moss growing on your roof, you will want to remove it as soon as possible to prevent damage.
There are a variety of ways you can remove moss from your roof. You can physically remove the moss by scrubbing it with a long-handled brush. Just be careful not to scrub so hard that you remove the asphalt from your shingles.
You can also use a pressure washer to remove the moss, but again, be careful not to use too strong a spray and damage your shingles. Working from the peak of your roof down to the edge is best to prevent water from getting under your shingles.
You can also buy chemicals that are specifically marketed to treat roof moss. You can apply this as a spray to kill and remove the moss, and as a preventative treatment to keep it from coming back. You can also prevent moss by installing strips of copper or zinc along the roof ridge.
5. Check Flashings
When you are up on the roof to perform other routine maintenance, be sure to check the state of the flashings. Roof flashings are strips of aluminum or galvanized steel that fit over the roof joints to prevent water from getting into your home. These can get damaged during a storm or from ice and snow during the winter, so you’ll want to check them for cracks while you are up on the roof.
6. Check for Soft Spots
Soft spots are areas of the roof where a small sag or depression develops due to water leaking and soaking the roof layer under the shingles. This can cause the insides of your roof to rot leading to structural damage and leaks.
You may be able to identify the spots visually when inspecting your roof, or you may find that you feel them when walking around on the roof. If you suspect you may have some soft spots, you should have a professional come out and inspect your roof. Ignoring these spots will lead to large, more damaging leaks in the future.
Even With Proper Roof Maintenance, There Comes an End
You can be the king of regular roof maintenance but sadly, even then, your roof will eventually need replacing. When that time comes, give us a call! We are a team of trained and experienced roofers who care about the quality of the work that we do.
We will work hard to make sure that your roof replacement goes great and that you are completely satisfied with your new roof! Contact us today for an estimate!