5 Maintenance Tips for Your Roof

Perform routine inspections to ensure a long life for your roof.

The roof is responsible for protecting the home and its occupants from the elements, and as a result, it endures substantial wear and tear. Severe weather, like high winds and hail storms, can cause considerable damage to the roof and put its structural integrity in jeopardy.

Replacing a roof is an expensive process, and it’s not something most homeowners will have to do more than once or twice in their lifetimes.The best way to ensure a long life for your roof and to minimize costly repairs is to perform regular, routine maintenance.

Angie’s List spoke with five highly rated roofing contractors about how to maintain some of the most important roofing components and how to spot potential problems.

Check Your Roofing Shingles

Roofing shingles are the most visible part of a roof, and they play a major role in keeping the entire system dry. Shingles can be made from a variety of materials like wood, slate and clay, but asphalt shingles are the most common. A missing shingle or two may not seem like significant problem, but when left unattended, it can cause serious damage to your roof.

“When shingles are missing, not only is the dwelling open to the elements, it compromises the remaining shingles that are intact,” says Ellis Smith, owner of Ellis Smith Roof America in Dallas. “These missing shingles allow wind to remove large sections which would not be vulnerable if the missing shingles had been addressed.”

Shingles are typically damaged by severe weather like hail strikes, ice and high wind, but Smith says tress are actually the biggest culprit. “Tree limbs are heavy and flexible,” he says. “Even if a limb appears to be well away from a roof, high winds can make limbs swing and cause lots of damage.”

Smith says asphalt shingles contain many tiny granules composed of glass pellets that reflect radiation from the sun. If the granules are damaged or removed, the roof’s underlayment can quickly deteriorate due to sun exposure. He says you can check for shingle damage by looking at the area where downspouts empty for deposits of the granules.

You can also check for damage by climbing up on the roof and looking for shingles that are missing, or contain rips, tears or indentations. It’s wise to perform this check at the beginning of the spring and fall seasons and after any major storm. “Of course, the obvious missing shingles or finding them in your yard is a red flag,” Smith says.

To protect your shingles, the Dallas roofing contractor recommends keeping trees trimmed away from the roof, eliminating deposits of leaves and other debris that can accumulate on flat parts of the roof and getting a yearly roof inspection.

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