Like Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “there is no place like home.” Being a new homeowner at any age is exciting. While our homes provide us comfort and warmth, they can, at the same time, be challenging and overwhelming. You most likely had an inspection done before you purchased your home which provided you with a punch list of work needed from the highest priorities to the “you can put it off indefinitely.”
One item that you should always make a priority despite the punch list is the constant care and maintenance of your roof. It, along with your foundation, are the two most important structural parts of your home. Having your roof professionally evaluated on a yearly basis will help you to avoid significant and costly items, but on a more frequent basis, you can be your own roof doctor. Here are some basic roofing tips for homeowners to help you keep your roof in tip-top shape and the land of Oz far, far away.
Roofing Tip #1: Spring Clean Your Roof
Don’t just spring clean the inside of your house! Making sure that your roof is free of debris is essential. Fall, winter, and, spring can wreak havoc with mountains of leaves, snow storms blowing down branches, not to mention bomb cyclones carrying shingles off to Oz.
Cleaning your roof is important. If your pitch is low enough, you may be able to handle that task on your own, but keep in mind, that roof is a lot higher than you think. Not to mention, shingles and other roofing material can be very slippery when damp, so if you attempt to remove branches and leaves on your own, wait until it is good and dry. When you are getting the leaves off your roof, make sure and sweep in a downward motion and make sure that you are secure on your ladder or scaffolding.
Roofing Tip #2: Gut Your Gutters
Full gutters are a huge factor in leaks and roof damage, so making sure those are clean after the fall colors have faded is equally important. Likewise, gutters may end up pulling away from your house and in the long run, will lead to water running down into your foundation.
Before those April showers and for your own peace of mind, you might schedule a standing appointment with a roofer at the end of a long winter to give your gutters and roof some spring cleaning. At the very least, get an estimate. It might just be worth your time and your money to let someone else handle sweeping the roof and cleaning the gutters.
Roofing Tip #3: Roof Mold, Moss & Algae
Other types of debris that are common in areas where lots of trees grow, like Michigan where I live, are mold, moss, and algae. Allowing these to continue to grow on your roof will shorten the longevity of your roof and allow water to pool which is never a good thing. You don’t want to use a power-washer nor do you want to use a stiff bristled brush or broom because it will damage your shingles and will shorten their life.
Roofing Tip #4: Inspect Your Attic
After you have checked your roof on the outside, make sure and periodically check the inside of your roof. If your roof has any leaks or damage, sometimes the easiest way to spot it is from the interior. Check out your attic spaces for any water damage, the smell of mildew or mold, and any visible signs of light from any small holes in the roof. Include this task with your monthly or bi-monthly to do list.
Roofing Tip #5: Go Looking For Trouble
One of the most troublesome areas in roofing, along with the gutters, is the chimney. The chimney often has flashing around it and roofing materials butted up against it as well. Checking to make sure the flashing and shingles are up tight against the chimney and waterproof is an important part of roof maintenance.
Roofing Tip #6: Look For Small Aesthetic Flaws In Your Roof
When you are inspecting your roof, you need to look for small superficial flaws that can lead to huge, costly issues. Look for shingles that are bald. Also, be on the lookout for any nails that have come up and that are protruding. A good pair of binoculars is not a bad tool to have when examining your roof.
Keeping your roof on your mind is an important part of being a homeowner, but it doesn’t have to be an all-consuming or daunting task. Put it on your calendar and keep these tips handy as you do your inspections. If your roof needs some upkeep, then you have another decision to make. If you decide to do the maintenance on your roof yourself, please take all the safety precautions you can.