You may not notice, but there might be tears or cracks on your roof’s surface. The constant exposure to heat, cold, water and debris can result in issues that may be difficult to spot. That’s why homeowners need professional services from licensed roofing contractors.
Armed with knowledge and skills, professional roofers can detect leaks and other damage that the average homeowner would likely miss. Schedule a roof repair or inspection at least twice a year to make sure your roof stays in good shape.
If you have a simple peaked roof surrounded by low landscaping, your roof probably stays clear of leaves on its own. But if the roof is more complicated or if towering trees are nearby, piles of leaves probably collect in roof valleys or near chimneys. If you don’t remove them, they will trap moisture and gradually decompose, allowing moisture to accumulate in your roof — or worse, create fertile ground for weeds to grow.
If you have a low-slope roof and a one-story house, you may be able to pull the leaves down with a soft car-washing brush on a telescoping pole.
If leaves are too wet or too deep, you might need to wash them off with a garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer, which can force water up under the shingles.
Prevent Ice Dams
If you’re plagued by ice buildup on the roof, removing some or all of the snow between storms might forestall leaks into your house. Don’t try to pry off the ice that’s already formed, since that could damage the roof. Use a roof rake to dislodge snow within three or four feet of the gutters. Get a telescoping pole and work from the ground, if possible. If you must be on a ladder, work at an angle so the falling snow doesn’t push you over.
Inadequate insulation and air leaks into your attic greatly increase the risk of ice dams, so once the storms pass, address those problems, too.
Trim Overhanging Branches
A little prevention in the form of tree-trimming goes a long way toward keeping leaves and moss off your roof and keeping your roof damage-free. Abrasion from limbs and leaves that touch your roof can eventually damage shingles, especially in high winds.
Overhanging branches also give squirrels and other rodents access to your roof. They can gnaw on your roof and siding. Branches need to be 10 feet away from your roof to keep these pests at bay. If that’s not possible, wrap the tree trunk with a sheet-metal bank to prevent them from climbing the tree.
Trimming branches that hang over the roof is a job for a pro, though, or you might cause more damage than you prevent.
Do Not Postpone Repair
Denying that your roof needs repair will only exacerbate the issue. Address the problem as you notice any sign of deterioration. This way you won’t have to deal with the expensive task of replacing your old roof prematurely.