Maintenance Tasks To Prolong the Life of Your Roof

by Miranda Jackson
DIY Landscaping for Less photo
Are you regularly inspecting your roof and performing necessary maintenance tasks? If not, you could be shortening its life.

I live in Florida and recently had to get new homeowner’s insurance, which required a home inspection, including the roof. And I almost did not get coverage because of the age of my roof, even though it should have several years of life left.

Thanks to the number of hurricanes that have hit Florida in the past few years, the few insurers still writing homeowners policies in the state are requiring people to replace roofs more frequently than in the past. If I have to find another insurer again in the next few years, I might also need our roof redone.

It made me wonder if there was anything I should have been doing to get more life from my roof. After some research, I determined there was.

Regardless of which state you live in, if you own a home, you have a roof, and you want to get as much life out of it as possible. By following the roof maintenance tasks below, you can help extend the life of your roof and potentially save on costly repairs or early replacement.

Maintenance Tasks That Can Prolong the Life of Your Home’s Roof

By following these maintenance tasks, you can help ensure the longevity of your roof, protect your investment and keep your home safe and dry.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Ideally, you should inspect your roof twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. Look for any signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, curled edges or leaks.

If you cannot perform your roof inspection, hire someone trustworthy who won’t try to get further business from you to fix things that don’t need fixing.

Reader’s Tip: The last time I had a home inspection, the guy used a drone to inspect my roof (we have a two-story home). He even showed and told me the things he was watching for. Now I use a drone to inspect the roof myself so I can spot problems early before they become a huge expense to repair.
Joe

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Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris to prevent water buildup, which can cause damage to your roof and the foundation of your home. Clear gutters are vital during northern winters when that water buildup can freeze and form an ice dam.

Clean them at least twice a year or more often if you have trees near your house. Use these tips for saving on gutter cleaning and maintenance.

Trim Nearby Trees and Branches

Trim branches that hang over your roof to prevent damage from falling limbs and reduce the buildup of leaves and other debris. These tips for cutting tree trimming costs may help.

Remove Moss and Algae

Moss and algae can damage your roof over time.

Use a moss and algae solution and remove it yourself, or hire a professional to clean your roof.

Check and Repair Flashing

Flashing is the metal material used around roof penetrations, such as vents and chimneys, to prevent leaks.

Inspect and repair damaged or loose flashing to maintain a watertight seal.

Maintain Proper Ventilation and Insulation

Proper ventilation and insulation in your attic help regulate temperature and moisture levels, reducing the risk of ice dams, mold and mildew.

Ensure your attic has adequate insulation and that vents aren’t blocked. Here’s how you can insulate an attic for lower energy bills.

Repair Leaks and Damage Promptly

If you notice any signs of leaks or damage, address them immediately to prevent further issues.

Minor problems can quickly escalate if left unattended and could cost much more to fix later rather than sooner.

Replace Damaged or Missing Shingles

Replace any missing or damaged shingles as soon as possible to maintain the integrity of your roof and prevent water infiltration.

Keep Records of Maintenance and Repairs

Document all maintenance tasks, inspections and repairs. Keeping records can help you stay on top of your roof’s condition and provide valuable information to future homeowners or contractors.

Don’t Ignore Your Roof if You Want To Extend Its Life

In addition to your regular inspections, you may consider scheduling a professional inspection every few years or after a major storm. A professional roofer can spot issues you may have missed and provide expert guidance on necessary repairs or maintenance.

Few homeowners can maintain a roof without some help. Hiring someone to inspect and maintain your roof is an added expense, but it should help you avoid the cost of an early roof replacement.

Reviewed June 2023

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