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Roof Maintenance: Dos and Don’ts

A house in an HOA that requires roof maintenance

Climbing up a ladder to take care of your roof and gutters can seem like a tall task, but prioritizing maintenance to the uppermost part of your house is super important to protect the structure below.

Poor roof maintenance causes roofing repair costs go to up as issues are ignored, so work needs to be done quickly and correctly. For roof maintenance done right, follow these dos and don’ts.  

Roof Maintenance 

The upper covering for your home, roofs protect your space from elements of nature, like rain, snow, and shifting temperatures. General roof maintenance can extend the lifespan of your entire home and save you from expensive repairs down the road. Follow these dos and don’ts to keep your roof in tip-top shape.  

Dos for Maintaining a Roof 

  1. Keep the Roof Clean 

Accumulated debris on your roof can trap moisture, leading to mold growth and roof deterioration. Confirm your roof stays free of debris like leaves, branches, and dirt by sweeping or washing it off consistently with appropriate materials and solutions.

For brushes, look for a middle ground where the bristles aren’t too soft or rough. When it comes to cleaning solutions, a mixture of low-concentrated bleach and soap gets the job done.  

  1. Conduct Regular Roof Inspections 

Roof inspections are fundamental to identifying issues before they become major problems. At least twice a year, and after severe weather events, scan your roof and check for: 

  • Leaks 
  • Loose shingles 
  • Water stains 
  • Damage to roof decking 
  • The condition of your chimney 
  1. Address Repairs Promptly 

During your inspection, if you notice any signs of damage, such as loose or missing shingles, cracked flashing, or leaks, address them promptly. Delaying repairs can lead to more extensive and costly issues. 

  1. Maintain Ventilation 

As the weather changes throughout the year, your roof lets air flow in and out of your home, changing the temperature inside and keeping your electric bill in check. Make sure that your attic has adequate ventilation to allow for airflow. In the summer, this can be as easy as assessing for mold and mildew or noting extreme heat when you go up there.

In the winter, poor ventilation will show up in the form of dampness and frost due to ice accumulation. If you notice there's bad airflow or dampness, consider adding roof vents or fans to improve air circulation. 

  1.  Keep Trees Trimmed  

Your trees will help keep your roof properly insulated, but they can also do harm if hanging branches aren’t regularly trimmed. Remove branches as needed using a saw or clippers to prevent roof scratching and damage.

If branches are too high or you’re uncomfortable using power tools, don’t hesitate to call in a professional.  

Don’ts for Maintaining a Roof 

A man on a roof doing yearly maintenance

  1. Walk on the Roof Unnecessarily 

Excessive foot traffic from things like inspections and decorating can put stress on the underlying structure. Keep walking limited, and if you need to access the roof for any reason, use a stable ladder and exercise caution by wearing: 

  • Safety goggles 
  • Gloves 
  • Non-slip shoes 
  1. Attempt DIY Repairs 

Roofing repairs can be complex and dangerous. Avoid attempting DIY repairs if you lack the necessary skills and equipment. DIY efforts may lead to more harm than good and cause further damage to your roof. Look for local companies online or ask around your neighborhood to see if other residents have roofer recommendations.  

It’s easy to find instructional how-to videos online, but some jobs are better left to the professionals. Here’s when to DIY vs. when to hire a pro

  1. Neglect Moss 

Formed through excess moisture, moss is common and can damage your roof if left uncleaned. Check your roof for moss and wash it off using a hose, brush, and cleaning solution of your choice. If significant buildup occurs, don’t be afraid to hire a professional.  

  1. Ignore Storm Damage 

Bad weather can wreak havoc throughout a neighborhood, and roofs are often a target. Inspect your roof for signs of storm-related damage, even if it appears minor, and address any issues to prevent them from worsening. Ice and snow events should get extra special attention, as intense accumulation can cause your roof to collapse entirely, the costliest repair of all.  

  1. Delay Replacements  

Great maintenance will extend the life of your roof, but, unfortunately, there will come a time when it needs to be replaced. That can be expensive and tedious, but avoiding damages that could affect your whole home is worth it. With a longer lifespan, metal roofing should be replaced every 75 years, while asphalt roofs should be replaced every 20 years.  

How Often Should I Service My Roof? 

Now that you know the dos and don'ts of roof maintenance, you might wonder how often you should service your roof. The frequency of roof maintenance can vary depending on factors such as climate and roof age.

It's recommended to have your roof inspected twice a year and serviced at least once a year. However, in areas with extreme weather conditions or older roofs, more frequent inspections may be necessary.  

More Fall Maintenance Ideas  

Proper roof and gutter maintenance is essential for protecting your home during fall, but it’s not the only task that needs your attention this time of year. For other ideas, check out our “Fall Maintenance To-Do List for Your Home.” Follow along to get your home perfectly fit for fall and beyond!