Tips For Roof Maintenance

A well-maintained roof adds to a home’s curb appeal, protects a structure from elements, and extends the life of its components. Performing regular roof maintenance will minimize damage and save homeowners money.Roofing

Trimming tree branches that hang over the roof can prevent damage during storms and high winds. Clearing debris and addressing issues like moss growth and lack of attic ventilation can help prevent roof leaks. Visit to learn more.

Keeping tree limbs from hanging over your roof is important, not just for aesthetic reasons but also to prevent damage from storms and high winds. Branches that scrape against your roof during strong weather can weaken the shingles and lead to water leaks inside your home. Ideally, you should keep branches at least 10 feet away from the roof. It may be tempting to trim these yourself, but it is best left to professionals with the proper equipment and experience. Fern Berg, a certified arborist and founder of Tree Vitalize, notes that the risk associated with pruning large branches is too high for anyone but a professional. He recommends you hire a tree service to perform any trimming that requires climbing or using power tools.

In addition to the aforementioned risks, improper pruning can result in weakened branches and even structural damage to your home or yard. When pruning a branch, make sure you use sharp tools to ensure clean cuts and improve the likelihood of healthy wounds that will close and seal over time. It is also important to make your cuts outside the branch collar, a swelled-up area under a branch where it connects with the trunk. For example, if you are cutting a skinny branch less than an inch in diameter, start by making an undercut about halfway through the limb — far enough away from where it connects with the collar that you can’t see it. Next, cut a few inches farther up the limb. Lastly, remove the stub with a final cut that’s outside of the collar.

Thinning, or crown thinning, is another type of pruning that’s often used to enhance a tree’s shape and promote overall health. It involves removing some of the larger limbs to reduce weight on lower limbs and allow air movement and sunlight penetration to interior leaves.

To achieve this, you can either cut the limb off at its point of attachment or prune it back to the main limb above it. If you choose the latter option, you’ll want to make your cuts at a 45-to 60-degree angle to the bark ridge.

Inspect the Flashing

Often overlooked, flashing protects areas where different roof sections meet (around chimneys, valleys and dormer windows, for example). It’s usually made of aluminum and prevents water from entering these spaces through the wall or roof. Examining the flashing is an important part of any roof inspection, especially in preventing water leaks. This step can be done from both the inside and outside of the house, so it’s best to prepare by making sure your ladder is safe and you have access to a stable platform.

A rusty or stained area of the flashing could indicate it’s been compromised by water infiltration through cracks or gaps. In addition, the flashing can also begin to corrode and eventually break down. To avoid these issues, the underlying material (typically rubber or caulk) should be checked as well. If the caulking is cracked or worn, replace it.

Inspecting the flashing can also help you spot problems with other parts of your roof. For example, stains on your ceiling could mean you have a leaking roof, which can lead to water damage in your home. This is why regular roof maintenance is so important.

You can also inspect the gutters and any roof accessories like skylights to make sure they’re in good shape. In particular, make sure that your gutters are anchored to the curb by a strong metal strap, which will help them resist high winds during hurricanes and other storms.

If you notice any cracks or gaps in the gutter, they should be repaired immediately to keep rainwater from entering your home through these openings. This will also help to prevent the gutters from becoming loose or falling off of your roof, which can cause major damage and leaks. Additionally, you should check for any debris in the gutters and clean them regularly. This is particularly important during the fall and winter, when leaves may become lodged in your gutters, leading to clogs. Finally, it’s also a good idea to check your chimney for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or creosote buildup, and to clean it when needed.

Clean the Gutters

Gutters protect your roof by collecting rainwater and moving it away from the foundation of your home through downspouts. But, the gutters can get clogged with leaves and other debris that blocks the flow of water. This can lead to water stains on your siding or even in your ceiling. Cleaning the gutters is one of the most important tasks on the home maintenance checklist, and it should be done regularly throughout the year.

Keeping your gutters clean helps prevent problems with your roof structure, like leaks and mold growth. It also keeps your home attractive and can be a selling point for potential buyers when you’re ready to sell.

When a gutter becomes clogged, it starts to overflow and can cause damage to the surrounding wood trim, fascia boards and soffit. It can also cause rotting in the gutter itself. And, if the sagging of a clogged gutter gets worse, it could fall and damage your home’s structure.

Cleaning the gutters involves climbing a ladder and removing the debris by hand or using a gutter scoop. This is a job that can be dangerous, so it’s recommended that you hire a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself. To minimize your risk, be sure to work on a sunny day and choose a spot to position the ladder where it won’t be blocked by any nearby trees. It’s also a good idea to use a ladder stabilizer for safety and efficiency.

Occasionally, you may need to remove biological growth, such as moss and lichen, from the surface of your gutters. To do so, spray the growth with a mild disinfectant and scrub it with a brush. Avoid damaging the sheet metal by scrubbing too vigorously. If you notice that the growth is growing faster than normal, it’s a sign that it’s attracting insects and needs more frequent attention.

You should also check that your gutters are securely fastened to the eaves of your roof. Loose gutters can easily fall and damage your property or hurt friends and family members who enter your home.

Inspect the Attic

The attic is a very important part of the home’s roof system and should be regularly inspected by a professional. An attic inspection can catch problems that could otherwise escalate, and they can help save homeowners money on high energy bills, mold and moisture problems, poor air quality and structural damage to the home.

During the attic inspection, a home inspector will look for any structural issues such as damaged or missing rafters or ceiling joists. They will also assess the attic’s ventilation and insulation. An attic that doesn’t have enough insulation will cause energy loss, which is a costly problem for homeowners. Insulation is also important because it adds resistance to heat flow, which helps reduce home heating and cooling costs.

Leaks are another big issue that can be caught by an attic inspection. The home inspector will check the attic for any water stains on the underside of the roof sheathing or around vents, kitchen and bathroom exhausts, air handler vents and electrical service mast entry points. He will also look for any signs of rot, such as sagging or warped fascia boards.

Another thing that a home inspector will look for is any spliced wires, which are dangerous because they can short out and start a fire. They will also look for any wiring that needs to be covered by a junction box, as this is a sign that it has been improperly installed and should be replaced immediately.

An attic inspection will also reveal if the attic has enough insulation and if it’s the right type for the climate. If the existing insulation is old or insufficient, then it should be upgraded to a higher R-value.

An attic inspection can also reveal if there are any pest infestations that need to be addressed, such as rodent droppings, nests or tunnels. An infestation can damage the attic’s insulation and cause serious structural problems for the house. A professional can address pest infestations by sealing entry points and treating the affected areas of the attic and home with insecticides. They can also repair any damage caused by the pests to prevent further infestation and damage to the home’s structure and roofing materials.