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Roof Maintenance: The Ultimate Beginners Guide

Whether you’re a new homeowner or have been doing this for many years, you might be wondering what to do about that expensive asset above your head. 

  • Do you just leave it until it’s time to replace it in a few years? 
  • Are you supposed to clean it?

The answer is yes, you should perform some regular roof maintenance to get the most out of your roof and to avoid expensive damage. This helpful guide will cover a few projects you can perform yourself and some others that you should hire professionals to do. Take a look!

4 DIY Roof Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

As we mentioned, there are a few tasks you can complete on your own if you’re looking to save some money. However, you can also hire out any tasks you don’t feel comfortable performing yourself.

1) Clean Your Gutters

Gutters are an incredibly important part of your complete roofing system. Their main job is to protect your roof by directing water away from your roof and down your downspouts, away from your home’s foundation.

If your gutters are clogged, they can cause many issues, including:

  • Pooling water around your foundation that can lead to foundation cracks
  • Excess moisture on your roof that can cause moss and algae growth
  • Water seeping through to your basement
  • Water damage on interior walls and ceilings
  • Insect infestations (particularly mosquitos, bees, and wasps)

Ideally, you should clean out your gutters at least twice a year. If you have a lot of trees in your yard or live somewhere with intense weather, opt to clean them four times a year with each changing season.

close up of a gloved hand holding leaves after performing gutter cleaning roof maintenance

To clean your gutters, follow proper ladder safety and wear thick gloves and long sleeves. Work in small areas at a time so that you don’t overextend your reach while on the ladder. You can use a plastic scooping tool and a bucket to remove the debris and then finish by washing away the mud with a garden hose.

Consider installing gutter guards if you haven’t yet to keep debris build-up to a minimum!

2) Keep Your Attic Insulated and Ventilated

Your roof and your attic are best of friends— well, at least they should be! If your roof doesn’t have enough ventilation, your attic may feel neglected and raise your home’s energy bills in protest. Improper ventilation and insulation can also cause dangerous ice dams in the winter months.

Install high-quality insulation in your attic— there are some insulation projects you can take a DIY approach on; otherwise, hire a professional. Additionally, installing soffit vents is a pretty DIY-friendly project if you don’t have enough attic vents.

3) Watch for Leaks

Speaking of your attic, it’s a wise roof maintenance tip to frequently check on your attic. For many homeowners, the attic is an oft-forgot storage room, but it’s one of the best indicators of your roof health.

Venture up to your attic once every couple of months and look for signs of a roof leak, such as:

  • Water stains on the walls or ceiling
  • Light peeking through the attic
  • Musty smells
  • Active dripping water

If you notice any of these indicators, call a roofing contractor right away so they can patch the roof leak.

4) Perform Visual Inspections From the Ground

If you feel comfortable climbing onto your roof and have the proper safety equipment to do so, you can perform thorough roofing inspections yourself. However, most homeowners would prefer to remain safe on the ground.

roof maintenance looking at roof

You can still keep your eye on your roof’s condition from the ground. Once every season and after any major storm, walk around the perimeter of your home. Look for blown-off shingles in your yard or shingles flapping in the wind on your roof.

If you notice these issues during your visual inspection, be sure to schedule professional roof repairs as soon as possible to avoid expensive water damage in your home.

What to Have the Professionals Handle

There are some roof maintenance tasks that are simply best left to the professionals. They may require specialized tools or simply would be too dangerous for a layman to perform.

Roof Cleaning

Debris, dirt, and grime can build up on your roof if left unattended. This buildup can encourage moss and algae growth, which is not only unsightly but also can greatly shorten your roof’s lifespan.

Schedule a professional roof cleaning once a year. This will help keep moss and algae at bay, all while protecting your roof’s integrity.

Roof Inspections

Even the most thorough visual inspection from the ground doesn’t come close to what professional roofing contractors look for when they inspect your roof. A professional will go directly onto your roof to inspect the condition of your shingles, flashing, gutters, and vents.

Their trained eye can notice small signs of damage that most homeowners would miss. They may find balding patches from hail damage, rusted flashing, or missing roofing nails. If a professional finds roof damage, they’ll be able to schedule repairs to get your roof fixed quickly.

Schedule a professional roof inspection once every two years or after any major hail or wind storm.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Tree branches that hang over your roof can cause some serious damage if they break off and hit your roof. Be sure to trim branches that extend over your roof, but absolutely hire a professional to complete this task.

If you attempt to do this project by yourself, you could risk very serious injury. Professional tree trimmers will have the proper machinery and safety protocols to safely cut down your tree branches.

Simply keep an eye on your trees over the years, and if some branches start to extend over your roof, schedule an appointment.

Your Local Roofing Partner Is Here to Help

We hope this guide helped you prepare for essential roof maintenance tasks. Whenever you need a professional roofing company in North Carolina, call on Tidds Roofing. Our skilled professionals have over 14 years of experience performing roof maintenance, repairs, and total replacements.Reach out to Tidds today for a free roof inspection!

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