One of the most basic necessities in life is a roof over our heads, but oftentimes roof protection and maintenance can be overlooked. Damage to your roof can lead to serious problems elsewhere in your home, so it is important to stay vigilant in keeping your roof in top condition. Whether you are a new homeowner or have owned a home for years, this article will give you valuable tips on how to protect your roof and keep it lasting for the years to come.

Consistently check your roof for damage – The most important way to protect your roof is to stay knowledgeable about its condition. Small issues with your roof can easily become bigger problems that will be more expensive and more of a hassle to fix, so it’s best to catch any issues as soon as possible. Binoculars are a great way to check for roof damage from ground level, or use a ladder and get a closer look, either way, a full roof check should be done at least once a year. If you are not comfortable doing this, or would rather have the opinion of a professional, a roof inspector can be hired for usually under $200.

If you choose to check the integrity of your roof on your own, there are a few things you should look out for. Damaged or missing shingles are a large indicator that there are problems with your roof,as well as, buckling, lifting or curling. Shingles with these issues should be fixed or replaced immediately. Problems at the edge of the roof, can mean there are more problems in other areas of the roof, so make sure you also pay attention to your roof line.

The condition of the nails, that keep shingles and the roof deck in place, should be inspected as well. Ensure that there is no rusting and that they are all in place. Nails should be four inches apart, and staples should never be used in place of proper roofing nails.

Inspect from the inside – When inspecting your roof, make sure to include the interior of your home as well as the exterior. Leaks and water stains are an important indicator that the condition of your roof has been jeopardized. If you see signs of water damage on your ceiling or walls, you should call in a professional immediately, since water damage can become serious and extremely costly.

If you can access your attic, it is good to make sure it is properly insulated and ventilated, since both are the keys to a healthy roof. Homes with improper attic ventilation can face moisture build up which can cause mold and mildew. Other areas to inspect include the trusses and rafters, and any areas of light that filter through the roof, which could allow water and insects into your home.

Keep clean – Another important step to keep your roof in good condition is to make sure it is kept clean. Debris from plants, trees and other outdoor objects can create a mess that accumulates on your roof. This can cause drainage problems and damage to shingles. It’s recommended that you use a power washer to clear off any items that may have made their way onto your roof. If you do not own a power washer, use a roof broom to make sure your roof is kept debris free.

Keeping your gutters and downspouts clean is helpfu,l as well. Leaves, small branches and other fragments tend to get in these places and hinder functional drainage from your roof. If not properly drained, your roof could develop leaks, which cause a variety of problems inside the home. Improper drainage can also cause damage by eroding the soil surrounding your home, or create cracks in the foundation which would mean extremely expensive repairs.

Protect the area around your roof – Although they can be beautiful, a tree growing near your home can easily cause problems for your roof. It’s crucial to keep any branches, that hang over your roof, trimmed. Large, broken branches can severely damage your roof if they break, and even small branches can cause roof damage by getting caught in shingles or block your gutter or drain spout. Check the health of your trees often, as dead trees can cause havoc to not only to your roof, but to any surrounding areas as well.

Know your roof – Certain roof types have particular needs and risks. Gabled roofs may need additional braces for areas that are prone to high winds, while roofs made from ceramic, shake, slate or metal are all susceptible to hail damage.

The most efficient way to keep roof repair costs to a minimum, is to stay proactive concerninng the care of your roof. This will ensure that your roof will stay in great condition for as long as possible. If you suspect damage, or needed repairs, be sure to call a roofing professional.

by Sierra Waldrop