When your roof is strong and stable, you’re protecting every asset that you own. As your property’s main line of defense, your roof regularly takes a beating, whether from bad weather or due decay. Thus, you must pay attention to how it’s holding up.
Roof maintenance can be grueling if you don’t know what you’re doing. For first-timers, hiring a roof repair contractor might be best. Otherwise, you can climb up there and do your own inspection and maintenance. Here’s what you should look out for:
Get your gear first
Before anything else, suit up properly for the job. Wear comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes to avoid slippage, and a durable construction hard hat to protect your head. You’ll never know; you might slip and drop down from the roof or be hit with falling branches or shingles, so it’s best to be safe.
Prepare your cleaning kit and your repair box as well. Get an adjustable ladder that can reach the height of your house. You might want to bring an assistant along, too.
Clean, clean, clean
Now that you’re set, it’s time to give your roof a thorough clean.
Carefully sweep all tree branches and twigs off your roof. Also, de-clog your gutter by washing all the debris away. Anything that isn’t taken out by merely sweeping, you can scrub off by hand. Making sure the drain is free of grime and dirt ensures that water flows in the right direction.
Then, scrub your shingles free of moss and algae with chlorine bleach or a moss remover to prolong its life.
Reinforce your roof
Once it’s clean, it’s time to inspect specific parts of your roof.
If some shingles are loose, lifted, or are missing, replace them with new ones right away. Remove the nails and pry the cracked shingles off your roof carefully to not damage the ones over them. Then carefully slide a new one before sealing it with new roofing nails.
Reseal your flashings
Your flashing will be the first possible source of a leak, so make sure to maintain it regularly. If it’s starting to show signs of wear, reseal the flashing by applying special masonry caulking or urethane roofing cement. You might also want to repaint it with UV-protective acrylic latex paint to protect it from the elements.
Check your chimney
If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s built strongly enough to withstand bad weather. Otherwise, you risk heavy bricks falling or even breaking through your roof.
If you’re using a masonry chimney, replace missing bricks or cracked mortars right away. If you have a metal chimney, make sure that the screws and joints are intact and free of rust.
Clean your chimney cap as well. Neglecting can lead to soot or creosote build-up, which can cause accidental fires.
Attend to your attic
Lastly, don’t forget to check the roof and ceiling above your attic. If your roof is prone to leaks, your attic will show it right away through wet spots or mildew buildup.
Thus, make sure your vent pipes and outlets are unobstructed and in top shape by replacing the rubber gasket and resealing it with silicone caulk when necessary.
Make roof maintenance a part of your routine home upkeep to avoid unnecessary repairs and costs down the road. You can commit to it annually and ask a professional inspector for a more accurate evaluation