5 tips to keep your roof in tip-top shape
Don’t let the stress of maintaining your roof reach new heights. Regardless of whether you’re expecting a cold, snowy winter or enjoy mild weather year-round, make sure your roof is in tip-top condition. Our highly rated service providers recommend the following:
Whisk water away
“Keep your gutters and downspouts clean!” says Richard “Barney” Pfeiffenberger, president of Maxim Roofing Company Inc., in Kettering, Ohio. “I cannot emphasize this enough.” After the final leaves have fallen, run a hose through the gutters to check that the water flow is good. Children’s toys, balls, and even small animals can block downspouts, creating a backup.
Rely on a trained eye
Hire a roofing company for an annual inspection. A roof’s overall condition is better assessed from someone standing on your roof, and that’s a task you don’t want to tumble into. “Homeowners should never climb onto their roof,” says George Labbad, president of GGL & Sons Construction in Boca Raton, Fla. “Save that dangerous activity for the licensed and insured professional.”
Do your homework
Do your research on underlayments. This is the most important part of the system. There are several new synthetic materials on the market that will assist in extending the life of your roof.
Keep the air movin’
Install proper ventilation, one of the most important ways to extend the life of your roof. “Cracking and curling of the shingles is a sign the roof requires better ventilation,” says Roger Pratt, owner of Genesis Roofing Inc., in Kingwood, Texas. “Ventilation can be added at any time, not just when the roof is replaced.”
Look for leaks
Climb up into the attic and make sure there’s no discoloration on the wood. “If you see some, you may have a leak and it’s good to take care of it before the winter or rainy months,” says Liz Mallen, director of marketing for Peak Performance Roofing LLC in Sandy, Utah.
Check for defects
Do a visual inspection — from the ground — once a month. First, stand as far back as necessary to get a full view of the roof and look for major debris or defects. Then, step up to where the plane of the roof is in alignment with your line of sight. It’s easier to spot buckled or curled shingles or lifted flashing, in which case, it’s time to call in the pros.