How To Maintain Your Asphalt Shingle Roof?

How To Maintain Your Asphalt Shingle Roof?

How To Maintain Your Asphalt Shingle Roof?

Asphalt shingle roofs are known for their cost-effectiveness and fair durability. If maintained properly, these roofs can last for around 25 years. Although the roof is one of the most important elements of the house but is often overlooked. Roofs are not too complicated to maintain and care for. You can do easy tasks yourself and leave some difficult roof repair tasks for experts. So, let’s take a look at a few tips that will help you keep your roof in brand-new condition.

Safety First

The first and foremost thing you need to consider is your safety. Maintaining your roof might look easy but there are a lot of risks involved. So, we will suggest wearing safety equipment that includes a safety harness. Plus, you should also have a spotter on the ground that helps prevent or keeps you safe in case of an accident.

While climbing and working on the roof, you are not going to have a complete view of your surroundings. A spotter in that respect has a relatively better view and keeps you informed if you are about to do something risky.

The right time for maintaining your roof is on a sunny day. You should not think of even climbing the roof during the rainy or snowing season. The reason is that not only the roof is going to be slippery but also the ladder. It will be a lot easier for you to slip and fall.

Furthermore, wear grippers that help with traction and stability. You should first inspect the shingles and then climb the roof. With time, the shingles tend to become loose and might cause you to slip. Try taking a single step to ensure everything is intact. If the shingles feel strong, only then you should proceed with climbing the roof.

In case some shingles are shaky, try to avoid them. However, if most of them feel this way or if you have an old house, avoid doing anything yourself and consult experts.

Get Rid Of Overhanging Branches

Even though this is yet another significant factor ensuring your safety, homeowners often overlook it unless they run into a serious accident. Then again, overhanging branches might not seem or feel dangerous but once you are on the roof or climbing it, a lot can happen.

If the branches are hanging over the roof, you need to get rid of them. This is because during storms, the branches could break and fall onto the roof damaging it. Secondly, a tree with overhanging branches will also have dead leaves that will end up on the roof blocking the gutter.

As a result, when it is raining outside, the water instead of coming down will remain stuck. This could lead to leakages. Keep in mind that intruders such as rodents can climb and enter your house using the overhanging branches.

So, as a general rule of thumb, the branches should at least be three feet from the roof. And to avoid such situations from taking place, you need to keep the branches trimmed. If you have ignored the tree or trees for years, you might have to cut off the branches.

Inspect Your Roof

Now that you have made it onto the roof, it is time to perform a thorough inspection. Remember, roof maintenance is not only about cleaning the roof but also inspecting it. Several components make up the entire roof.

So, to begin with, you should check the overall condition of the roof. Check if there are any cracks, damages, etc. If the roof has been neglected all these years, it might be that you need a new roof. Generally, a roof should be cleaned at least once a year. However, depending on your region’s climate, you might have to clean it 3-4 times as well. For example, places where gusty winds and storms are more common, the roofs will require frequent cleaning and also frequent inspections.

Once you have cleaned the roof, check for leaks. The reason cleaning is important is that leaks and cracks are not visible if the roof is covered with dirt and debris. You should also check the attic using a flashlight during a rainy day to see if water is leaking inside.

Similarly, ventilation problems also need to be addressed. If there is mildew growth or the attic feels damp, it means the attic has ventilation problems. Fortunately, these problems are easier to spot and diagnose. Moreover, you should also check for openings. Birds and other animals tend to take up these openings as accommodations and can cause damage over time.

And most importantly, check the shingles. Inadequate ventilation can also impact the life of the shingles. This is why roofing contractors suggest going for the best quality shingles that can withstand the test of time.

Repair And Replace Shingles

When it comes to repairing and replacing shingles, you have to ensure no moss can damage the shingles as well. Moss can grow between the shingles and also between the shingles and the sheathing. This can make the shingles loose or move from their position. This opens up space for water causing leakages.

To remove the moss, you can purchase off-the-shelf products and sprinkle them on the roof. This will dry them up and fall to the ground. You will also have to sweep the roof to get rid of the extra moss.

Keep The Gutters Clean And Debris Free

As mentioned earlier, dead leaves and branches can easily end up in the roof and eventually the gutter. As a result, you will have water clogged on the roof that can enter the cracks and cause leakages. That said, while performing your periodic roof inspection, you should make sure to inspect and keep the gutters clean and debris-free.

This will keep your roof in a better condition for longer. If you live in a region that experiences extreme weather conditions throughout the year, you will need to perform more frequent inspections.

Maintain The Attic

After you are done inspecting and working on the roof, it is now time to take a look at the situation from the other side. Sometimes, leaks and damages are not visible from the outside but from the inside. The attic gives a clear view of the interior condition. Attic inspection should always be performed on a sunny day so that you have a clear view of defects.

While inspecting the attic, you should look for rust on the fasteners and nails. They should not be broken or damaged. Plus, look for wildlife damage such as tears, scratches, ripped ducts, etc. You might be tempted to ignore such minor factors but will eventually turn into something bigger as the intruders continue damaging the place.

Conclusion

As long as you have experience, skills, and tools to inspect and maintain the roof, you should do it at least once a month. However, expert maintenance is necessary to spot, repair, and replace damaged shingles and parts. It is a type of investment you need to make on your roof to prevent major costs in the future. If an inspection or repair is complicated, don’t hesitate to get roofing companies involved who have skilled professionals for the job.

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