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How to be a Pro-Active Homeowner

Knowing how to care for your roof can be intimidating for homeowners. No matter what type of roof your home has, you can ensure it lasts to its expected service life with the right level of care and maintenance. Inspections and roof maintenance can prevent the need for extensive repairs caused by water leaks and other issues, and even the early replacement of the entire roof. These roofing tips will help ensure your roof lasts its expected service lifespan.

Shingles should be thoroughly inspected every season

There are problems unique to each season, depending on the weather patterns common at that time. During hot, humid months, excessive sun damage can occur and hurricane damage is possible, while in cold winter months, melting ice and snow can cause leaks. Every season, you should inspect your shingles and other roofing materials thoroughly. Check the shingles for excessive wear and damage, noting any that are missing and need to be replaced. Your vent pipes and the caulk around the flashing should be checked for integrity. Observe any areas with moss or lichen, as that indicates the possibility of decay under the shingles. Prevent small, easily repairable issues from escalating by addressing them right away.

Moss, lichen, and algae should be treated annually

The growth of moss, lichen, and algae on your roof can cause extensive damage and an unsightly appearance. In shady parts of your roof, this often occurs during warmer months. Professional roof cleaning can easily remove these growths. As soon as your roof is clean and dry, you can apply preventative products containing zinc and copper to prevent moss, lichen, and algae from growing back. Applied annually, these products prevent all substances from growing on your shingles.

Keep the gutters clean and maintained

Keeping your gutters in good condition prevents water from entering your roof and damaging your home’s foundation. Keep your gutters clear of leaves, sticks, and other debris to ensure they perform properly. Cleaning your gutters at least twice a year is recommended if you don’t have trees close to your house. You should clean your gutters quarterly if you have trees on your property or live in a region that experiences semi-regular hurricanes, such as North Carolina.

Clean your roof regularly by removing leaves and debris

As well as preventing damage to your home, roof debris removes moss, lichen, and algae. Especially after heavy storms, your gutters won’t catch all of the leaves and debris that land on your roof. Therefore, you should regularly check your roof for debris and remove it as soon as possible.

Trim branches hanging near your roofline

Trees near your home, especially those that hang over your roof, can cause damage to your home. Storms and natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes can cause tree limbs to fly freely, causing roof damage. Trim branches that hang too close to your roof or look like they might break in a storm. Check your tree branches’ growth annually to determine if they need trimming.

When necessary, caulk flashings

The chimney and vent pipes on your roof are flashed to prevent water from entering. To prevent water leaks on your roof’s flashing, inspect and replace the caulk annually. Look for any areas of caulk missing or lifting up when inspecting. You can fill the gap by scraping away the old caulk and then applying a new bead.

Insulate your attic well

During winter, snow and ice that accumulate on your roof will melt at the lowest layer, allowing water to refreeze around your shingles. The melting process on your roof can cause extensive damage to the shingles and roof itself very quickly if there is an ice dam on your roof. Insulation in your attic helps prevent this damage by preventing heat from escaping through the roof. You can prevent this problem by installing high-quality insulation in your attic space, such as R-49 and R-60.

Roof Exposure and Its Effects

Your roof’s condition can be adversely affected by sunlight over time. Too much sun heats roofing materials and dissipates their protective oils in areas with too much sun. The risk of moss, algae, and lichen growth increases considerably without enough sun. Working with a roofing expert, you can mitigate the effects of sunshine, or lack thereof, on the condition of your roof.

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