A high-quality and well-installed roof can last years before it needs any repair. This lifespan can be greatly extended by ensuring that the roof is well-maintained. All you need to do is perform maintenance and visual inspections regularly and watch out for signs of wear so that problems like roof leaks can be nipped in the bud. Remember that a bad roof can be very costly in terms of security, energy bills and protection.
The best time for annual roof cleaning and maintenance should be in the spring, since it allows you to inspect the roof properly if the harsh winter weather had any adverse effects. However, older roofs should have two cleanings, preferably before winter and before summer. The following are cleaning and inspection tasks to perform:
1. Clean the gutters
Don't simply fetch the hose and try to flush out leaves and debris that has accumulated in your gutter. This could actually make your drainage problem worse, unless you have a very wide gutter. Instead, physically remove leaves, branches, twigs and other debris in the gutter, and then flush the small specks to leave it completely clean.
Aside from other mentioned tasks, it is advisable to clean gutters at the end of every season or even more often depending on your location. Failing to clean out your gutters may cause runoff water to overflow. Worse, in winter, water can accumulate within the dirt, freeze and begin to lift your roof shingles, damaging them. In summer, the dried foliage becomes a fire hazard.
2. Inspect the roof for moisture permeation
This should be done both from the outside and inside. On the outside, you will see rust and algal or fungal growth which indicates moisture deposits. Pay close attention to areas of the roof that have fixtures like skylights, vents or chimneys. Inside, go up to the attic and carefully look for damp spots, mould and mildew or generally damp air. Any of these warrants an inspection from professionals to ensure moisture isn't seeping in slowly.
3. Inspect shingles
Every roof should age at a given rate, regardless of quality, because it is your first line of defence against the elements. There is, however, reasonable wear and tear and then there's damage that requires immediate intervention. For instance, peeling/discoloured, cracked, curled, missing or loose shingles should be inspected by a professional contractor. Leaking is another danger sign that must not be ignored. If you cannot climb on your roof to perform a thorough inspection, invest in annual inspections by qualified contractors.
4. Trim branches
Finally, overhanging branches can increase the amount of foliage and debris on your roof considerably. Also, they can pose danger if they fall on your roof during harsh weather. In addition, they can tear away your roof's protective granules or scratch your shingles. You can easily trim overhanging branches if they're small. Larger branches from older/bigger trees may require professional tree lopping.