How do I maintain my new roof?

October 15, 2014

If you want your new roof to do its job well into its old age, you’ll have to give it some regular TLC.
You’ve bitten the bullet and finally put a new roof on your house. Now you can heave a sigh of relief, let the roof do its job, and forget about it, right?

Nope, nope, nope.

To maximize your roof’s life, you need to do regular maintenance, addressing problems as they arise and preventing others from developing at all. In fact, the warranty on your roof probably depends on a certain amount of proactive maintenance and damage control to stay valid.
The danger that lurks beneath
So you’ve taken care of your roof, but have you given thought to what goes on in your attic? Proper attic insulation and ventilation can stop your roof from warping, decrease energy costs, and reduce how much moisture is in your home. It also helps stop snow and ice from melting and refreezing, which can cause water damage to your roof.
Clear your gutters
Make sure your gutters are cleared of debris regularly, especially before the winter freeze. Backed-up gutters can help snow and ice build up on your roof, which is not a good thing.

Also ensure that the outer edges of the gutters are lower than the roof’s slope line, so snow and ice can slide off the roof without obstruction.
Schedule inspections
To maintain your roof, it is wise to schedule two inspections a year — one in spring and one in fall. The spring inspection will look for damage that occurred over the winter, making sure the roof is ready to withstand summer heat and storms.

The fall inspection will help to ensure that the roof is ready for the hardships of winter, with its high winds, driving snow, and bitter cold.

You can do the inspections yourself, if you feel up to it, or find a professional roofer, who would be happy to do it for you.
What to look for
If you inspect the roof yourself, here are some things to check for and do:

  • Clear accumulated debris and ensure gutters and drains are free flowing.
  • Make sure the flashing, especially around vents and chimneys, is in good condition.
  • Look for curling along the bottom edge of the roof, especially during cold weather.
  • See if there are any blisters on the shingles, indicating a manufacturer’s defect or poor ventilation.
  • Check for surface cracking, which can mean brittle shingles.

Besides checking for the specific items above, keep in mind the bigger picture — examining the overall condition of the roof’s structure and membrane.
After traumatic weather events
In addition to regular inspections, you should check the roof, or have it checked, after major weather events, including hailstorms, high winds, and especially bad freezes.

After all, if you look after your roof, it will look after you well into its old age.

How do I maintain my new roof?
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