When it comes to home maintenance, most people don’t think about their roof until something goes wrong. After all, as long as your roof is working, you’re probably more focused on maintaining things closer to the ground that you see every day, like your home’s foundation, pool, or sprinkler system.
That’s why we’ve made these roof maintenance tips as easy as possible. Just a few minutes once a year can help ensure that you won’t be caught off guard by a sudden, expensive roof emergency.
(Please note that this list of roof maintenance tips is for standard composition shingles. New metal roofing options, like stone coated steel roofing, are essentially maintenance-free!)
Yearly Roof Maintenance Tips
If you don’t do a quick yearly check-in on your roof, you’re not alone! Most homeowners don’t, although they might end up regretting it when they find the water that’s been seeping in for months.
We know the last thing you want is more home maintenance chores, so we’ve kept it easy:
Once a year, when you switch your HVAC system from cooling to heating, take just 30 minutes to make sure your roof is prepped for winter.
There are several benefits to doing it this way: you won’t forget, and you’ll know that your roof is in good shape to get through the winter, giving you peace of mind that your home is protected.
Should You Inspect Your Own Roof?
Let’s be clear: we never recommend getting on the roof yourself. You can do a lot of what’s on the following two checklists either from the ground, or from the top of a ladder. Walking on your roof can damage the shingles, and there’s always a chance of serious injury or even death from falling. We suggest doing a visual inspection, either from the ground or from the top of a ladder.
The goal of your visual inspection is simple: do you see any problems? If so, schedule a free professional roof inspection.
To do a visual inspection from the ground or a ladder, follow the Roof Maintenance Tips in the next section.
If you’re going to go ahead and get on the roof yourself (we know you’re out there, Evel Knievel!), then you’ll also want to follow the Roof Maintenance Checklist at the end of this post.
Note: if you’re not familiar with some of the jargon, we have a handy Glossary of Roofing Terms you can look at!
Roof Maintenance Tips: Visual Inspection
Is your roof safe and secure? Here’s what you should visually inspect on your roof’s exterior, from the ground or from a ladder.
- Loose or missing shingles
- Damaged shingles: cracking, peeling, curling, shrinking
- Bald patches, missing granules, granules in gutters
- Roof components: ridges and valleys and dormers, underlayment, decking
- Roof elements: seals around chimneys, skylights, vent openings etc.
- Roof edges: starter strips, drip edges, soffits, fascia, gutters, downspouts, etc.
Next, head into the attic to check the underside of the roof:
- Pinhole leaks (can you see a pinpoint of light coming in on a sunny day?)
- Any water damage on verticals, where water from leaks tends to travel down to the attic floor
- Any evidence of leaks or staining. Remember that water can pool and collect (and start rotting wood) without actually dripping.
- Any signs of mold or mildew
- Any damage to the rafters, insulation, and roof trusses
If you notice a problem with any of these components, you’ll want to schedule a free roof inspection so that a reputable professional can assess the situation.
Roof Maintenance Checklist
Once again, we can’t recommend that you get on your own roof. But after doing your visual inspection, if you want to do your own yearly roof maintenance, here’s our list:
- Surface: remove any loose debris, leaves, twigs and branches that have accumulated on the roof
- Edges: clean out your gutters, especially in places under deciduous trees. (To make this chore less of a hassle, we do recommend installing gutter guards, at least in the areas that get the most debris.)
- Trees: look for any overhanging tree limbs that could cause damage if they break during the winter, and
- Moss and mold: This is less common in hot and sunny Texas, but if you notice moss and mold on your roof shingles, clean it with a cleaner and soft brush.
- IMPORTANT: Never use a power washer or any kind of stiff brush that could remove the protective granules from your shingles. As soon as those granules are gone, the asphalt underneath begins to degrade under the sun’s UV light, causing weak spots, cracks, and curling.
Thank you for taking the time to take care of your roof! If you have any questions or concerns, we’re always here for you. Just give us a call!