Posted on: August 31, 2022

In order for your roof to keep you protected, you need to protect your roof. Just like fostering a life-long friendship, you need to treat your roof with care and check in on its needs often. But since roofs can’t talk (at least the last time we checked), you’ll need to pay attention to potential signs of damage.

The responsibility of homeownership includes roof maintenance, which can feel overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. That’s why we put together this ultimate guide that covers:

  • The importance of maintaining your roof
  • 7 top roof maintenance tips
  • Professional roof inspections

The Importance of Regular Roof Maintenance 🧰

Even though roofs are your home’s first line of defense against inclement weather, unpleasant temperatures, and pests, unfortunately, roofs are often the most neglected parts of houses. Most homeowners wait until their roof is already leaking before they consider getting a roof inspection.

However, with regular upkeep, you can help prevent leaks from happening in the first place. Minor roof issues are easy to overlook, but they can quickly cause more expensive, intense issues without the proper care. For example, gutters full of debris may seem like nothing, but a clog can cause water to overflow, which can cause foundation cracks, mold, and other water damage.

You should perform roof maintenance at least once a year, but schedule professional inspections more frequently when:

  • Your shingle roof is more than 10 years old
  • A storm has hit your neighborhood
  • Vegetation is growing in your gutters

7 Top Roof Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

While most roofing work should be left to the professionals, there are numerous roof upkeep tips you can perform yourself. However, if you aren’t comfortable with any of the maintenance tips on this list, you can always call your preferred local roofing contractor, who will be happy to help.

1) Regularly Clean Your Gutters 🧹

roof maintenance gutter

Cleaning your gutters is one of the most DIY-friendly roof maintenance tips for any homeowner. It’s a pretty straightforward issue to fix, and it’s quite easy to spot when gutters get full of debris. Items that can clog gutters include:

  • Leaves
  • Sticks
  • Pine needles
  • Branches
  • Helicopter seeds
  • Shingle granules
  • Birds nests

You should clean your gutters at least twice a year, but if you have a lot of foilage on your property, you may want to opt for every three months.

To clean your gutters, have a sturdy ladder and a buddy to hold the ladder still. Only work in small sections at a time so that you don’t overextend your reach. Wear a long-sleeved shirt and rubber gloves. You can use your hands to remove the debris, but an ice scooper or old spatula may be safer in case any of the debris is sharp.

Once your gutters are clean, hose them down with water to flush out any remaining debris. While you’re at it, check on your downspouts and remove any debris from them as well.

If you don’t already have gutter guards on your gutters, consider installing them to lessen the amount of time you need to spend on cleaning. And if you’re not comfortable getting on a ladder, many roofing contractors provide gutter cleaning services.

2) Spring Cleaning Applies to Your Roof, Too

Ah, spring cleaning— when it’s time to switch over your seasonal clothes, wash your windows and blinds, and prep your landscaping. Since many homeowners have fleshed-out spring cleaning processes, it’s a great idea to incorporate your roof maintenance with the rest of your cleaning.

The roofing business is often a little slower in spring compared to summer, so if you need (or want) a professional’s opinion, you might be able to get quicker service or even a seasonal promotion.

If you regularly schedule maintenance in the spring, your roof will be well-equipped to handle more intense storms that come in the summer months.

3) Repair Cracks and Leaks Right Away

Keep your eyes peeled for missing or damaged shingles on your roof. While it’s usually easiest to spot damage from a ladder, you can also stay on the ground with a pair of binoculars. If you see any cracked or missing shingles, call a professional roofing company right away.

The same goes for leaks. If you notice a roof leak, try to track down its source. Regardless if you can find the source or not, don’t delay scheduling roof service to get the necessary roof repairs.

4) Trim Branches Around Your Roof 🌳

Trees add character to your property, but particularly large trees that extend over your roof can cause issues. Tree branches can break off during high winds and other storms, causing extensive storm damage to your roof. Overgrown trees can also lead to clogged gutters.

While you can technically trim tree branches on your own, we recommend leaving it to a professional tree trimming company. Without the proper knowledge and safety equipment, you could end up injuring yourself or killing your tree.

5) Prevent Ice Dams 🧊

If you live in a region that gets consistent snowfall or ice in the winters, then you need to pay particular attention to ice dams. Ice dams form when snow melts on an upper part of the roof, flows down, and re-freezes. This causes an accumulation of ice that blocks additional snowmelt from flowing off the roof.

roof maintenance ice dam

Ice dams can cause a lot of damage that you don’t want to deal with. They can even break off and bring your gutters down with them. To prevent ice dams, fill long socks with calcium chloride (the same product used on icy sidewalks) and place them vertically on the ice dams to slowly melt them.

Pro tip: Don’t use rock salt, as it can damage your roofing materials.

Climbing on a ladder in icy conditions is not recommended, so don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help instead.

6) Keep Moss and Algae at Bay 🌱

Changing weather can cause algae and moss to grow on your shingles. Not only does this cause an unattractive appearance, but it also causes damage to your roofing materials. They typically grow in shaded portions of roofs in humid climates.

You can apply preventive products that contain zinc and copper to keep the algae away. Apply these products once a year.

7) Keep an Eye on Your Interior

Sometimes, signs of roof damage can manifest inside your home 😫. Keep your eyes peeled for signals, such as:

  • Water stains on your ceiling
  • Peeling paint
  • Water stains on your walls
  • Musty smells
  • Mold growth on walls or ceilings

If you notice any of these signs, especially in your attic, be sure to schedule a roof inspection promptly.

What Professional Roof Inspections Cover

We’ve talked a lot about scheduling a professional roof inspection if you notice many of the above issues. So what does a roof inspection entail, exactly?

During an inspection, a professional roofer will examine every component of your roof— they should also check for signs of damage in your attic. Your roofer will inspect the integrity of your roofing materials plus take a look at your home’s interior.

They’ll look for issues, such as:

  • Cracked or missing shingles
  • Sagging roof deck
  • Rusted or missing nails
  • Clogged gutters
  • Improper roof ventilation
  • Moss or algae growth
  • Damaged flashing
  • Water stains on ceilings or walls
  • Tilting or leaning exterior walls
  • Beams of light coming through the attic ceiling
  • Shingle granule loss
  • Shingles lifting from their nails

A professional roofer will be able to notice smaller, hard-to-see signs of damage that could lead to more extensive damage down the line. Take advantage of regular roof inspections to ensure your home is in top condition, and promptly schedule repairs if your trusted contractor recommends them.

We Help Keep Your Roof in Its Best Condition

No homeowner should have to tackle every aspect of roof maintenance alone. While there are some things you should stay on top of, not everyone is able or comfortable to get up on their roof and be more hands-on. That’s where WISA comes in.

Our trusted roofing team knows exactly what to look for in our detailed roofing inspections. We’re committed to helping homeowners stay educated about their roofs so that you can make an informed decision.

Don’t be shy; reach out today to schedule a free inspection!