A roof’s longevity depends on more than just the type of material it’s made from – it also depends on how well the materials are cared for. When it comes to asphalt shingle roofs, the key to longevity is regular maintenance and occasional repairs, as well as avoiding water damage whenever possible. These five tips will help you do all three, keeping your roof in good shape so you can avoid costly repairs in the future!
1) Prep Before the Summer Season
In order to maintain your asphalt shingle roof, it is important that you prepare in advance of the summer season. If you are not able to get up on your roof yourself, then hire a professional roofing contractor. Here are four tips for maintaining your asphalt shingle roof:
1) Clean off any loose material on the roof surface and allow it to dry completely before re-coating with fresh tar or sealant.
2) Scrape away any loose tar or sealant that is flaking off the surface and dispose of in a sealed bag.
3) Apply a clear protective coating over the entire surface of the roof, paying close attention to areas with cracks or splits in the felt paper.
4) While inspecting your asphalt shingle roof, be sure to check that there are no nails or staples popping through. They should be flush with or below your shingles.
2) Inspect Your Roof Twice a Year
Most people don’t think about their roof until they see a leak, but it’s important to inspect your roof at least twice per year. Inspecting your roof twice per year can help you catch potential problems before they occur and can also help you keep track of maintenance needs. Here are five tips for maintaining your asphalt shingle roof:
1) Clean Leaves and Debris from Your Roof- Any time you clean leaves or debris off of your roof, make sure to use a rake rather than a broom so that you do not damage the surface of the shingles. Raking is preferred because it will not harm the shingles like sweeping would.
3) Inspect Gutters and Downspouts
Your gutters and downspouts are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing roof leaks. If they are clogged or damaged, they will not be able to carry water away from your home and that is what can lead to water damage in the ceiling.
To find out if your gutters and downspouts are in need of repair, you should inspect them at least twice a year. The best time to do this is before and after winter, as snowfall can cause gutters to overflow when melted or freeze over during cold weather, which prevents water from draining properly.
Leaves and other debris can also get stuck in the gutters during fall months so it’s important to clean them out each year.
4) Waterproof Your Attic If Needed
If your attic is not properly waterproofed, water will find its way in and can cause mold. Check to see if you need to waterproof it by inspecting the outside of your house and looking at any areas where water leaks have occurred or if you have a flat roof that is leaking. You can also check with a home inspector who may be able to offer advice as well. To start, take down anything that can hold water like vents, pipes, or insulation. Next remove any damaged shingles that are causing leaks and replace them with new ones. Then apply sealant over the top of all shingles. Finally use tar paper underneath the shingles to help keep water out of your attic.
5) Repair Leaks Immediately
The best way to maintain your asphalt shingle roof is by catching any leaks as soon as they happen. You should be able to see if there are any leaks or other problems with your roof when you do a visual inspection, but this isn’t the only way you can find them. Sometimes you might be able to detect leaks by looking at the gutters or checking under the eaves of your home.
Another option is to use a hose and spray water all over the roof so you can see where it starts dripping through. Keep in mind that just because there are no visible signs of water on the roof doesn’t mean there aren’t any leaks below it. This technique will only work when there is some sort of leak, otherwise your efforts will be wasted.
The number one thing you can do to keep your asphalt shingle roof looking great is to make sure that you have it as cleaned and sealed at least once a year. These services are designed to remove the grime that accumulates on the surface of your roof, as well as any algae, lichen or moss growth. Cleaning removes dirt and other substances that can cause stains when they come in contact with the surface of your roof. Sealing prevents the growth of algae and lichen by blocking sunlight from entering through loose seams in your asphalt shingles and damaging their sealant.