When was the last time you looked at your roof and gutters?
If it’s been awhile, don’t let it sit another minute! Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance most likely will not cover damage from a leaky roof if homeowners aren’t keeping it maintained. In fact, insurers will generally require homeowners to show proof that they stayed up on maintenance.
And this problem isn’t getting better. In the past two years we’ve seen an uptick in home inspections from insurance companies, and they threaten to cancel coverage if the homeowner is neglecting to keep their roof and gutters in check with an emphasis of moss control
But don’t fear! We at Hart Property Maintenance want to make sure your roof and gutters are in good condition, and that your home is covered in a worst-case scenario. Below are the top 6 tips to maintain your roof:
1. Look Up
At least twice a year, in Fall and Spring, look at your roof and gutters from the ground for any of the following warning signs:
- Lifting or missing shingles
- Damaged drip edge
- Buckling, loose or missing flashing
- Missing or exposed fasteners
- Sagging or broken leaking gutters
- Piles of granules
- Heavy debris accumulation
2. Trim Your Trees
Any good-sized storm could send branches crashing onto your roof, so you shouldn’t overlook any leaning branches that could scratch or gouge your roof materials. Look around the landscaping in your yard for any potentially dangerous branches and keep them trimmed away. Remember keep your yard out of your homes bubble.
3. Clean Your Gutter
We recommend you hire an expert to clean your gutters a few times per year (we’re happy to help!). Leaves and other elements can clog your gutters and cause water to backup into the attic, living areas or behind the fascia boards. This is especially important before an intense storm, where water can back up quickly. Also, be on the lookout for sagging gutters or damaged drain components and repair or replace as needed.
4. Look for Moss and Algae
Help avoid moss and algae growing by keeping your attic properly ventilated, removing any debris, and trimming those overhanging branches from nearby trees (see tip #2!) When you see it treat it.
5. Re-Caulk, When Necessary
This is especially important to keep in check. Caulking is used in many places on your roof and gutters and has a life expectancy usually less than the other roofing materials it is applied to. Roof warranties can be voided by not staying up in this. If you don’t know what you’re doing, we recommend hiring an expert to help you with the caulking process (another time we’re happy to stop by).
6. Check Your Insulation
Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can cause sheathing and rafting to rot, roof materials to buckle and insulation to lose effectiveness. This will cause your overall roofing system to be ineffective. Proper insulation and ventilation in your attic will help keep your roof in good condition and reduce any moisture.
Bonus Tip: Be Safe!
DIY roof repairers beware! For those bold enough to attempt roof maintenance yourself, please bare in mind that it’s dangerous up there. It’s advisable to stay on a firmly braced ladder equipped with t a ladder stabilizer attached when possible. If you do decide to walk on the roof, it’s best to wear rubber-soled shoes to prevent slipping. Fall protection gear is heavily advised for that oh slip moment. Safety gear can be acquired at most large home improvement centers.
All these steps should keep your roof and gutters maintained and lasting for years to come. Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!