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How much is your roof worth? In many cases, more than a new car. While our rooftops are often out of sight and mind, a leaky one gets our attention pretty quickly. Here are some tips on keeping that roof maintained, protecting not just what’s covering your home, but the stuff underneath it as well.
Roof maintenance can be conveniently timed to coincide with when you are cleaning your gutters. When gutters are left uncleared, water can work its way into your roofing, rotting the materials. To prevent damage that can run you thousands of dollars, schedule gutter cleaning every fall and spring.
Schedule time to occasionally walk around your house and visually inspect your roof, especially after high winds. You will be checking for missing or damaged shingles, general signs of wear and tear and for whether your flashing is solid. Looking out for rodent and pest damage should also be a regular part of your visual inspection, with shredding and rotting being common telltale signs.
If you have tall trees near your roof, leaves could accumulate on top. These leaves trap in moisture, leading to decomposition or, in the worst case scenario, weed growth. Using a roof leaf rake or garden hose are a couple of ways you can remove the leaves, but avoid using a pressure washer. Northwest residents also will want to keep a look out for moss, which also traps moisture onto your rooftop. Depending on how old the moss is, you may either be able to sweep it off or wash it off with soap.
Overgrown tree branches can cause damage to your shingles (especially on windy days) and can lead to broken limbs landing on your roof. Overgrown branches also are an invitation for squirrels and other rodents to access your roof, opening it up to gnawing damage. A good rule of thumb is to keep a 10-foot clearing between your branches and roof whenever possible. When it comes to keeping your branches trimmed, it’s best to go with a pro.
When snow storms occur, use a roof rake to keep snow off of your rooftop. However, don’t try to pry off ice that has already formed. Keeping your attic adequately insulated and free of air leaks also is crucial when preventing ice dams. Checking out your attic for streaks or stains can help you detect the first signs of leakage, as well as around chimney and air vents.