Your roof is your home’s primary source of protection from the elements. It’s also a huge investment, so it’s very important that you know how to care for your roof properly in order to maximize its lifespan. Not only do these tips on how to maintain your roof help you extend its useful life, they also ensure your roof looks good, too. After all, a home’s roof is one of the first things people notice when they pull up to your home. Keep up the curb appeal with these guidelines:

How to NOT care for your roof
Vegetation found on a recently inspected roof!

  1. Clean your gutters and downspouts: Twice a year, you should clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris to keep water from backing up on your roof. This is especially important task to take on at the end of autumn, since you’ll want to ensure that snow and ice can melt freely and flow away from your home. Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to ice dams, roof leaks, shingle damage, rotted roof decking, and basement flooding, so this is one roof maintenance tip you don’t want to ignore.
  2. Don’t neglect the underside of your roof: Knowing how to care for your roof also includes remembering that your roof is more than just what you can see from the outside. Be sure you head up to your attic regularly to check for early signs of rotting or leaks that may not otherwise become evident until water starts leaking through your ceilings. You can also take the time to add extra insulation, which can improve your home’s ability to retain precious heat.
  3. Prune overhanging tree limbs: Knowing how to maintain your roof also means knowing how to care for nearby trees (or knowing the number of a tree-maintenance company!). By keeping branches from encroaching the area above your roof, you accomplish two things. First, you minimize the amount of leaves and debris that will end up in your gutters. Second, you reduce the chances that your roof will be damaged by a falling tree limb. If you do notice debris collecting on your roof, you’ll want to clear it off right away (or call a roof-maintenance company to do it for you).
  4. Inspect it regularly: One of the most important roof maintenance tips we can offer is to examine your roof at least twice a year for early signs of a problem (a good time to do this is when you’re cleaning the gutters). By keeping a close eye on your roof, you’re in a better position to notice when something doesn’t look right. To examine your roof, get up on a ladder but don’t tread on the roof if you can avoid it, especially if you have a two-story home. And NEVER get up on a wet or snow- or ice-covered roof, as it’s far too easy to slip and fall. Also, walking on your roof too often can loosen the granules in the shingles, reducing their useful lifespan. Instead, carefully inspect your rooftop using a pair of binoculars. Need to see an area you can’t easily see from a ladder? Try looking through a second-story window or moving the ladder to a different spot. If you still can’t see your entire roof, give a roofing company a call and have one of its experienced roofers perform an inspection. What you’re looking for: damaged, curling, frayed, or missing shingles, visible holes, or dark patches (usually mold or moss).
  5. Don’t neglect the rest of your roof’s components: In addition to gutters, downspouts, roof decking, and shingles, your roof also includes a number of structures, such as chimneys, vents, and protective flashing. Don’t forget to look over these areas carefully as well, as they are areas where water most often enters your home.

Knowing how to maintain your roof is critical for keeping your roof looking its best as well as avoiding costly problems down the road. Notice a problem? Not sure how to handle it? Give the roof experts at George J Keller & Sons a call at 973-927-0963 today and we’ll be happy to come out and do a comprehensive roofing assessment.