How to Maintain Your Roof: A Maintenance Guide for Asphalt, Wood, Tile, or Slate Roofs

After you’ve invested thousands for a brand-new roof to protect your home, you’re probably wondering, “How should I maintain my roof?” It’s a great question and one we get often. While there are many types of roofing problems that are best left to professionals, there is often at least some roof maintenance you can do on your own—if you feel comfortable and are able to safely navigate your roof. The proper care of your roof depends on the type of roof you own. we’ve compiled a list of the most common roof types in what we hope you find to be a handy and helpful roofing maintenance guide.

Roof maintenance guide

Asphalt or Composite Shingles

Because of their versatility and affordability, these are the most popular type of roofing shingle, and they grace the tops of the majority of area homes. When you reroof your home, ask your roofer for an extra pack or two of shingles, which will enable you to replace the odd missing shingle that can sometimes be blown off in harsh weather. Luckily, because this type of roof often comes with decades-long guarantees, it will likely be quite a while before any kind of roofing repair is necessary. Routine maintenance includes clearing branches and debris that might fall on your roof in stormy weather, clearing out your gutters and downspouts twice a year, trimming back branches of nearby trees to prevent them from breaking and damaging your roof, and inspecting your roof twice a year for signs of decay or damage.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles offer homeowners a rustic appeal that looks great on cottages and bungalows. These shingles will naturally weather over time, and this is fine. However, you’ll want to take care to trim back branches that may hang over your home, as the roof needs a chance to dry out fully between rains to avoid mildew and rot and to protect the shingles from damage. However, over time, sunlight can also damage your wood roof. Nonetheless, your wood roof can last for many decades if it’s properly maintained. Power-washing can help remove debris and strip away weaker wood to expose stronger wood underneath, but this is best left to a pro, as improper washing can easily cause damage.

You should also keep gutters and downspouts clean and promptly remove debris from your roof. If you have moss or fungi buildup on your roof, this definitely needs attention, but is also best left to a pro because it requires the use of chemicals that could damage your roof if applied improperly. With proper care, your roof will weather beautifully and last for many years!

Tile Roofs

Tile roofing is a popular option on Mediterranean-style homes. These roofs are both prized for their beauty and appreciated for their fire rating (tile is non-combustible) and longevity. That said, tile roof maintenance is often best left to a professional, because tile is extremely delicate and can break easily if walked upon. You can and should trim back branches that overhang these roofs and keep gutters and downspouts clear, but when it comes to removing debris, it’s best to call in a pro if it can’t be reached without treading on the roof surface.

You should also visually inspect your roof at least twice a year for any signs of damage and call a pro if you notice any concerns. Flashings will often need to be replaced before the roof itself, so take special care to examine these areas during your inspection. Call in a pro if you need help inspecting your roof properly. As long as you don’t walk on them, tile roofs are very hardy. They aren’t susceptible to insects or rot, so these roofs can last for many decades, and you should expect to enjoy your roof with relatively little maintenance for years to come.

Slate Roofs

These roofs are growing in popularity for their attractive visual and historical appeal. However, they do require some maintenance to keep them looking their best. It’s important to remember that slate roofs can last for many decades if properly cared for. Just like tile, slate is non-combustible, impervious to insects and rot, and very easily broken if tread upon. For that reason, any damage or repair to a slate roof, such as chipped slate shingles (which won’t cause leaks but can be unattractive to look at), slipped or broken shingles, or other types of repair require the attention of a knowledgeable and experienced slate roofer.

Again, as with tile, your primary jobs will be in inspecting the roof at least once or twice a year for signs of damage, keeping branches trimmed away, and keeping gutters and downspouts clear. Flashings will often need to be replaced before the roof itself, so take special care to examine these areas during your inspection. Call in a pro if you need help inspecting your roof properly.

We hope this roofing-maintenance guide has helped answer your questions on how to maintain your roof. Have more questions? Wondering if you need to repair or replace your roof? Give George J Keller & Sons a call today at 973-927-0963. We’ve been replacing roofs in New Jersey for over 35 years!