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Roof Maintenance – Everything You Need to Know

A Guide to Roof Maintenance: Tips, Checklist, & Guide

Your roof is the biggest layer of defense against those hard rain and wind storms. Moreover, roof maintenance is essential to protect its longevity. How can you maintain your roof to extend its life while at the same time, saving money? Let’s go over a checklist, costs, and tips.

Roof Maintenance Checklist

Always keep debris clear. This may seem like a no-brainer, but leaves, branches, or other objects keep moisture on the roofing material. We want the roof to shed water, not hold it. You should constantly clean up trees around your home. This will help keep your roof debris free!

Clean your gutters. This ties into keep debris clear and shedding water. Do this as much as you need to ensure the water is properly draining.

Check for damage. As a homeowner, you can check for damaged/broken tiles, shingles, or metal hardware. Only walk on the roof if you are COMPLETELY comfortable. You can typically spot most damage from walking around the exterior of the home.

Order a Roof Inspection. It is not enough to walk around the house yourself. You should hire a professional to inspect the roof every few years. A pro will have much more insight into where leaks are likely to develop and what to do.

Inspect Your Ceilings & Attic. You should be looking in your attic (walk around only if you comfortable) for staining and water intrusion points. In most cases, leaks are not detectable from the roof covering. You can always check your ceilings for staining.

Roof Paperwork. Always keep your home paperwork in one location. Ensure all materials delivered to you about your roof are kept. You may need to reference this information from time to time. Key paperwork could be on materials used, warranties, and invoices.

A note about warranties… They are not always as comprehensive as homeowners like them to be. You should review the paperwork thoroughly.

Roof Maintenance by Roof Covering

This section may be used more for the professionals. Unless you are very handy, we would not recommend a homeowner do this themselves. However, you can keep this list in mind for hiring your roof professional.

Here are maintenance tips by roof covering.

Shingle Roofs

Shingle roof maintenance typically includes the following:

  • Clearing debris.
  • Tarring over exposed nails.
  • Removing or flattening protruding nails, followed by sealing.
  • Sealing lifting shingles down.
  • Replacing missing shingles.
  • Replacing or sealing flashing or other hardware.
  • Shingle roofs will need to be inspected every few years.

You should not pressure wash shingle roofs as this will remove granules and limit their lifespan dramatically!

You can find a good shingle tar at Home Depot or Lowes.

Metal Roofs

Metal roof maintenance can include the following:

  • Pressure washing to keep it clean.
  • Clearing debris.
  • Replacing bolts, nuts, and other hardware.
  • Ensuring rubber grommets are not cracked/damaged.
  • Metal roofs will need to be inspected every 5-10 years.

Tile Roofs

Tile roof maintenance can include the following:

  • Clearing Debris.
  • Pressure washing.
  • Replacing/sealing broken tiles.
  • Replacing/sealing flashing points.
  • Tiles roofs will need to be inspected every few years.

Be sure to use a roof tile specific adhesive for sealing. Adhesives can be further broken down into tile type: i.e. concrete or clay tiles.

Which Roof Covering Requires the Least Amount of Maintenance?

The metal roof can be the most expensive, longest lasting, and least maintained. However, if you are near the beach this may not be a viable option due to rusting.

To conclude, use this section as a guide for when you have your roof inspection or pro complete the maintenance.

Roof Maintenance Costs

To start, roof inspections typically cost around $100 to $150. Furthermore, roof repairs can range from the low hundreds up to thousands depending on the service rendered.

An expensive tile roof that has a large leak may cost thousands. On the other hand, a shingle roof with just a few lifting shingles may cost only about $150 to repair.

Best Practice to Lower Cost

If you hire a home inspector for roof inspections, they will be completely honest about the repairs/maintenance needed. On the contrary, roofers may try to upsell roof repairs.

Moreover, staying proactive about your roof maintenance will stop leaks from developing into bigger issues. The more time water sits/leaks, the more damage it creates!

Other Notes

The design of a roof can create many factors into the longevity of the roofing material. Due to design variations, it takes a skilled craftsman to inspect and maintain to ensure leaks to not develop in valleys, eaves, dead valleys, and penetration points.


Shingle Roof Lifespan

This article has great information about roof maintenance.