Having your roof replaced is a big project. So, ensuring your current roof lasts as long as possible makes sense. Many people only think about their roofs when there is a problem, such as a leak. But if you inspect your roof routinely and stay on top of maintenance, you can extend its life. Here is a checklist of tasks to help keep your roof in tip-top shape.
Look for Lifted Shingles
Shingles that are lifted along one side are at risk of falling off completely the next time a strong wind blows through. Luckily, lifted shingles are easy to spot from the ground or a step ladder. Look over every slope of your roof as thoroughly as possible. Don’t just pay attention to the top edges of the shingles. Sometimes, they’ll lift from the side or bottom instead.
If you do see lifted shingles, give your roofer a call. They can either seal the shingles back down or replace them.
Inspect Your Flashing
Flashing is the metal that goes around chimneys and along roof valleys. If it becomes lifted on one edge, water can seep behind it. Or, a strong wind can catch it and blow it away completely. If you see any metal flashing that is gaping, unattached, or rusted through, have a roofer replace it before the damage gets worse.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters are there to protect your roof from water damage, but they cannot do this if they are clogged with debris. Clean them at least twice a year to keep water flowing smoothly. All you need to do is put a long glove on, reach into the gutter, and remove any gunk.
If your gutters clog often, consider having gutter guards installed. Even with gutter guards, you want to check for debris accumulation every few months.
Check Your Vents
Roof vents are meant to let warm air escape from your attic so all the heat does not just travel through the roof itself. Heat transfer is hard on a roof and can lead to premature damage. To check your roof vents, head up to your attic. If your roof has soffit vents, which are common, you’ll see them towards the edges of the roof near the eaves. Make sure your insulation and other items are not pushed over or in front of them.
Evaluate Your Insulation
Attic insulation does more than keep your home warm in the winter. It also protects your roof from increased heat transfer. Inspect your attic insulation every few months and ensure it is still in good condition. You likely have a roof leak if it has moist or moldy spots. Consider replacing if the insulation has become compacted or compressed in some areas. Fiberglass insulation does its job best when it’s puffy and fresh.
Trim Those Trees
Trees overhanging a roof will lead to premature damage. They drop leaves on the roof, those leaves trap moisture against the roof, and the shingles underneath the leaves break down. Plus, tree branches shade the roof, and a shady and moist roof is more likely to rot or grow moss.
Have any trees near your home trimmed back annually? If a tree overhangs your roof even after being trimmed, consider having that tree removed.
Look for Nail Pops
Nail pops happen when a nail rises partially out of the roof deck. It causes a little bump to appear in the layer of shingles over it. Nail pops look like pimples or tiny hills on your roof. They are a problem because they lift the shingles’ top layer, and water can easily leak around the raised nail.
Don’t just pound the nails back into the roof if you see nail pops. The holes are already widened, and the nails will just pop up again. Instead, call a roofer. They’ll remove the popped nails, plug the holes, and put the new nails in place.
Keep an Eye Out for Granules
Asphalt shingles are covered in little granules. They help the water run off the shingles quickly. Over time, however, asphalt shingles start to lose their granules. You may see them in your gutters or on the ground around your downspouts.
If you see granules, you don’t need to do anything immediately. But know this means you’ll likely need a roof replacement in a few years. Start planning before your roof develops more significant issues, such as leaks.
Keep on top of the roofing maintenance and inspection tasks above, and your roof will thank you. If you notice anything amiss, contact Yellowhammer Roofing in Birmingham, Alabama. Our friendly, knowledgeable roofers can help you with all of your roofing needs.