Your roof is out there every day, exposed to wind, rain, sun, cold, and temperature fluctuations. But this fall, you won’t have to worry about the newly installed roof, because, well, it’s new. The bottom line is new roofs need maintenance too. Here are some tips on ways to help protect your roof and extend its lifespan.
Inspect the roof twice a year.
Once it has been installed, a new roof should be inspected twice a year. Since it is new, you can conduct the inspection yourself using binoculars either from the ground or on a ladder. Visual inspections help you be proactive. An active wind doesn’t care if the roofing system is new. Look for missing shingles, debris in roof valleys, or other kinds of damage. If you see something that’s not quite, it’s better to deal with it now rather than later.
Conduct a visual inspection after a heavy rainfall, windstorm, or snowstorm to ensure nothing was damaged or needs immediate attention.
Remove leaves from your new roof.
It might not seem like a fall home maintenance priority, but if you notice an accumulation of leaves on the roof in late fall, clear them away. They typically stay stuck to roofing shingles because they are wet. As the wet leaves decompose, they attract more moisture, which can lead to damaged shingles, wood rot, and mold or moss growth, compromising the roof’s protective qualities.
Prevent damage from falling debris.
Check the trees growing close to the house. If there are tree limbs and branches reaching out over the roof, trim them back. This will prevent any damage that might be caused by branches scraping shingles on a windy day or tree limbs falling on the roof during a storm.
Clean the gutters and downspouts.
Gutters and downspouts are specifically designed to guide rainwater and snowmelt from the roof to the ground, away from the home’s foundation. When the gutter system becomes clogged, it doesn’t function properly and can prevent the roof from draining the way it should. A new roof can withstand water, but not if it hangs around (pools), damaging shingles and seeping into the underlayment.
Cleaning the gutters and downspouts regularly also eliminates birds and wildlife from nesting in the gutter system or taking up residence on a roof near chimneys or other roof projections that provide shelter. Critters travelling back and forth from food source to nest can damage shingles with their claws or nails.
Budget for repairs and inspections.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you might be tempted to make any minor repairs on your new roof yourself. But roofing issues tend to be interconnected. A roofing contractor will be able to see the big picture and address any problems that are only visible to professionals who deal with these types of things on a daily basis.
To keep your new roof looking that way budget for a professional roof inspection once every two years. A professional inspection typically includes the condition of the shingles, the gutters, downspouts, flashings, vents, and attic.