Roof maintenance is a lot like going to the doctor. A regular check-up will identify and prevent future problems and help ensure longevity. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners view getting up on their roof a lot like a trip to their physician–they only do it when there’s a problem.
Why does roof maintenance matter?
All roofs, no matter the age, should be inspected annually and should receive regular cleaning and care. It won’t prevent you from ever having to replace your roof, but roof maintenance is your single best method for prolonging the life of your roof and avoiding costly repairs. As professional roofing contractors, we have seen first-hand the effects of a neglected roof: leaks, mold, rot, damaged roof sheeting (aka roof decking), and even structural damage. In some cases, the damage is severe enough to warrant a complete roof replacement.
Regular inspections and maintenance are your best defense for extending the life of your roof and protecting your home or commercial building. So we’ve compiled the top professional roofing contractor tips for roof maintenance.
Roof Maintenance Checklist
- Annual Roof Inspection
A healthy roof relies on a regular check-up–an annual inspection to ensure everything is in tip-top shape, and if anything is amiss, identify potential problems before they become costly roof repairs. So what is included in a roof inspection? Roof inspections vary a little between residential roofs and commercial or flat roofs, but a roof inspection should include:
- Structural inspection to assess the condition of the roof system overall and the main roofing components. Signs to look for that indicate trouble include:
- Materials inspection to assess the condition of the roofing materials (shingles, tiles, metal, etc.). The most common residential roofing material in the pacific northwest is asphalt composition. When inspecting roof shingles or tiles, look for these signs of damage:
- Missing, lifted, or damaged shingles or tiles
- Shingles with granular loss (asphalt composition shingles)
If you have a flat or low-sloped roof, your roof will likely have a different type of roofing material. You can learn more about flat roofing materials here, but the material will be a type of membrane. Any signs of damage will likely be seam splits or membrane punctures.
- Interior inspection to confirm if there are any signs of leaks and that the attic ventilation system is working properly. Signs to look for that indicate a leak or moisture problem include:
- Water stains on ceilings or walls
- The presence of mold on the attic plywood sheeting
- A musty odor in the attic or rooms
- Inspect all roof penetration points: vents, pipes, chimneys, and skylights to ensure there are no problems like
- Broken seals or cracked grout
- Damaged or improperly installed flashing
- Cracked or damaged pipe boots
- Look for signs of pests. Birds, raccoons, squirrels, and insects all find roofs to be ideal nesting sites, especially roofs that have not been well maintained. If left unchecked, pests can cause a lot of damage to a roof, leading to leaks and other costly problems.
For peace of mind and to ensure nothing is missed, we recommend hiring a professional roof inspector to perform your annual roof inspection. An inspector will know what to look for and can give you expert advice on any necessary repairs your roof needs.
- Timely Roof Repairs
Take care of any needed roof repairs that are found in your annual roof inspection. The best approach to keeping your roof in tip-top shape is to address damage and make roof repairs as quickly as possible before the damage leads to costlier problems or even premature roof replacement.
- Roof Cleaning and Debris Removal
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. This is especially true when it comes to maintaining your roof.
- Remove any debris from the roof, valleys, and gutters, and from around any roof penetrations
- Remove moss and treat your roof to prevent future moss growth
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Trim Trees and Branches
Trimming branches that hang over your roof and gutters is an important part of protecting your roof and serves multiple purposes. Tree branches can be a problem during storms if they break and fall on your roof, but they can also drop smaller twigs, leaves, and other debris that can accumulate in your roof valleys and gutters. Debris accumulation not only traps moisture but it also provides a welcoming environment for pests and becomes a fire hazard.
Professional Roof Inspection and Roof Maintenance Services
We won’t deny that there is plenty you can do yourself when it comes to inspecting and maintaining your roof. But, with more than forty years as professional roofing contractors, we can tell you that most homeowners tend to let roof maintenance slide until it becomes a big problem requiring extensive roof repairs or replacement. We have even seen this with commercial roofs, which is why Pacific West Roofing specializes in residential and commercial roof inspection and maintenance.
Pacific West Roofing Cleaning & Maintenance Services:
- Evaluation of roof condition, including roof sheeting
- Complete roof cleaning
- Debris removal from the roof, including roof valleys, behind chimneys, around vents and skylights, and from gutters
- Moss removal
- Moss treatment to prevent future moss
- Evaluation of all roof penetrations, caulking, and flashing
- Repair flashing as needed
- Seal/re-seal all roof penetrations as needed
- Repair nail pops and secure loose shingles as needed
If your roof is due for an inspection, or you already know your roof needs cleaning or repairs, contact us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable office staff can answer your roofing questions and schedule your roof inspection. We will also give you an honest assessment of the condition of your roof, what repairs may be needed, and how you may be able to extend the life of your roof. Come next winter’s storms, you’ll be glad you did!