Most homeowners are aware of the importance of keeping every aspect of the home maintained.  Among the most essential parts of home maintenance is to ensure the roof is in optimum shape. If the problem is caught early, it is more likely that you will be able to keep it from turning it into a major repair and a considerable financial responsibility.  There are a number of things you could do to prolong the life of the roof.  These include:

Inspect the Roof

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If you are unsure of the condition your roof, the time for a roofing inspection is now.  This does not necessarily mean climbing up there yourself; hiring an experienced roofing professional is always a safe option.  This is a small investment in comparison to what you could wind up paying for repairs.

Inspecting the roof involves you or the roofing company closely examining the shingles and searching for any shingle that could be loose, curling, broken or completely missing.  If they appear cracked or worn out, they should be changed out.

Look for signs inside the home like ceiling leaks, peeling wallpaper, flaking ceiling paint and cracked wall. Click here to see examples. Any of these could be signs that water is penetrating the roof.  Check the attic wood for signs of insects like termites that might made a resident in the roof.  The sooner the insects are spotted, the quicker they can be eradicated before they get out of hand.

Pay Attention to the Gutters

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The roof can be greatly impacted by loose gutters.  They can begin to pull away from the roof over time, causing damage to the lower part of the roof that will ultimately needs replacement or repairs. While checking the gutters, seek out clogs as the can weigh down gutters and pull on the roofing system.  Based on the kinds of trees that are close to your home, the gutters should be cleaned out roughly once per season.

Trim Back Trees

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The roof can also be affected by overgrown tree branches.  They could scrape or rub on the roof, damaging the shingles and enabling leaks and holes to form.  During a storm, branches could break and damage the home.  Additionally, tree needles and leaves could clog the gutters; therefore, it is wise to keep them trimmed back.

Remove Debris

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It is essential to take out any debris that accumulates during a storm as soon as it is safe to do so.  In addition, it is important to periodically check the roof to make sure there is no accumulation of foreign material, loose objects or dirt.

Remove Moss, Mold and Algae

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If your roof is made from asphalt shingles, it should also be checked for dark green or black stains, which could be an indication of algae growth. Furthermore, shingles located mainly in the shade could attract moss, mold, and algae, which can be removed via a professional cleaning.  The cleaning cost is a mere percentage of what it would cost to replace the roof should the algae continue to cause damage.  The cleaning could also restore and refresh some of the natural beauty of the roof.

Keep the Roof Free of Snow and Ice

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There are certain areas in which snow or ice accumulation could be a problem because the buildup could be tremendously heavy.  This excess weight could structurally damage the roof.  The depth of a 1-inch square foot of snow weighs roughly one pound.  A cubic foot weighs approximately 20 pounds.

When snow covers the entire roof, you can begin to calculate the amount of additional stress it places on the roofing.  Along with the structural damage, ice and snow could melt and leak inside the home if the shingles have been damaged.  This could result in a ton of other problems inside the home, including rot and mildew.

It can be very dangerous removing snow from the roof; as such, you should contact a roofing professional to assess the situation to see whether removal is required.  Additionally, you do not need to take snow off the roof each time it snows.  It is important to know the times when there is a lot of accumulation which would need to be removed to stop it from causing damage.

An effective way of staying on top of any developing or potential problem with the roof is to schedule seasonal home maintenance inspections.  This is particularly vital when the seasons change and after severe weather. The better care you take of the roof, the longer it will last.

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