5 Tips for Maintaining Your Roof

Monday, July 16th, 2018 by Victoria Cosma

Your roof is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your home. However, as a homeowner, do you know the right way to maintain your roof? As a roofing company specializing in residential roofing, we are here to give you some helpful roof maintenance tips to help maintain your roof for years to come.

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One of the biggest misconceptions about ice dams in the winter is that the best way to remove them is by force. However, doing so only causes shingles to deteriorate faster, causing bigger problems down the road. Using hammers or small pickaxes usually gets rid of the ice dam at the moment, but it creates permanent damage to the shingles and gutters. Instead of muscling the ice dams, look for ways to reduce the frozen runoff by improving the amount of insulation in your attic. Ventilation withdraws warm air from the attic so that snow does not start melting in the first place.

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When your chimney starts leaking, your first reaction may be to put tar or roofing cement on the flashing to stop the leak. However, this is a temporary fix and does not provide a long-term solution to the issue at hand. The roofing cement tends to dry up and crack when exposed to the sun, as it is not designed to handle UV rays. Once the cement dries up and cracks, it pulls away from the flashing causing the leaks to continue. So what's the right solution to solving your chimney leak? When we place a roof, we always replace the chimney flashing and install new lead flashing and counter-flashing on the chimney. The new flashing is re-sealed with a waterproofing mortar sealant to ensure no moisture penetrates through.

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A valley is the part of your roof where two slopes meet. It is a downward seam that joins the two roofs together and ensures that no water escapes through. However, it is also common for leaves and pine needles to collect due to the valley being the joint between the two slopes. If the valley gets clogged, more leaves and debris accumulate, causing ice dams to build up and lichen to form. Keeping the trees trimmed away from the house will keep your roof valleys free of debris and will allow more sunlight to reach the roof, and help keep shingles dry. In addition, a dry roof is going to have less moss and lichen, adding to the longevity of your roof. 

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We recommend that you keep your soffit vents clear of insulation so that you get the maximum airflow to your attic. A strong airflow will keep your house cooler in the summer and reduce the likelihood of ice dams in the winter. An easy way to do this is to put foam baffles by your soffit vents if you have them. A baffle is a rigid piece of foam that goes between the rafters. You tuck it right between the plywood and the insulation to keep the insulation from blocking the soffit vents in your attic. 

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Another way that asphalt shingles can lose their granules is by power-washing the roof to kill any algae or moss. This does not permanently kill the algae and actually damages the roof shingles in the process. When your roof starts getting those black streaks, it is from black algae growing on the shingles, or more accurately, IN the shingle. You can either clean it by gently spraying a solution on the shingles, or you can install copper near the peak of the roof. Why copper? Have you ever noticed a home has black algae streaks covering most of the roof except right underneath the chimney? This is due to the copper or lead flashing being washed over the chimney by the rain and the metal ions running right down the roof to kill the algae. If your shingles have copper in them, like IKO, you will get the same effect. The copper in the shingles will get washed down the roof and keep the algae off.

Still Concerned? Put a Klaus on your House!

If you've put off your roof maintenance for too long or just want to know if you need a new roof, call us for your FREE estimate! We're more than happy to help you and your roof needs. Whether you want to know about roof installations, roof inspections, roof repairing, or an overview of what our Klaus Roofing Systems can do for you, we're here for you! We pride ourselves on quality roofing, workmanship, and roofing materials!