What are you doing to protect your home? Roofing is one of the most important investments for any homeowner. With a few simple steps, homeowners can protect their home from costly and inconvenient water damage.
We’ve compiled eleven proven strategies that will keep your roof in top shape and help protect your home.
Table of Contents
1. Inspect your roof
According to Frisco Roofing, the best way to protect your home is to catch potential issues before they occur. Inspect the outside of your home regularly for anything that may cause damage. It’s also important to check around vents, chimneys, and other fixtures on your roof. These are areas where corrosion can build up unnoticed.
It takes very little time-about ten minutes-to do an exterior inspection each month. The investment will pay off when you’re not dealing with leaks or extensive repair bills later down the road.
2. Clean out gutters regularly
Cleaning out gutters isn’t fun, but it’s necessary work if you want to keep water away from your roofing materials. Leaves and other plant detritus can clog gutters and cause them to overflow. This can cause water to leak into the attic, which over time will cause wood rot and extensive damage to your home.
3. Fix small leaks quickly
Leaks are a pain, but ignoring them doesn’t make the problem go away. Small leaks often grow larger unless they’re repaired immediately-so if you notice a leak in your roofing system, fix it as soon as possible. It’s much more expensive to repair a roof once large cracks have appeared or serious damage has occurred.
4: Make sure your shingles match
Check that your shingles match when you do your yearly exterior inspection. When buying new shingles for your house, be sure that they match the color of your house. There are a number of reasons that people choose to install new shingles, but having a mismatched roof is not one of them.
5: Use a drip edge on each side of each ridge vent
Many homeowners avoid using a drip edge because it takes extra installation time. But installing drip edges will pay off when you don’t have to clean or replace damaged ceiling tiles from water damage in your attic.
6: Check all vents regularly
Vents can get clogged by tree branches and other debris easily, so check them out regularly. This simple maintenance task will catch potential problems before they cause leaks or cracks in your home’s foundation.
7: Trim back tree branches
Keeping trees adequately trimmed can avoid residential roofing problems. Branches that overhang your roof by more than six feet should be removed.
Trees that are too close to your home can cause damage when branches rub against the siding. Damaged siding is expensive to repair, so keeping trees at a safe distance will help protect your home’s exterior.
8: Don’t duct tape or use tarp for metal roofs
Don’t make the mistake of using duct tape or tarp on a metal roof. A damaged gutter will move water onto unprotected areas of your roofing materials, causing it to rust faster and put your home in danger of leaks and cracks. Metal roofs need specialized fixes-call an experienced contractor if you have questions or concerns.
9: Make sure gutters are in good condition
Gutters should be in good condition to avoid water damage. Check that downspouts are in place and aren’t blocked by tree branches, dirt, or other debris. Downspouts should always tilt away from your home. If your gutter is damaged, it’s time to replace it before leaks appear on your roof.
10: Remove snow carefully
It’s not enough to remove the snow-you need to do it safely! Use a shovel instead of a metal blade on your skimmer (a long flat piece of rubber that hangs over the edge of the roof). Metal blades can also damage shingles if they come into contact with them.
Use a snow rake (a long pole with a wide, flat head) to remove large amounts of snow. Again, metal blades will cause damage if they come into contact with shingles or other roofing materials-especially on roofs that use asphalt for their material instead of the more expensive metals like copper and slate.
11: Keep gutters and downspouts clear
Gutters and downspouts become clogged over time by leaves and debris. Overflowing gutters can cause extensive water damage to your home’s foundation-not to mention all of those annoying leaves! Invest in a gutter cleaning brush for quick annual cleanings, as well as a leaf blower so you can clear away stubborn debris. Don’t forget to check your downspouts for clogs every spring.
12: Use weatherstripping or caulk around entryways
Entryway leaks that come from the outside of your home are a sign that you have a roof leak. You can use caulk or weatherstripping to seal entryways. This will stop water from coming in through the door, stopping leaks until more permanent repairs can be made on your roof.
13: Be careful when using extension ladders
It’s not safe to extend an extension ladder more than three feet from its base for single-story roofs, and six feet for two-story roofs.
That’s because a ladder with extra length is unstable at greater distances from the ground. Use an A-frame ladder instead for taller roofs or multi-level houses, then use a bucket truck or cherry picker if you to work on even higher areas.
14: Keep plants away from your roof
Keeping plants at least 10 feet away from the edge of your roof is important, especially if you have flat or low-slope roofs. Plants can cause water to pool around your home’s foundation, which will lead to leaks and other damage that need costly repairs.
Trees are especially dangerous near roofs, as their roots can cause cracks in the foundation. If you do have trees, make sure they’re at least 50 feet away (for smaller trees) or 75 feet (for larger ones).
15: Replace missing shingles promptly
When shingles on your roof are damaged by wind or falling branches, there is an increased risk for water leakage into your home. You should replace missing shingles within two weeks of when they were originally damaged to prevent further water damage.
16: Check your roof yearly for loose or missing tiles
It’s easy to miss loose or missing shingles on your roof, but this can lead to leaks in the future. Take some time every year (even if it’s just an hour) to climb up onto your roof and check that all of the shingles are in place, intact, and properly attached.
17: Keep chemical storage areas dry
You should never store chemicals above areas where there is a risk for water damage. These chemicals will often cause additional problems with mold growth-not to mention what would happen if they leaked! Make sure they are kept in dry, protected areas of your home.
18: Install a wind turbine
Installing a wind turbine is one way you can harness the power of renewable energy. Not only will it reduce your carbon footprint, but it will stop damage from being caused by heavy winds around your house. This makes for an eco-friendly and budget-friendly method of protecting your home.