Maintenance of your asphalt shingle roofing is as important as maintaining your yard or other areas of your home if you want to keep your home looking its best and maintain its value. Unfortunately, a roof is something that, because it is out of sight, is often out of mind. The durability and protection that your roof offers your home depend on your ability to perform regular maintenance and repairs. Sometimes this maintenance and repair are easy to neglect because a homeowner doesn't understand what steps it takes to maintain the integrity of the asphalt shingles.
All roofs over a period of time collect debris, such as leaves or garbage. This debris can collect in between or behind other objects that project from your roof, like your chimney, an HVAC unit, or pipes. It's important that debris are removed from your roof on a regular basis (at least three times or more a year), so water on your roof won't contribute to the deterioration of the asphalt.
Inspect for Moss and Algae
Moss and algae formations on your roof can contribute to the deterioration of asphalt shingles. If you discover that you have algae or moss growing on your roof, you should remove them. You can use zinc or lead control strips, for example, to inhibit the growth of formations.
Check Roof Flashings
When inspecting your roof, examine its flashings. These are strips of sheet metal, usually aluminum or galvanized steel, that are placed over the joints in the roof to prevent water from seeping into your home. Leaking roof flashings are the major source of water intrusion into a home through its roof. When examining your flashings, look for cracks or openings in them. Also look for algae or moss.
Examine your roof for any shingle tabs that might have come loose. If you do find loose shingles, repair them with roofing cement. A small amount of the cement applied to the underside of the shingle will secure it. If you find shingles that have been damaged or are missing, remove the damaged shingles and replace the ones that are missing as soon as possible.
Check the Gutters
In order for water to flow properly off your roof and into rain gutters, you will need to examine the gutters. Check both the downspouts and the gutter to make sure debris hasn't collected in them which could interfere with the proper functioning of your gutters.
Check for Overgrown Tree Branches
Inspect your roof for tree branches that have grown onto the roof and may be creating wear as they are blown by the wind. If branches are scraping on your roof, you should trim them to prevent leaves and branches from collecting.