Homeowners have so much to do. From yard work to changing the filters in the furnace, there is always something to do concerning the upkeep and general maintenance of owning a home. Some of the tasks are easy, some are gross — we're looking at you, septic tank — and some are tedious. The home's roof, luckily, is one of the easier jobs. You can check on it's overall health and perform minor maintenance duties with these quick and easy hacks.
1. Walk the Perimeter of Your Home
Take a five minute walk around the outside of your home. Look in the bushes, flower beds, and perimeter plantings for any pieces of shingles. While weather plays a role in the overall longevity of asphalt shingles, it shouldn't cause them to dislodge from your roof. Broken bits of shingles are caused by age and are a telltale sign that your roof is past its prime. Asphalt shingles are flexible when first installed but become brittle over time. The corners curl up and eventually break off, landing in your flower beds. This five-minute walk just keeps you apprised of the situation.
2. Keep the Gutters Clean
While cleaning gutters once a year is a gross and time-consuming job, grabbing a ladder once a month to check them out makes the job much easier. Not only does debris in your gutters cause pests, from rodents to wasps, to set up residence, it also can wreck havoc in the winter. Melting snow and ice have nowhere to drain, so it re-freezes, creating ice dams that can push back into your home's attic space. While you are taking 30 minutes to quickly clean your gutters, look for gravel. Shingles have a gravel coating that helps them protect your home from the elements. Once that coating wears off, your shingles can't do their job.
3. Trim the Branches
Trim branches that overhang your roof, either yourself or hire a professional. Not only can branches rub against your roof, damaging the shingles, but they can also break off in a storm and do even more damage. Take a good look monthly and trim anything you notice immediately to help extend your roof's life.
4. Climb Up and Take a Look Around
Lastly, get to know your roof. Grab a ladder and take a look around. Look for loose or missing shingles. Pick up any twigs or debris. Pay attention to how the roof feels under your feet. It should feel firm and sturdy as you walk on it. If you would ever use the words "bouncy," "soft," or "spongy" to describe your roof, chances are it needs to be replaced. When shingles fail, water can get underneath them and attack the plywood underlayment, your home's last line of defense.
Your roof's sole purpose is to protect you, your house, and your belongings. It is time to return the favor by keeping an eye out for things that could damage your roof or by getting a professional like those at Leon Construction to performing routine maintenance to extend its life.