Ohio has experienced several weather related events over the past year which may cause damage to your roof. Many of us file insurance claims, only to be denied coverage based on neglecting to maintain the roof ourselves. Below we will discuss the common areas where we can maintain our roof and extend its life.

Roof replacement can be very expensive and the premature replacement of it can drain your pockets. Whether your roof is new or old, here’s what you need to do to keep it in the best possible shape for the longest possible time.

  • Clean all debris from the surface of the roof. This includes debris that has gathered behind HVAC units, pipes and pitch pans, and any other roof penetrations. Debris has a tendency to hold water, and water will expedite roof deterioration, especially if your roof is asphalt based such as a built-up roof or asphalt shingles.
  • If your roof is starting to collect moss or algae, install zinc or lead control strips.
  • Check all flashings and make sure that they are not deteriorated and there are no holes in them.
  • Keep algae off of the roof surface. Install zinc control strips along the hips and ridges if necessary.
  • Dab some roof cement under any loose shingle tabs. One dab on either side should do.
  • Replace any damaged shingles.
  • Keep all gutters free of debris. Make sure that the downspouts are draining properly by water testing them.
  • Trim back any overhanging tree branches.
  • Check the open valley metal for rust. Wire brush the rust then prime and paint the metal.
  • Check all caulking and sealants. Scrape and remove any caulking that is weather cracked and damaged. Clean the area thoroughly. Use a wire brush if necessary. Reapply a polyurethane.
  • Check the mortar on chimneys and parapet walls, both in between the brick and on top. If it’s damaged or deteriorated, have it tuck-pointed.

After every big wind or hail storm, or if you’ve heard scurrying on the roof at night, give your roof a quick check to make sure everything’s still intact. Although you can see more from a ladder, you can also check from the ground, using binoculars. Inspect shingles and flashing, especially around vents, chimneys, skylights, and other openings. If anything seems amiss, ask a roofer to inspect ASAP. Most problems are fairly easy to fix, but if you put them off and water gets in, the damage and costs escalate.