Maybe your roof is showing some wear and tear after some summer storms, or maybe it’s simply showing some age. If your roof isn’t looking the way that it used to, there are some steps you can take before replacement becomes the viable option.
A roof showing signs of damage can lead to leaks, energy loss, and other structural issues if ignored for too long. There are some easy ways for a DIY homeowner to maintain their roof.
Cleaning Your Roof
The first and most obvious step is making sure that your roof is clear of debris. Limbs, branches and other debris can clutter up the look of your roof, and cause further damage and deterioration if left alone for too long.
To clean your roof, mix together a solution of hot water, detergent and bleach into a garden sprayer. Angie’s List has a great article on the pros and cons here. Spray the solution onto a section of roof and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Next, you can use a broom or large brush to scrub the area. The hose can be used to rinse the area after you’re done scrubbing.
This method can help enhance the look of your shingles without causing any further damage. While it may be tempting, it is important to never power wash an asphalt roof. It may seem like a logical, tempting way to remove any moss, algae or dirt off your shingles.
The problem is that this method can do more harm than good. Power washing can remove the granules off your shingles. Those granules are what protect your home from the outside elements. While you may not immediately notice the damage done through a power wash, you will end up taking years off your roof’s lifespan with this method of cleaning.
Replacing Individual Shingles
If you notice some isolated damage following a storm, one way to address it might be to replace individual shingles. This can be done using a putty knife to break the seal and a crowbar to remove the nails. Be careful not to damage nearby shingles.
You can slip a new shingle in place and use 7/8” roofing nails to secure it into place. Applying a small amount of roofing cement can help hold the new shingle into place. An alternative would be to simply cut off the damaged part of the shingle with a utility knife.
Damaged shingles can be a problem for the functionality of your roof as well as the appearance. Putting off repairs can lead to leaks, wood rot, and other more significant issues. Energy loss can also become a problem from an inadequate roof.
Other Areas to Watch
There are many areas of your roof that can lose integrity over time. From the roof sealant to the vent pipes and the chimney in between, it is important to inspect on a regular basis.