Your roof is made of one of the essential parts of your home. It keeps your home safe from harsh weather and protects you against rain, wind, and sun. That means that it's essential that problems don't develop because of wear and tear and the effects of the weather.
Some jobs are definitely best kept to the professionals, but there are some DIY tasks that you can do to keep your home’s roof in top condition.
DIY Home roofing tips
Whether you need help with Frisco roofing or the roof of your holiday home in California, we have some top tips for easy DIY home repairs that you can use to maintain your roof and keep it in good shape.
Inspect your roof regularly
It’s good to inspect your roof twice a year, once in the late fall and again in the early spring. If repairs are needed, or you notice any problems with your roof, try to fix it as soon as possible.
Regular maintenance will ensure your roof lasts as long as possible and increase its efficiency, saving you money on heating and cooling costs.
Make sure you have an attic ventilator.
If you have an attic, it’s essential to ventilate it properly. This means having a ventilator at the highest point in the roof (usually done through a ridge vent) and a soffit ventilator at the lowest point on either side of the house. Proper ventilation allows heat to escape during warmer months and prevents moisture from building up during winter.
A ventilator will keep air circulating throughout your attic, preventing moisture from forming and causing water damage to your roof and attic. If you can’t afford a ventilator, consider installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom or kitchen to help circulate air throughout your home.
Pressure wash and inspect your roof.
Pressure washing can extend the life expectancy of asphalt shingles by several years. The main reason for this is that algae growth on your roof usually results in mold and moisture underlayment, which can cause water damage if left untreated for too long. It is recommended that you power wash the entire surface area of your roof each year.
Replace missing or damaged shingles.
If an asphalt shingle is broken, you can usually slip a new one under the overlapping shingles and nail it in place. If the damage is more extensive, you may need to replace the whole shingle by first sliding out the nails at one end, sliding out the damaged shingle, then sliding in the new one and nailing it.
To replace shingles:
- Remove the nails around the perimeter of the damaged shingle and slide it out.
- Slide your new shingle into place, making sure to lift the tabs on either side at least two rows up.
- Nail down your new shingle, ensuring that your nails are about one inch above the slot in the shingle above.
Seal the roof with coatings.
The main reason roofs leak is because their protective coating has deteriorated or been damaged. It’s like the sunscreen you wear to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Once it’s gone, you’re unprotected, and you’ll need to replace it with a fresh coat.
To inspect your roof, get up on a ladder and look for any signs of damage. If you see one or two isolated instances of damage, repair them with a patching compound made for the type of roofing material you have. But if the damage is widespread across multiple sections of your roof, it’s time to consider sealing the entire thing.
Replace damaged flashing.
Flashing seals gaps where two planes of shingles meet, such as where the roof meets a wall or a chimney. The flashing is usually made from metal and can be replaced by anyone with no experience. You can purchase flashing at most hardware stores and install it by following the directions on the package.
In general, you will need to remove some shingles to access the flashing, cut away any rotten wood underneath the flashing, then remove and replace the old flashing before installing new shingles over top of them.
Trim trees for adequate clearance
Trimming the trees around your house will help ensure that you’re not paying more than you should for tree removal and that your roof stays healthy. If you have branches hanging over your house, the roofer will have to climb up and cut them off, costing you extra. It is also a safety issue: Low-hanging branches can damage the roof and block sunlight from reaching algae-resistant shingles, allowing algae growth.
Look out for ponding water.
As water collects on the roof, it can cause severe damage to your home. If you have a leak or suspect your house is not structurally sound after a storm, get up on the roof, take a look, and identify ponding water.
Ponding water is bad news for your home because it’s a breeding ground for mold and mildew. It also means there’s an opening where water is getting into your house, leading to much more severe problems down the road.
Clean out the Gutters
Clean out your gutters and clear nearby drainage paths. When there’s debris in the gutter or downspouts, it prevents the rainwater from draining properly, leading to water damage on the fascia boards or in the attic.
It’s also a good idea to check nearby drains before starting work on the roof so you can clean them out if necessary. Standing water under a tree can be an indication of a clogged drain.
Keep an eye out for mildew, algae, moss, and mold on your roof.
Mold, mildew, and algae are all examples of moisture-loving organisms that can take root on an unprotected roof. These organisms attach themselves to shingles, preventing them from doing their job of protecting the interior structure and contents of your home.
You will often see signs of mold, mildew, algae, or moss on your roof before you notice any roof leaks inside your home. You should call a professional roofing company as soon as you notice these problems so they can clean your roof and treat it with a substance that will prevent further growth.
Roof maintenance isn’t as hard as you might think.
With the tips we’ve included in this article, it should be easy for you to start doing your maintenance. Even simple little things like cleaning your gutters and sweeping your roof are crucial steps to take in the long-term health of your home’s roof.
So why put it off? Start doing your maintenance today, and you may find yourself thanking yourself for it in years to come.