You just got a brand new roof. And it looks great.
Now you’re wondering “Should I just leave my roof alone until something bad happens (like a leak)? Or can I do anything to increase the lifespan of my roof?”
As a matter of fact, there are 4 basic roof maintenance tips you should follow to get the most out of your new roof.
Stay off of it
The more you walk on your roof, the more wear and tear you’ll place on it. And roof coverings aren’t really made to be walked on. In fact, just about every manufacturer warns against damage from walking on a roof.
From Eagle Roofing’s Warranty:
“Walking on or putting pressure on tiles can potentially cause damage. Our recommendation is to stay off your roof.”
“To assure maximum benefits from your concrete tile roof, minimize walking on the roof to avoid damaging tiles.”
And damage from walking on your roof is not covered in your warranty:
“This Warranty does not cover… damage to the tile caused by roof traffic…”
-Redland Clay Tile’s Warranty
Of course, sometimes you have to walk on your roof. You can minimize damage to the roof by following these tips:
- Walk gently and wear soft shoes like sneakers (make sure they have good grip—roofs can be slippery!)
- Don’t walk on the roof in the heat of the day, when the roof is in direct sunlight
- For tile roofs, put your foot on the lower third of the tile where there is overlap between two rows of tile. Also, walk on the peaks (the bump), not in between the tiles on the valleys.
Avoid putting holes in it
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’re not just talking about cutting a huge hole in the roof. Arizona homeowners do several things that put holes in their roof. For example:
- Stapling christmas lights to asphalt shingles
- Nailing holiday decorations to the roof
- Drilling a mount for a TV antenna
While these activities may seem harmless, water can find its way into your home even through the small holes created by nails, screws and staples.
This is true even if you’ve done these things in the past and had no problems. It can take awhile for the problems to appear.
Keep debris off
Loose debris like tree limbs, branches and leaves can cause roof leaks by:
- Damaging underlayment
- Impeding water runoff from rain
- Penetrating some roof coverings (like spray foam)
This tile roof could use a good cleaning.
We recommend checking your roof for loose debris every few months and after each storm or monsoon. If you find debris, get on a ladder and use a broom, rope or leaf blower to remove it.
Another tip: trim your trees so they’re not hanging over your home. A fallen branch from a storm can do serious damage to a roof.
Fix problems quickly
If you notice a missing or cracked tiles or shingles that are starting to curl, get the problem fixed immediately. Otherwise, what seems like a small issue now could turn into a major one.
For example, a missing tile exposes your roof’s underlayment to the sun. The underlayment then cracks, breaking the water barrier between the roof and your home. The next rain we get, your home may have a serious leak.
And all of that can be avoided by just replacing the tile.
For more info on how to avoid other small problems that can turn into leaks, read our article 6 Simple Ways to Prevent Pricy Roofing Problems.
Bonus: Get a yearly professional roofing tune-up
If you really want peace of mind, get a roof tune-up each year.
During a tune up, a roofing professional will look for and fix the most common problems that can lead to leaks. For example, in our roofing tune up, we:
- Evaluate your roof’s condition, even looking at the interior of your home and attic to find evidence of leaks.
- Clean the entire roof and drains of loose debris.
- Check for potential problems posed by nearby trees.
- Repair and reseal all roof penetrations (vents, drains, skylights etc.) as needed. These are common sources of leaks.
- Review wall and curb flashings and repair them, if needed.
- And much more.
Contact us for more information about our Arizona roofing tune-up.
Lyons Roofing serves the entire Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas.