A well-maintained roof is one of the most important protective features of any home or commercial property, which is why roofing contractors always advocate for proactive maintenance and damage prevention. On average, homeowners spend around 1% to 4% of a home’s value annually on maintenance and repairs, though this estimate tends to increase as properties age, per a report from U.S. News & World Report. One of the best ways to keep repair costs low is to remain active and engaged with your roof’s upkeep, which is why we’ve put together 10 useful preventative maintenance tips that can help you safeguard your home’s condition.

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1. Inspect your roof after intense storms

Excessive rainfall and powerful winds are some of the most common causes of roof damage in New England, as a single intense storm can dislodge your shingles, misalign your gutters and even lead to severe water damage. Now that hurricane season has officially begun, it’s important to remain vigilant before and after summer storms to ensure your home is protected from the elements. While inspecting your roof’s condition, be sure to look out for the following warning signs:

  • Damaged or missing shingles
  • Fractured drip edges
  • Bucked or loose flashing
  • Missing or exposed fasteners
  • Sagging or cracked gutters

2.  Replace missing shingles

If you spot a missing shingle, it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible to prevent water from seeping into your roof’s substructure and leaking into your attic. Even a little bit of water can severely damage the surrounding woodwork, ultimately jeopardizing the integrity of your roof. A single vulnerability can lead to flooding, erosion and property damage, so don’t wait too long before filling in any gaps.

3. Look for signs of mold and algae growth

Mold and algae growth can have a corrosive effect on your shingles and your home’s support structure, and may impact the overall lifespan of your roof if left unchecked. Be on the lookout for black streaks, discoloration and blotchy blue-green patches on your home’s exterior. One of the most common types of algae growth is gloeocapsa magma, which feeds on the limestone and other granules used in composite shingles.

4. Keep an eye out for standing water

While standing water is most often an issue for flat commercial rooftops, residential properties with low-pitch roofs are also at risk of excessive pooling. If you notice that rainwater is not draining properly and lingering for more than 48 hours, it’s a good idea to call in a roofing contractor to check for signs of sagging. Standing water not only adds unnecessary weight to your roof, it can also erode your shingles and flashing.

5. Make sure your gutters are clear and properly aligned

Gutters play an essential role in runoff management, as they are designed to channel water and debris away from your home’s facade. Misaligned or damaged gutters often struggle to divert rainwater, which can damage your siding, windows, doors and foundation. Be sure to regularly clean out your gutters and check their integrity at the start of every new season, as failing to do so may lead to major flooding.

6. Check the condition of your roof’s flashing

Roof flashing acts as a sealer between the joints in your roof and prevents water from leaking through the seams around your chimney, skylights and dormer walls. Most flashing is made from galvanized sheet metal, aluminum and copper, which all experience natural corrosion over time. Ensuring your flashing was properly installed and rust-free can help you insulate the most vulnerable areas of your roof and prevent costly water damage.

7. Avoid power washing

Keeping your shingles clean may help to extend their lifespan, but using pressure washing equipment usually does more harm than good. Power washing your roof can strip the granules from asphalt shingles, leaving your home vulnerable to rain, wind and UV rays. This is particularly true for older roofs that might not have granules to spare, and could force you to replace your roofing system much sooner than you anticipated.

8. Trim overhanging tree branches

A falling tree branch can cause major impact damage to your roof’s surface and structural integrity, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs or a complete replacement. Since it can be difficult to tell when the trees on your property are weak or diseased, it’s important to consistently trim away overhanging branches. Allowing them to scrape against your roof on windy days can also strip away layers of asphalt and gravel, reducing the lifespan of your shingles.

9. Clear off organic debris

Windstorms and heavy rainfall can deposit piles of leaves, branches and pine needles onto your roof, which may not seem dangerous at first glance. However, decomposing organic materials can create the perfect conditions for mold and algae growth, absorb moisture and stain your shingles. Clearing debris from your roof after a storm can help you prevent deterioration and gutter overflow, while also ensuring your shingles remain aesthetically pleasing.

10. Schedule regular roof inspections

The surest way to maintain the condition of your roof is to work with a licensed roofing contractor to schedule regular inspections and make preventative repairs. The experts at Flynn Roofing have helped families and commercial property owners around Massachusetts locate vulnerabilities and manage their roofs’ upkeep. Our team of roofing professionals operates in areas throughout Eastern Massachusetts, including Newton, Waban, Chestnut Hill, Wellesley, Needham, Weymouth, Charlestown and more. To learn how we can support your roof’s integrity and long-term health, reach out to Flynn Roofing today!

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