Asphalt roofs are a popular option for their affordable price. However, they have a shorter life span than most other roofing materials. For this reason, you need to properly maintain your roof. With regular maintenance, you’ll be able to spot problems before they become expensive leaks. Check out these four tips for maintaining your asphalt roof.
1. Kill and Remove Moss
Plant matter may occasionally collect on your roof, but unless you have a lot of windstorms or overhanging branches, most of it is washed away with the rain. However, moss doesn’t wash away because it actually grows on the shingles. It usually starts growing around the edges of shingles, but as the moss continues to thrive, it may lift the shingles, which exposes the roof to rot and leaks.
Moss also works like a sponge. When it rains, the moss absorbs a lot of water, allowing it to sit on your roof for long periods of time. This further exposes the roof to rot. You can remove the moss yourself with moss killer and/or a wire brush, but if your roof is old, this may cause further damage unless you are experienced. Talk to a roofing contractor for help removing moss from an old roof.
2. Check Shingles for Wear and Tear
Your shingles are a great place to measure the integrity of your roof. When shingles start showing signs of wear and tear, water is more likely to penetrate the roof. Look for signs of curling, cracking, or missing shingles, and check the gutters for signs of granules from the shingles.
If you do spot signs of wear and tear, you’ll need to determine if a repair or replacement is necessary. This decision largely depends on the age of your roof. If it is 20 years old or so, it probably needs to be replaced, but if it’s newer, a repair may be enough. If the damage is minor, you may even be able to replace a few shingles yourself.
3. Clean and Maintain the Drainage System
Your roof needs an adequate drainage system to properly remove water. For sloped roofs (like asphalt roofs), gutters and downspouts are usually the ideal way to drain water toward the street. However, damage and debris can affect the drainage, so you need to check for signs of holes or dents and clean your gutters.
If the gutters aren’t cleaned on regular basis (or can’t drain properly from damage), they trap water. This may damage the gutters or roof because of the extra weight and standing water. However, eventually, when the gutters get too full, the water will spill out, which may cause damage to your home’s siding or even foundation.
4. Examine the Flashing
In many cases, the problem may not be your shingles. You may have damaged flashing. Flashing is metal used to protect the roof edges around chimneys, vents, etc. Exposure to the elements, especially water, can eventually cause corrosion or holes, which provide a perfect entry for moisture.
If the damage is minor, you can probably repair it yourself with roofing cement. You’ll need to patch the hole, using the same material as the flashing and attach it with the roofing cement. Roughing the area with a wire brush will help the cement hold better. For large holes, you may need to have some of the flashing and shingles professionally replaced.
Asphalt roofs are extremely affordable, and with proper care, your asphalt roof can last a long time. However, even something as simple as forgetting to clean your gutters can cause major damage. For more information about asphalt roof maintenance, repair and replacement, contact us at Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc., today.