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Four Steps to Responsible Asphalt Roofing Maintenance for Homeowners

Although it's an important part of your house, the roof isn't as needy as some other systems. Other than having inspections in spring and fall, you may find it difficult to think of ways to care for your roof. Here are four more tips to help you develop a responsible system of care that keeps your roof in tip-top shape and ready to protect you and your family from the weather and any storms that come your way.

1. Clean and Protect Your Roof

Clean your roof regularly, but use long-handled tools so that (if at all possible) you'll be able to do the cleaning from the ground (or a ladder, used safely) rather than from the roof itself. You'll need to use a soft-bristled brush so you don't dislodge the roof's protective granules while you're at it. Usually it's not necessary to use cleaners; just focus on keeping your roof free of debris.
If you have trees overhanging the roof, you may need to clean the leaves and twigs off frequently. If they build up on the roof they can hold moisture against its surface (similar to an ice dam effect) and eventually cause a leak. They can also build up in the gutters and cause an overflow that creates a leak under the eaves.
Because of these tendencies, you may decide it's better to simply protect the roof from tree debris by cutting the trees back so the limbs don't directly overhang the roof. This can also reduce the chances that a large branch will fall on your roof during a storm and cause major damage.

2. Check Up on Your Roof Regularly.

Home roof inspections are important, but they can also be dangerous if you're not careful. You should plan on doing most or all of your inspections from the ground. Strong binoculars and high-quality cameras can be a great help in this endeavor. You should always examine your roof at least once a summer, ideally more often, as well as each time you have a storm. Here are some potential trouble spots to look for:
Check for roofing granules that are missing or for excessive granules in the gutters and downspouts
Check for missing shingles or shingles that seem cracked, torn, or dented
Check for moss or algae growing on the roof
Check caulking for cracks, shrinking, and other signs of failure
If you see these damage signs, you'll want to have a professional inspection as well.

3. Take Care of Related Systems

Gutters and downspouts are essential to roof health. As mentioned above, clogged gutters can back up and cause roof leaks. So you'll want to take good care of them by keeping them cleaned out, re-painting them when needed, and repairing or replacing them when the situation warrants.
Another aspect that's easy to overlook is the attic. The attic needs to be properly ventilated, because otherwise it can help the roof overheat and contribute to thermal shock damage. Attic ventilation and insulation also help reduce your electricity bills because they reduce the amount of heat transfer from your roof to the inside of your home.

4. Don't Make Things Worse

It's easier than you think for your roof to come under "friendly fire." For instance, if you walk on your roof when inspecting it (which can also be very dangerous for you personally), you may damage shingles, especially in hot or cold weather, or at least dislodge the protective granules that coat them. 
And finally, don't make things worse by neglecting maintenance or repairs. If your inspections find any damage, don't hesitate to call for professional help.
As you can see, caring for your roofing system requires regular attention and sometimes professional handling. Carroll Roofing Company, Inc., would be glad to help you with any maintenance, repairs, or advice you may need. Call or email us today if you'd like to learn more.