Proper Roof Maintenance – Tips to Increase Roof Longevity

Phoenix-Monsoon

Phoenix, Arizona Monsoon Shower

Roofs receive the greatest amount of abuse from the elements than any other portion of your home. In the summer the heavy Arizona sun beats down on the roof and causes heat in excess of 120 degrees. Heavy monsoons in August and September add to the problem and can cause massive leaks and damage. In the Phoenix winter, low temperatures and heavy moisture can cause freeze fractures in the roofing materials. Proper care and biannual inspections are essential to ensure that your roof’s longevity lasts.

If you want to maintain your home’s value and keep it looking at its best, you should maintain your roof just as you maintain your yard or any other part of your home. Unfortunately, because roofs are often out of sight, they tend to be out of mind.

Below we outline roof maintenance best practices for foam, shingle, metal, and tile roofs.

Foam Roof Maintenance

Foam roofs are topped with an elastomeric material that protect it from ultraviolet sunrays and can help the roof last for more than 25  years. As a result it is important to recoat your foam roof every five or so years as that protective covering thins.

In between coatings there are several things you can do to ensure the longevity of your roof.

Keep The Roof Clean

At least once a year it’s important to make a visual inspection of your roof. Carefully climb onto your roof (or hire someone to) and remove bird’s nests, tree branches,  leaves, and debris so they don’t cause the foam to decompose. An excellent time to schedule a cleaning would be soon after a monsoon when debris have collected on your roof.

Get Yearly Inspections

A roofer will typically inspect your roof for free and can tell when it’s time to recoat your roof or if any holes need repaired. With foam roofs it’s important to have consistent inspections as the longevity of the roof is directly correlated to the health of the top reflective coating.

Look for Strange Foam Discolorations

When you are removing debris from your roof look around and notice the texture of the roof. The texture of the roof should look a bit like an orange peel. If the texture resembles scrambled eggs or popcorn, the foam has been compromised. If foam is exposed or deteriorating, your likely well past due for a roof re-coating.

Don’t recoat the roof yourself. A professional roofer will clean and prepare the roof properly, use the right materials, and ensure that the coat is even and thorough.

Remove furniture

Furniture on foam roofs often damage the roofing material. The less you use your foam roof the less likely it is that you will need to repair  it.

Have a Roofer Inspect for Ponding

Ask your roofer to inspect your roof for water ponding. If found your roofer can engineer a systems to prevent further water accruement.

Shingle Roof Maintenance

Inspect for Moss and Algae

Moss and algae can cause significant corrosion to your roof’s shingles. If you find moss or algae growth on your roof, take measures to remove it and control its growth. Visit your local hardware store to find zinc or iron solutions to prevent further outbreaks.

Clean Debris

Debris tend to collect on roofs over time. Inspect your roof for garbage, leaves, and other debris several times a year. Look under A/C units, near your chimney, and other areas such as protruding pipes. Removing debris will ensure that water won’t contribute to your roof’s decay as much.

Check Roof Flashings

It is important to check your roof’s flashings for signs of damage. Roof Flashings are strips of galvanized steel that are placed over the joints in your roof to prevent leaking. Check for cracks or algae and repair as needed. Roof flashings are one of the most common routes that water enters a house.

Check Shingles

Closely examine your shingles and look for loose tabs. Loose shingles need to be repaired immediately to prevent damage to your house. A small amount of cement applied to the underside of the shingle should securely fasten it.

Check for Overgrown Tree Branches

Overgrown branches can cause major damage to your shingle roofing. During storms with heavy winds, branches may crash against your roof misplacing tiles and damaging others. Be sure to trim surrounding trees to avoid this issue.

Check the Gutters

Make sure that your gutters are clean so that water can freely flow away from your roof. Water accumulation can significantly decrease the life expectancy of your shingles.

Metal Roof Maintenance

Clean the Roof

Neglected metal roofs often accumulate debris and can begin to mold or have algae outbreaks. Debris can increase water accumulation and result in further damage to the metal from rust and other forms of deterioration. Algae can often weaken the metal surface and contribute to earlier replacement needs.

Inspect the Roof

Metal roofs often consist of hundreds of seams, seals, screws, fasteners, and panels. Biannual inspections are necessary to ensure that these components are secure and will not leak and cause damage to the interior of your home.

Repair as Needed

Should you or your roofing inspector find any loose components they must be replaced immediately. Further inspections are warranted even if a single component is found to be loose.

Tread Carefully

We recommend that homeowners hire certified roofing professionals to clean and inspect their roofs. When wet metal roofs are incredibly slippery and improper foot traffic can cause significant damage to the roof. Additionally improper foot traffic can often cause scratches to the roofing material.

Tile Roof Maintenance

Check for Debris

As with shingle roofing it’s really important to remove debris from your tile roof. Debris can decrease water flow and contribute to algae growth that will change the color of your bricks. Identify debris with a visual inspection around your house and then locate a secure and sturdy later to climb on to your roof. Use a brom to remove leaves, twigs, and other trash.

Use a Pressure Washer

If you notice algae, bird feces, or dirt you can use a pressure washer to give your roof a nice scrub. A water bleach solution can be used for further effect.

Cut Nearby Tree Branches

In heavy Phoenix Monsoon storms tree branches can sway fiercely in the wind and cause significant damage to your roof. Ensure that all nearby tree branches are trimmed or risk significant roof  repair and possible remodeling costs.

Tile Repair

You should almost always hire a Phoenix Roofing Professional to repair loose tiles. Improperly secured tiles and underlayment can cause significant to not only your roof but also your home in general.


 

Remember proper roof care not only ensures the increased longevity of your Phoenix roof, but can also lead to lower utility bills and less remodeling costs.

Phoenix Roofing Team offers free Arizona roofing consultations. To increase the longevity of your roof fill in the form to the right.

Disclaimer: Phoenix Roofing Team recommends that homeowners hire qualified professionals to inspect and clean their roofs. If homeowners climb onto their roof they do so at their own risk.

 

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10 thoughts on “Proper Roof Maintenance – Tips to Increase Roof Longevity

  1. I appreciate how you listed cleaning tips for every type of roof; our work garage has metal roofing, while our home has shingles. We’ve noticed that there’s minor algae on our roof, and we’ve done what we can to remove it. Would a roof cleaning company do a better job? We just want to make sure that the roof is clean before we add any iron solutions to our roof. Thanks for the advice!

  2. My husband and I will be building a new home in the spring and we are working on all of the design plans right now. We aren’t really sure what type of roofing we want to go with. Are certain roof types better for different climates? One of the remaining things that we have to take care of is speaking with a roofing contractor so we will have to ask them our questions. I think that these tips are really great and I am glad that you have listed the cleaning steps for all of the different types. Thank you for sharing!

  3. My husband and I are trying to find a way to improve our roof longevity. I had no idea that you could get a roof made of a type of foam I’ll have to see if I can find a company that can place a coating on my roof to help protect it.

  4. It’s very important topic that your roof prime is wherein condition half of security and wellness of buildings rely upon rooftop upkeep, which will have to be viable comfortably through Roof leak repair products

  5. I really like your tip about getting yearly inspections when it comes to taking care of your roof. That is something that we need to be better about doing! We have been thinking about getting a new roof for a while now so we will have to talk with a roofing contractor about inspections as well as the rest of the process. Thank you for sharing! We will be sure to keep these tips in mind.

  6. I never actually knew that by keeping your roof clean and doing periodical cleaning checks could actually keep it from having issues. My wife and I live in an apartment and so we do not have to worry too much about our roof. The people above us do and they are constantly complaining about the roof. Thanks for the post!

  7. You mentioned that when it comes to maintaining your roof, checking your shingled or tiles at least twice a year is the best way to check for if there are any that need to be repaired. That is something that we will have to keep in mind since we are going to be redoing our roof in the next few weeks. The previous owners of our home didn’t do a good job of taking care of it so we will have to use these tips to be sure to make sure that our new roof lasts as long as possible. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I had no idea that it was recommended to re-coat your roof every 5 years to make sure it stays protected. It makes sense that doing this can help it have an extra layer of protection against those elements that would slow the deterioration process. My parents are looking into getting their shingles re-coated and to find a roofer that can help with it, so I wanted to do some research for them.

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