The roof is your home’s first line of defense against rain and wind, sun and snow. If you’re like most other Americans, you’ve got asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material used today. Other popular shingle types include ones made from tile, slate, or wood. To help your durable and long-lasting shingles hold up for many years to come, follow these regular, low-impact maintenance steps:

1. Inspect your shingles at least twice a year, once in spring and once in fall. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing up on your roof or your insurance policy forbids it, check out your roof with a pair of binoculars from ground level.

2. Attic and crawlspace ventilation affects how long shingles last. Improper ventilation can cause heat and moisture to concentrate in specific areas, so test the ventilation in your attic every year to make sure air is moving smoothly. Make sure soffit and eave vents are clear, allowing air to flow. Concentrated heat under shingles can lead to ice dams. These occur when hot air escapes through a hole or gap in your roofing materials.

3. Remove debris, taking care not to dislodge granules while walking around. Debris such as leaves and sticks can block rainway, trapping it in roof valleys and other spots. Tackle patches of built-up debris with a soft-bristled brush, a leaf blower, or a garden hose.

4. Some homeowners think that a mossy roof looks grand. Moss can trap water and snow, however, causing ice dams to form in wintertime, so keep your roof moss-free. Ice dams occur when freezing water creeps up under roofing shingles, forcing its way into the underlayment materials below. Avoid ice dams at all cost. One proven method for controlling the growth of algae and moss without scraping or washing is to install a ribbon of copper along the entire length of your roof’s peak. Rainwater washing over it will strip off tiny particles of copper, which will stop the growth of almost all algaes and mosses.

5. Cut back tree limbs that are growing close to your roof. A strong enough wind can make branches swing around violently, causing damage by slamming into and puncturing roofing and underlayment materials.

Avoid using a pressure washer to clean your roof, as the powerful jet of water it generates can force its way under shingles and cause damage. Remember to have a second person on hand and use extreme caution when mounting a ladder or climbing up onto your roof.

Keep your roof in top shape as long as possible by scheduling regular roof maintenance from a professional roofing contractor. To schedule a tune-up or roof maintenance, contact AROCON today!