Whether you have a new roof over your head, or your roof is a few years old, it’s always worthwhile to keep it in tip-top shape, so you can rest assured that it will provide continual protection for your abode for years on end. After all, it is your home’s first defense against all that Mother Nature can produce. Fortunately, roofs are relatively low maintenance, and if you have a roof with a warranty and insurance to protect against damage, you can still rest easy, even when the worst happens.
Monitor & Inspect Your Roof
You should be wary of any damage that can spring up on your roof. Over time, your roof may have shingles that wear down or become loose (if you have a shingled roof). You may also have slate tiles that break or move, wood shakes that crack or fly off, metal roofing that rusts through, or composite roofing that becomes damaged. Regardless of your roofing material, you should perform regular inspections to make sure that your roof is entirely intact. We recommend that you have your roof inspected at least once per year. You should also consider having your roof inspected if it has just endured a storm — you may need to work with an insurance inspector for homeowner’s insurance claims, and/or your roofer if your roof is covered by a material or workmanship warranty (you can read more about insurance and warranties below).
Keep Your Gutters Clear
Your gutters have one responsibility: They’re designed to move water off of your roof and away from your home. However, gutters are liable to get clogged. You can end up with gutters that are full of tree branches, leaves, animal nests, shingle granules, and the occasional children’s toy. Regardless of what could end up in your gutters, it’s wise to keep them clear. If you let your gutters build up a blockage, your roof could begin to hold the water that it should be shedding. When water pools against your roof, it is more likely to damage the roofing material, and it may penetrate the subroof, which will create a leak. And that can cause all kinds of problems throughout your home. Be sure to clear your gutters at least every fall — you may need to clean them out more often if you have lots of foliage around, or other sources of obstructions.
Perform an Inspection With a Thermal Camera
If you’ve never had your attic inspected, it’s a good idea to rent a thermal camera or to hire an inspector to take a look. Your attic is liable to lose all of the comfortable air that your heating and cooling systems produce. As such, you should have adequate insulation throughout the space in order to minimize the amount of heat that is lost (in colder months) or gained (in hotter months). Thermal cameras are ideal for inspection purposes, since they reveal gaps and thin areas in your walls and ceilings where air and heat can leak through. Perform an inspection, and fill in any places that are inadequately insulated. And of course, if you get up to your attic and there’s no insulation at all, then you’d better install insulation right away — otherwise, your energy bills will go through the roof, literally! Inspect the attic of your home if you’ve just bought your home, if you have any work performed on your roof, or if you suspect that the insulation could settle over time.
Get Rid of Nearby Trees & Branches
If you have trees that are growing above or near the roof of your home, then these trees are a liability. Tall trees that loom over the top of your abode can lose their limbs, and those massive branches can come crashing down on your home at a moment’s notice. Likewise, trees with branches that are growing near your home are liable to scrape against your home in high winds, which may damage your siding, it may break a window, and it may destroy your roof. Lop off any branches that grow too close to your home, and cut down any trees that are liable to fall on your home.
Plant Trees Wisely
Similarly, if you’re planning on planting trees near your home, you should plant them a reasonable distance away from its exterior. Since various tree species grow different sizes, you should be wary of how your new trees will look once their fully mature. As a general rule, you should plant larger trees 20 feet away from your home or more. Meanwhile, you can plant smaller trees up to 10 feet away from your home. Be sure to do some research into the full-grown size of the tree species that you’re planting before you place them around your home.
Chimney Maintenance & Repair
Your chimney is just as likely to incur damage as your roof. And over time, it will weather just the same as your roof. You should make sure that your chimney is well maintained in order to ensure that your roof doesn’t leak. Your chimney is liable to deteriorate and its flashing (a protective component that connects your chimney to your roof) may fail over time, which can lead to a leak. Be sure to have your chimney inspected every time that you have someone take a look at your roof, and fix any issues with the bricks, mortar, chimney cap, chimney crown, or flashing, since all of these components are liable to fail in time. If you live here in Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, and the surrounding area, you can always call on Red Dog’s Roofing for chimney repair services.
Maintain Other Protrusions
Likewise, you should keep a keen eye on any other protrusions that jut out from your roof. Make sure that your vents are in good shape. A vent with a bad cover can lead to a leak, and if your vents have poor flashing, your roof can become damaged. Be wary of skylights, solar panels, satellite dishes (and other TV components), and any other protrusion that can become damaged or that may damage your roof. Make sure that the flashing around all roof components remains intact and protective.
Snow Removal & Ice Damming
Snowfall can prove to be a danger to homes here in Massachusetts. If your home has endured heavy snowfall or if ice dams have built up on your roof, then you should remove those hazards quickly. Heavy snowfall can literally collapse a roof, and ice dams can damage your roof while causing leaks. Be sure to have snow removed if you have 6 inches of snow or more (for wet, heavy snow) or up to a foot of snow (for lighter snow). Also, keep an eye out for ice dams that can occur — ice dams often occur near gutters or around the corners of your roof. We recommend that you hire a professional company to perform any necessary snow and ice dam removals, since it can be hazardous to work on your roof, and you may void a warranty if you accidentally damage your roof in the process. You can call on Red Dog’s Roofing for roof snow removal services if you live here in Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, and the surrounding area!
Insurance & Warranties
Be mindful that your homeowners insurance and roofing warranties are in place to protect your roof when the unexpected happens. Certain homeowners policies provide roof protection, in case your roof is damaged by Mother Nature or regular wear and tear. That said, some insurance policies won’t protect older roofs that are near their end of life, and some policies do not cover damage at all. If your roof has been damaged by a storm or fallen branch or any other hazard, then you should reach out to your insurance provider to see if they will reimburse you for the necessary repairs or roof replacement.
In addition, your roof may be covered by a warranty that protects against premature deterioration of the roof and/or poor craftsmanship that can lead to roof failure. For example, here at Red Dog’s Roofing, we offer Lifetime Warranty protection through Owens Corning® to protect any shingle roofs that we install. These warranties include protection against workmanship issues, as well as protection against issues caused by the manufacturing of the shingles themselves. If you notice that a shingle has come loose, or the granules on your shingles are falling off prematurely, then you may not have to pay a dime to have work performed on your roof.
Count on Red Dog’s Roofing
Here at Red Dog’s Roofing, we understand that your roof may just be the most important part of your home. As such, we strive to ensure that your roof is as protective as possible. You can always reach out to us for repairs, inspections, and other services surrounding your roof and its components. Again, we provide roofing services for folks throughout Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, and the surrounding area — call us today for your roofing needs!