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How do you maintain a roof?

A roof that is warped and sagging

A roof is a major investment. In the years of living in a house, the replacement cost of redoing your roof may be the biggest home improvement expense that you ever make–at least in terms of routine maintenance. Your roof won’t last forever, and eventually, you’ll have roof problems and need to replace your roof.

The good news is that you can follow this personal roof maintenance plan to make sure that you get the most life out of your roof. You can stretch those shingles, make that metal last longer, and keep those tiles in good condition for as long as possible if you follow a routine repair and maintenance plan.

What does roof maintenance include?

Roof maintenance includes many things, and the reason that there are roof maintenance companies is that (unless you’re a roofing contractor yourself) you’re probably not going to be able to maintain a roof all alone.

However, there is a LOT that you can do to maintain your existing roof, no matter the type of roof. We’re going to talk about those things here, a kind of roof maintenance checklist.

Roof Maintenance Tips

#1. Clean Your Gutters

Cleaning your gutters can help you in several ways. The first, and perhaps most important way, is that a clogged rain gutter can cause a blockage, which will back water up under the shingles and into the sheathing and into your home.

This can happen in the autumn when leaves are falling, or it can happen in the winter when ice is forming in the gutters. Whenever there is something blocking the gutters it acts as a dam, and the water simply cannot go around it, and it turns into a dreaded roof leak.

The other reason to clean your gutters is not as obvious, but just as important. If you have a shingle roof, one of the first signs that your shingles are starting to give out is if the grit on the shingles begins to flake off and crumble.

The shingles are losing their strength and need to be repaired. And this can all be detected by inspecting your rain gutters to see if the little grit from the shingles is accumulating. If it is? Time to get a roofing contractor or inspector out to evaluate your shingles.

#2. Clean Debris Off Your Roof

This can be one of the harder tasks, especially depending on the slope of your roofing surface, but when leaves begin, it does two things: first, it places a heavy load on your roof–especially if those leaves get soaked with water–one that your roof isn’t normally required to bear. And this load–even if it doesn’t lead to a collapse–can lead to the bending and warping of roofing materials–sheathing, joists, beams, etc. Nails can come loose, gaps can form, and that all means: Leaks.

The second reason to clean debris off your roof is similar to what we said about cleaning your rain gutters: if those leaves and sticks form dams, then water will begin to dam up and seep up under the shingles, getting to the wood beneath. And that’s bad news.

Of course, you should always be careful. Don’t think that you need to climb up on an wet pitched roof to scrape away all the autumn leaves. But if you use a metal rake (flat side toward the shingles) then you can clear the lower area of the roof. And when those lower leaves are gone, the upper leaves will be more likely to slide down–especially as the roof dries out.

As it does, over the course of hours or days, keep cleaning that lower portion. Soon your roof will be free from leaves and debris.

#3. Establish a Roof Maintenance System

By this we mean that you should have a roof maintenance routine. At least once a month, go outside–you don’t need to climb up on the roof–and do a visual inspection.

Look for missing shingles. Look for sagging spots. Look for places where trees are rubbing against the roof or where limbs and branches have fallen and landed on the roof. Look for places where moss or algae is beginning to grow on the shingles.

All of these things are signs of potential roof issues. Inspecting your roof regularly is going to give you a constant finger on the pulse of the life of your roof. And that could pay off big dividends. Any one of the four problems mentioned above could turn into major leaks, so this kind of preventative roof maintenance service is essential.

If you notice any of these problems, don’t get up on your roof yourself–especially if the issue is sagging, or if you have a steep roof. Call a roofing professional who can come out and evaluate your roof for you.

#4. Check Your Attics and Ceilings for Water Stains and Mold

As part of your personal maintenance program, you should be looking at the inside of your house as much as the outside. If any part of your ceiling is showing water stains, you know for certain that water came from somewhere above. And maybe it just came from a child who got too raucous in the bathwater, but maybe it came from roof leaks.

As for mold, it can literally be a killer. If there’s water in your attic, then there’s a good possibility that mold can be growing there, too.

If you’ve found any of these stains or mold, call a roofing professional who can track that water to its source and knows how to repair the problem.


Proper roof maintenance is essential to having a long-lasting roof and a ceiling that is free from leaks. If you have any concerns about your ability to maintain your roof on your own, or if you’ve spotted warning signs that worry you, then contact a roof professional at Colony Roofers today.

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What to Look For When Getting a New Roof

Replacing a roof on a large building

Getting a new roof is a major expense, so you want to make sure that you go about it in the right way. Any time that you’re doing a home improvement project of this magnitude it’s important to bring in professionals to get the job done right, and in this case, that means roofing contractors.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how to know when to get a new roof, how to find the right roofing contractor, and how to make decisions about what kind of new roof you need.

How Do You Know When You Need To Replace Your Roof?

There are a lot of things that should be warning signs that it’s time to get a new roof. Yes, it would be nice if that roof would just last forever, but like any part of the home, it has a limited lifespan. And, seeing how it shields you from all the weather–the heat, the cold, the rain, the wind–it will age much faster than other parts of your home. So how do you know when it’s time to replace it?

  • If you haven’t replaced your roof in 20-25 years, then now is a good time to look into it. Different types of roofs will have different lifespans (we’ll talk about that a little further down) but it’s important to know that, for a shingle roof, 20-25 years is about as far as you can stretch it.
  • The shingles are deteriorating. This can be seen in a number of different ways. Either the shingles are starting to drop off (that’s a sure sign) or the rain gutters start to fill with the little grains of grit from the shingles. These are red flags that your shingles are wearing out and need replacement.
  • Water is leaking. This is a no-brainer. Of course, you’ll first want to get a roofing company to come out and see if the problem can be fixed with a simple and inexpensive repair, but water leaking into the house or attic is always a danger sign.
  • The roof is sagging. If the roof is sagging then there’s no question: it’s time to replace the roof right now.
  • Moss is growing on the roof. When you have moss growing on the roof, then that means that water is likely infiltrating the shingles and you’re probably getting other water-related problems under the shingles, in the attic. The most notorious culprit is mold. That’s not only unhealthy, it could be deadly.

Getting a New Roof: What to Expect

So you’ve decided that now is the time to get a new roof. What are some roof replacement tips? The first thing that you’re going to need to do is hiring a roofer–an experienced roofer.

Getting the Right Roofing Company

There are a lot of people that you can find on Craigslist who will say they can replace your roof for a really good price–too good to be true. But when you get your roof repaired or replaced, you want someone who will have 1) proof of insurance, and 2) make sure they’re completing the work.

The last thing you need is someone without coverage and a license who will do half the job and then disappear. (Or do a shoddy job and you’ll never be able to find them when a problem arises.) Always get your roof installed by a licensed and insured roofing contractor.

Know What Kind of Roof You Want

There are different types of roofs, and, as we alluded to above, they have different lifespans. The shortest lifespan is also the cheapest and most common roof: asphalt shingles. These are all over, and they’re all over because they are good, solid roofs that will last you 20-25 years. But there are other options.

A tile roof will last longer, but it’s a little more expensive and it definitely adds a certain look to your home (some HOAs might not want a tile roof–while others demand it). A tile roof will last you 30-35 years.

A metal roof lasts the longest of all the major types of roofing, and, depending on what type of metal you use for your roof, it could last between 40 to 70 years. It’s a bigger investment, but it definitely adds to the value of your home.

There are other types of roofing: wood shakes, slate, and so on. If you’re interested in those, ask your roofing contractor about them.

Be Aware That It’s Going to Be a Mess

Some things to do when replacing a home roof is to prepare for quite a commotion. The good news is that this should only last for a few days. The bad news is that those few days are going to be hectic.

If your home is an average size–say 2500 to 3000 square feet–then the roof can be replaced in 1-3 days. (If your home is larger, has steep pitches, or is hard to access because of trees and terrain, then it could take longer.)

But it’s going to be loud replacing a roof, regardless of roofing material. There’s going to be a lot of scraping to get up the existing shingles, a lot of wood sheathing, and even beams and joists being moved around, hammered in, with drills and screw guns and circular saws running almost constantly.

A new residential roof is a great peace of mind, but it takes some effort to get there.

Ask About Refuse Removal

When it comes to things to ask when getting roofing quotes, you need to ask about who is going to be hauling away all the garbage. Because there’s going to be a LOT of garbage. A good roofing contractor will cover the perimeter of your home with tarps to collect any loose shingles, nails, and other debris from the process. A bad roofing contractor won’t be as good about it.

And, perhaps more importantly than saving the bushes and lawn for debris, is the question of whether all the roofing material will be put into a dumpster and hauled away, or whether you’re on the hook for that. Make sure you know what the roofing contractor is doing, and make sure you get it in writing.

Read the Fine Print

You’re investing a lot into this roof, so it is in your best interest to not only do your research into the roofing company, to see if they have good reviews, but to also read the contract in detail. If you have any questions at all, ask. And if someone makes a verbal promise, have them put it in writing. You want that contract to be rock solid.

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