Roofing Maintenance (2024 Guide)

By Amanda Lutz Updated July 15, 2024

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Your roof keeps your home safe from the elements and often represents a substantial financial investment. Keeping up with regular maintenance will extend your roof’s life span and prevent costly repairs. In this article, we’ll go over maintenance tips for common roofing materials and help you identify potential problems that require a professional roofer.


Types of Roofing Systems and Materials

The specific maintenance your roof needs will largely depend on its material.

*Data via Angi and Home Advisor.


Importance of Regular Roof Inspections and Maintenance

The roof’s surface prevents precipitation, high winds, and debris from damaging your home’s interior and structural components. Thus, following a roof maintenance program not only keeps your roof looking good, but it also extends your home’s life span. Most roof issues are caused by water penetrating surface materials and causing damage underneath, so many maintenance tasks are geared toward ensuring water resistance and spotting problems early. Even a small leak can cause widespread rot, mold, or sagging if it continues unchecked.

Maintenance Tasks

An important part of routine maintenance is the roof inspection. After your roof is five years old, you should hire a professional to do a thorough annual inspection, especially if you live in an area with severe weather. You should also do more frequent periodic inspections on your own from the ground and keep an eye out for signs of damage. If you have access to your attic, check for signs of leaks, such as musty odors, water stains, or bulging or peeling paint. 

Cleaning is another important facet of maintenance. Roof debris looks unsightly, and it can also trap water on the roof and cause water damage. Roof moss and algae can also begin to degrade surface materials, particularly in humid climates, and should be removed. You can hire professional roof cleaners or do the job yourself, but take care to prioritize safety and refrain from harsh cleaning. High-pressure water will damage most roofing materials, including asphalt shingles.

Other common maintenance tasks include trimming tree branches so they don’t overhang your roof and ensuring that seals around roof penetrations, such as skylights, vents and chimneys, are in good shape. Check that the chimney mortar is intact and that the chimney isn’t cracked or leaning. Make sure any vents remain unobstructed to allow proper airflow. Finally, ensure gutters and downspouts are clear and in good condition.

Maintenance Frequency

As mentioned, once you’ve had your roof for five years, you should have a professional inspect it annually. You should also do your own inspections twice annually and check for roof damage after severe storms. Roof cleaning is usually an as-needed task, but gutter cleaning should be done at least twice per year or more frequently if your gutters are prone to clogging.

Some roofing materials, such as wood shingles and flat roof membranes, require periodic resealing. For flat roofs, the frequency depends on the sealant’s quality—inexpensive acrylic will need to be reapplied every 10 years, but high-end silicone may last up to 50 years. Wood roofs, on the other hand, usually need water-resistant and fire-resistant recoating every one to three years.


Signs a Roof Needs Repair or Replacement

When you inspect your roof, look for the following signs that roof repair may be necessary.

No matter what roofing material you have, it will eventually need replacing. Here are some signs that you may need a full replacement.


Hiring a Professional Roofer

While dedicated homeowners may be able to patch small leaks themselves, we recommend hiring a licensed roofing contractor for repairs and replacements. Professional roofing services know how to keep themselves safe and maintain your roof’s structural integrity. You may also void any warranty on your roofing material by performing repairs yourself. Steep roofs and multistory homes pose safety risks, so for peace of mind, hire a roofer instead.

When you hire a pro, you’ll pay for any necessary materials as well as the labor to install them. Here are the average costs for professional roofing contractors.

Roof JobCost Range

Inspection

$125–$325

Minor leak repair

$150–$300

Replacing shingles

$150–$800

Flashing repair

$150–$1,000

Gutter repair

$200–$625

Correcting roof pitch

$200–$1,000

Valley repair

$350–$1,000

Truss repair

$500–$5,000

Fascia/soffit repair

$600–$6,000

Full replacement (asphalt shingles)

$5,700–$12,250


Our Recommendation

No matter what type of roof you have, routine inspections and maintenance are vital to protecting your investment in your home and extending your roof’s life span. You can do some tasks yourself, but we highly recommend hiring a professional roofing company for annual inspections, roof leak repairs, and roof replacement. This prevents more costly problems down the line.


Roofing Maintenance FAQ

How often should gutters be cleaned?

In most environments, gutters should be cleaned once in the spring and once in the fall. However, if you have a lot of trees in your yard, you may want to clean them more often.

What is the average life span of asphalt shingle roofs?

Basic three-tab asphalt shingles tend to last 10 to 15 years, but premium architectural shingles can last 25 to 30 years.

Can I walk on my roof to inspect it?

Using proper roof safety procedures, you can walk on dry asphalt shingles, u003ca href=u0022https://www.architecturaldigest.com/reviews/roofing/flat-roof-replacement-costu0022u003eflat roofsu003c/au003e, and some metal u003ca href=u0022https://www.architecturaldigest.com/reviews/roofing/best-type-of-roofu0022u003eroofing materialsu003c/au003e. However, you can damage slate, clay tiles, and wood shingles by walking on them.

Should I look for a lifetime warranty?

Some u003ca href=u0022https://www.architecturaldigest.com/reviews/roofing/best-type-of-roofu0022u003eroofing materialsu003c/au003e come with a lifetime warranty, but it’s always worth reading the fine print to ensure you know what the warranty covers. For example, leaks may only be covered for 10 years.