What First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know about Roof Maintenance

After you buy your first home, you’ll discover all the seasonal home maintenance tasks over time. From cleaning the gutter outside to testing batteries in your smoke detectors, this is part of your responsibilities when owning your own house. Regular maintenance will help you prevent problems down the road and increase the life of many items in your home. This includes your roof. Making sure your roof is top-notch must be first on your list, but roof inspection sometimes gets overlooked and only gets noticed when the damage is at its worse. After all, your roof is the one keeping you and your belongings protected, why not pay it some extra attention and it would not be able to fail you.

Roof inspections

Keep records, this might seem like unnecessary, but it is important for its long-term sustainability. Without keeping track, it will be hard to know how well your roof is performing and how long its got left. When doing roof inspection you can write down the overall condition of the roof and the times when it had repairs or replacements done. Gutter replacements and times when you clean the roof is important to track as it can give you an overall picture of the health of the roof.

The best way to keep track of how your roof it doing is to set yourself dates for when you are going to do routine inspections. Even if your roof is brand new and it seems like it is in great condition, you still need to have a look once in a while, making sure it is performing effectively. For new roofs, you should do a quick inspection twice a year. The best time for a quick peek is in spring, making sure the winter did not cause much damage and to make sure that it is in good conditions for when the summer rain hits. A follow-up inspection would be good in autumn, after the leaves have fallen, cleaning your gutter at the same time, saving you a second trip up the ladder. If you are not able to go up on the roof then you can make a quick inspection by using binoculars or by using the zoom on your camera phone.

Thorough or professional inspections is needed as well. If you have an asphalt, composite or shingle roof then every 3 years minimum would be wise, while tile roofs can be inspected once every five years. The older your roof gets, the regular inspections become necessary. After a roof life of ten years, inspection every two years is required. Annual inspections are needed if your roof is older than 15 years.

Maintenance checklist

- Shingles: You should inspect the roof shingles visually. Be precautions when your roof is steep or damaged. Flapping shingles is a sign that they are losing their adhesive and they are soon to come off. Curled shingles means that they are not waterproof anymore and replacement needs to be made. Broken shingles should get patched with cement and calling a professional for missing shingles would be the best way to go. When you are cleaning your gutter then at the same time you should pay attention to whether there are granules in the gutter or downspout, this is a sign of roof damage. Moisture or dripping inside your house needs following up by a professional. In some cases moisture will collect somewhere without dripping and the area from which the dripping occurs is not always the same area where the roof gets damaged.

- Metal: Flashing is a term used for the metal around the roof like chimneys, valleys, and vents. Make sure they are intact. Look for rust, corrosion, and damage.

- Masonry: Make sure that brick and stone fixtures on your roofs are not damaged and that they are intact.

- Clean your roof: It is important to clean your roof from debris to prevent them from slamming through your roof in a storm. This can destroy parts of the roof

As a first-time home owner, you will realize that your home is a big financial obligation, this is overwhelming. With a little planning, taking the time to understand the roof condition and paying attention to it you will realize that it is not that difficult as it becomes part of a routine.


Matt is a home improvement writer currently working for South Shore Roofing, Georgia. He promotes sustainable living, both on a large scale and through the use of eco-friendly technology in everyday life.