Roof maintenance tips for preventing leaks and damage

Basic maintenance can help extend the quality and lifespan of your roof.

When was the last time you examined your roof? Most homeowners rarely think about it unless there’s clear damage or it begins to leak. Keeping your roof well maintained can help prevent water, wind and snow damage, and prevents damage to your roof deck and attic from slow leaks. Stay on top of maintenance and your asphalt shingle roof is more likely to last its full lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

Here are several roof maintenance tips to ensure your roof does its job for as long as possible:

  • Avoid walking on your roof as much as possible. Use a ladder to access gutters and eaves.
  • Leave roof vents open, even in the winter, to allow ventilation. Good ventilation also prevents buildup of damaging heat and moisture in the summer months.
  • Trim your trees so they don’t rub against the roof and leave debris behind.
  • Clean out your gutters regularly. Leaves, twigs and litter that become trapped on the roof and in valleys, gutters and downspouts can cause serious damage.

Watch out for ice damming

Following heavy snowfall, if there are periods of fluctuating melting and freezing, ice dams can form on your roof and impact the structural integrity of your house. They form at the edge of the roof and prevent drainage. Unless they’re removed, trapped water can leak into your home and cause extensive damage.

Consider these steps to prevent ice damming:

  • Removing an ice dam can be dangerous. Consider having a licensed contractor remove snow and ice from your roof, overhangs, eaves and gutters.
  • Use a ladder and a roof rake to remove snow and ice. Falls and exposure to electrical wires are serious hazards.
  • Don’t use common ice melters like salt, potassium, calcium, sodium or magnesium. They’re highly corrosive to shingles, gutters, downspouts and flashings.

If your roof needs repairing

Hire a certified professional. Contact two or three qualified roofing contractors and ask for a detailed, written estimate that offers:

  • Material quality and lifespan estimates
  • Labour charges
  • Estimated start and completion dates
  • References and certificates of insurance

If you replace your roof and have home insurance with us, let us know so we can keep your file up to date.

Find home insurance solutions for all your needs by contacting a Financial Advisor.