11-Item Checklist for Maintaining Your Shingle Roof

A roof replacement is a long-term investment many business owners or homeowners, like you, must make. When replacing a sloped roof, asphalt shingles is the most popular roofing material.

Even though architectural asphalt shingles can last between 35-50 years, it’s often before the 35-year mark that you’re faced with the replacement task.

To get the most out of your new roof, it starts with correct installation. If your roof decking and underlayment are not installed correctly, your shingles lifespan will drop dramatically.

However, if all of your roof’s elements are in good standing or are newly installed, you’ll get to make the most of the materials! It’s not always obvious that your roof is damaged. It’s important to have a regular inspection of your roof to ensure its health.

You are able to routinely check certain areas and roof features yourself – and you should! We recommend checking the 3 areas below to search for items listed. You can complete this checklist once a year and after any major storms just to ensure your home’s roof is in good standing!

See below the checklist for an explanation of what to look for!

roofing checklist separated into 3 categories: shingles, gutters, and chimney

Roofing Maintenance Checklist Items Explained

What to look for when inspecting the shingles:

  • Debris – The frequency and quantity of debris you have on your roof depends on the tree coverage. If possible, clear any leaves and branches so they don’t clog or harm your gutters and downspouts.
  • Nail Pops – If your roof decking has become worn or rotten, it won’t be able to hold the nail in place. This is when you start to see a small bump or lift in the shingle. Nail pops can also be a cause of temperature and humidity fluctuations or too short of nails. These blemishes can cause water to penetrate past the shingles and ultimately, through to your ceiling.
  • Curling or Buckling Shingles – Humidity, wind, moisture during installation, and age can cause your shingles to curl and/or buckle. If you have shingles that appear to be sinking in the middle, aka concaving, this is called curling. If you notice shingles that look as if they are being pushed up from underneath, this is considered buckling, and this can also be a sign of poor attic ventilation.
  • Shingle Adhesion – Shingles that are old tend to lose adhesion to the shingle below, making them susceptible to blow-off in high-wind scenarios. If you can lift the bottom of the shingle up, it’s not adhered.

 

What to look for when inspecting the gutters and downspouts:

  • Debris – Without gutter or leaf guards, the gutters and downspouts become receptacles for dirt and leaves. To aid in water running off properly, keep these areas clean of gunk. You can hire a professional to clean your gutters, typically $100-$400 depending on the length and height of your gutters, or you can do it yourself.
  • Pooling water – This often is because of clogged gutters, but it can lead to major issues. This water can seep into your homes’ foundation causing cracks and settling.
  • Cracks – If the water has nowhere to go, it will continue to sit in your gutters. All the weight from your filled gutters can bend and crack your gutters, and they’ll start to pull away from the roof.

 

What to look for when inspecting the chimney:

  • Cracked Bricks or Mortar – These cracks will hold water which expands as it freezes. The cracks will widen and new cracks will develop leading to leaks in the building.
  • Chimney Cap & Crown (Chimney top) – If the chimney crown or cap have holes or cracks, water will infiltrate the structure of the bricks. This could compromise the chimney’s structural integrity.
  • Chimney Flue – The flue is the pipe extending from bottom to the top of the chimney. It is responsible for allowing the exhaust fumes to escape the home. It’s hard to inspect the flue in its entirety, but if you can examine portions using a flashlight. Check for cracks because if the flue’s lining is weakened, the home won’t be safe from the fire’s flammable deposits.
  • Chimney Flashing – This is the transition piece between your chimney and the shingles. Your flashing aids in preventing water runoff penetrating the home. If it’s not sealed properly or you see cracking in the sealant or the flashing itself, you’ll experience leaking if left unresolved.

 

How to keep track of your roof’s health

  • Take Pictures & Keep a Log – You can create a slideshow on Google Slides or Microsoft Powerpoint. Use these slides to upload the pictures you took and write any comments beside of the pictures or in the comment section below. Make sure to date stamp the slides so when you’re looking back, you’ll know when you gathered the details!
  • Use a Checklist – Please download the list below and use it every time you check your roof!

 

Take Care of Any Roof Repairs ASAP

Don’t let the problem get worse! The best reason to check your roof a couple times every year is to identify areas to catch smaller issues before they turn into major problems. If you find an area of concern, contact a roofing expert so they can inspect it. It’s better to schedule a minor roof repair now so you can save the integrity of your entire roof system!

Share your roofing log with roofing contractors you’re talking to, and they can help determine what the best next steps will be. If they think you need a full roof replacement for your home, make sure to ask why and how they came to the conclusion!

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