By George DeMare, Vice President Business Development

Replacing a roof is expensive. Consumers can prevent the cost burden of big repairs through routine maintenance and inspections.

A new roof costs thousands of dollars while an older roof can be protected. Maintaining a roof will prolong its life and keep a homeowner from having to prematurely replace it.

Here are some ways to keep a home’s biggest asset in shape:

  • Clean Gutters – Gutters should be cleaned every fall and spring. If debris and leaves pile too deeply, gutters become clogged and can wick into roof sheathing rotting it (or even alter roof rafters).
  • Remove Leaves – Piles of leaves on roofs will trap moisture and gradually decompose allowing that moisture to create fertile ground for weeds to grow.
  • Get Rid of Moss – Moss traps water and if tackled early, can be swept off. Heavy build-up requires the moss to be killed first.
  • Trim Overhanging Branches – Abrasion from limbs and leaves that touch a roof can eventually damage shingles, especially in high winds. Overhanging branches also give rodents access to a roof where they can gnaw at the roof and siding.
  • Prevent Ice Dams – Remove some or all of the snow between storms especially around gutters. Inadequate insulation and air leaks into an attic greatly increase the risk of ice dams.
  • Look and Listen – After wind/hail storms, or after hearing scurrying on the roof, check a home’s roof to make sure everything is intact. Replace loose or missing shingles. Replace damaged flashing around vents, chimneys, skylights, and other openings.
  • Roof Financing – One of the most difficult things about maintaining your roof can be cost. With many forms of roof financing available to homeowners, this cost can be spread out over time.

Homeowners should spend a few minutes every six months looking closely at their roof. If something seems amiss with a roof, find a professional to inspect it ASAP. Problems that are fixed early on prevent greater damage and escalating costs.

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