10 things to look for when selecting a roofer
10 Things To Look For When Selecting A Roofing Contractor
April 27, 2016
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10 Tips to Ensure Roof Reliability

10 tips
  1. Make annual inspections of the roof to evaluate its general condition and detect any potential leakage problems before they develop. The best time for an inspection is the spring after severe weather conditions (and the damage they may have inflicted) have passed. In addition, the weather is ideal for repairs if they are necessary.
  2. Make the initial inspections from the ground or through upstairs windows where the roof surface can be observed. Binoculars are a good tool to use for the inspection.
  3. Keep gutters and roof surfaces clear of fallen leaves, pine needles, twigs and other litter so that water will drain freely.
  4. Keep trees trimmed to prevent branches from scuffing the roof surface. This will also keep the roof surface drier helping to inhibit growths such as algae, mold, fungus or lichen. Keep climbing roses, vines and ivy trimmed back from the roof.
  5. Never paint or coat asphalt roofing materials to change the color or give the roof a “new” look. The use of paint or coatings may void the manufacturer’s warranty. Consult the individual manufacturer, as this type of treatment may be detrimental to your investment. However roof surfaces may be cleaned if they are showing signs of staining from algae.
  6. Never allow water from a downspout to pour directly onto a roof below as this will create additional wear to the shingle surface. Connect all upper story downspouts to a lower level gutter with drains installed on the lower roof.
  7. When removing snow or ice from a valley or other roof areas, proper care must be taken to avoid damaging the roof. For safety, use a soft-bristled broom or long extension pole – never allow shovels to make direct contact with your shingles. Never climb onto a wet or snow-covered roof.
  8. Inspect the underside of the roof deck from the attic to detect leaks. Flashings are the most vulnerable points, therefore, inspect the underside carefully at all flashing points for evidence of leakage, such as water stains. Remember that in cooler climates, water stains may be due to condensation as a result of inadequate attic ventilation.
  9. Limit walking on roofs to a minimum to avoid damaging the surface. When workmen have to climb onto the roof to service or install a chimney, solar collector, television antenna or other roof element, require them to use care to protect the roofing. Avoid mounting satellite discs or other hardware to the roof surface to avoid future potential leak areas.
  10. Whenever a new element is added to the roof, make certain proper flashing procedures are followed to maintain the integrity of the roofing. Be sure anchors are made of a non-corrosive material to eliminate the possibility of metal discoloration or “iron stains” on the roof.

If you have ANY safety concerns, call in a reputable roofing contractor to make the inspections and/or repairs for you.

61 Comments

  1. I like the recommendation to limit the walking on the roof to a minimum. I think it could be very helpful as it could help prevent premature wear on the asphalt tiles. I’ll have to keep this in mind for my new roof, as I want to make sure it lasts. Thanks for the post!

  2. John Carston says:

    I don’t know a lot about roof care so I found this website to be very helpful for knowing how I can keep my roof in good shape. I’ll have to follow these tips and make an annual inspection for damage or wear that may require a roofing service. Thanks for the great roofing tips.

  3. Nash Rich says:

    I’ve never had roof inspections before, but I’ve lived only in apartments my whole adult life. It’s something I should do now that I have a small house though. I didn’t know that you should get inspections every year. I can see how that would be a good idea, because it’s always better to keep things maintained than have to repair.

  4. Making sure that your roof is reliable is a good idea as a homeowner. I like that you pointed out that you should make sure that you are removing snow and ice correctly from your roof. It seems like it would be smart to have a professional roof contractor inspect your roof on a regular basis.

  5. Charles Kemp says:

    I am glad that you mention keeping trees trimmed so that they don’t scuff the roof. I had a couple of neighbors that had roofing problems because of that and they didn’t know until they pruned the tree back. I think it is smart to be aware of the things that can scratch or tear up the roof.

  6. Faylinn says:

    I never realized that water should not go from a downspout onto a lower roof, but that is very good for me to know. I have a two-story home and the higher roof’s gutters drip out onto the roof, because I just have always assumed that the lower level gutters would be able to catch the water. However, I think that I am going to have to find a different solution, because I do not want my roof unnecessarily. What options do people like me who have a multi-level roof system have when it comes to gutters in these situations?

  7. Having the roof and gutter cleaned our regularly can help maintain the level of care need to have a great roof. The debris that catches on the house could cause a blockage of the water draining and then make your roof leak. Getting your home inspected can help you find the best ways to care for your home and will give you insight on what to do in case a problem does arise.

  8. Braden Bills says:

    I’ve been having some issues with my roof lately, and now I need to have a new one installed. I’ll make sure that I keep the gutters and roof surfaces clean for the new roof! Maybe this time it will last longer. Thank you for sharing!

  9. That’s good to know that painting your roof may void your warranty. A friend of mine was thinking about doing exactly what you mentioned and change the look of his home. I’ll have to warn him and try to help him find a roofing company that can do that for him. Thanks for the advice!

  10. I would have never thought to ensure that a downspout does not pour water onto a roof below. The less the roof is exposed to the elements the longer it will last so this makes sense. Checking that this isn’t happening during regular gutter cleanings or roof maintenance would be helpful.

  11. Marie Watson says:

    Thanks for putting some tips together to ensure roof reliability. You make a good point about conducting annual inspections to make sure that there is no serious damage. I also like that you mention the importance of limiting walking on the roof. I would think that is a way to increase the damage that can be done. I am curious to know how often you should have your roof checked by a professional roofer.

  12. I never knew that you shouldn’t allow water from a downspout to pour directly on the roof. We have a downspout that runs into the next gutter and then to the ground. I will have to see if there is a way that we can fix that to keep our roof healthy.

  13. Wade Joel says:

    Having a good roof can make all the difference in the winter time. I have had a leaky roof before and it is not a fun experience to have. I had no idea that painting your asphalt roof could void the warranty of that roof and I will be sure to avoid that at all costs.

  14. Aria Wellington says:

    I am really glad that I came across this article because my husband has been thinking about painting our roof. I think that redoing the shingles would just be easier, especially if there is a warranty involved. I wonder if we could change materials and try something new since we want a new look. I’m excited to see what results we get!

  15. I am looking for a good roofing contractor to fix my roof. There was a water downspout that dripped directly onto the center of my roof. As you can imagine, my roof is now not as sturdy as it should be. Hopefully a roofing contractor can change the downspouts and fix the problem. Thanks!

  16. Wished my grandmother read this before replacing her roof, she ended up finding a guy off Craigslist and hired him to do some major roof repair to her roof. Sure enough this guy didn’t know how to properly replace her roof and she ended up having to pay for another company to come out to replace her roof! Don’t trust anybody that don’t show you proof of insurance!

  17. Faylinn says:

    I just had a new roof installed and I want to make sure that it lasts a while. I really appreciate all of your advice, especially that one tip about limiting walking on roofs, because I believe that they will help with its longevity. However, I never realized that having workmen install a satellite dish on the roof could cause leaks, but that is really good for me to know because I was supposed to have that done later today. If a satellite dish shouldn’t go on a roof, then where would you suggest that it goes?

  18. I think that I need to hire a roofing professional to come and look at my roof. We’ve been having a bit of a leak ever since a rain storm last week. I’ve been patient with it, but it’s driving my husband crazy. I can’t help but laugh about it.

  19. April Cook says:

    I really like your tip to keep the gutters clear. I’ve had to deal with leaks due to a blocked drain, and I wish had taken the time to do the maintenance! How often would you suggest cleaning them out? Thanks for all these great tips to help keep our roof in top shape!

  20. Sarah Smith says:

    My husband and I need to get our roof repaired. Thanks for the advice about inspecting the underside of the roof deck in the attic so that you can detect leaks. Hopefully, we can find a good roofing contractor to come and repair some shingles, that provides a good warranty.

  21. Braden Bills says:

    I’ve been trying to decide what I should do to keep my roof healthy. I didn’t even think about making annual inspections! I’ll make sure I do that from now on. Thank you very much for sharing!

  22. Making the annual inspections of the roof sounds like a smart idea for my sister to do. Now that she and her husband bought a home from his parents, they’ve been worried about the roof. They saw signs of wear and tear on the left side of the roof. Due to their findings, they thought about finding someone that knows how to do the inspection.

  23. Charles Kemp says:

    I like that you mention making inspections often. I think we can forget about the roof above us. I bet if you ask someone to come out and check it you won’t have to worry about knowing what to look for. I know that some people just don’t know what to look for.

  24. I need to get up and look at my gutters. I have not even bothered looking up there since winter. I am sure it is full of leafs and junk. I have large trees in my yard that really drop leafs like crazy. I did not know that could hurt my roof. I guess I know what chore my son and I will be doing this weekend.

  25. Jac says:

    Thank you for all of the tips to keep your roof up to date and in good shape. I think it’s super important to check your roof every year. I have a friend who never did. After 10 years of owning his house he went up to change his Christmas lights and he fell through his roof! It was horrible. So always check your roof. Thanks again.

  26. I never thought about the damage a shovel could cause to a snow covered roof. You make a good point that a soft bristled broom is a good way to get the snow off without damaging the roof. I’ll have to keep that in mind for the next snow so I don’t let a bad habit ruin my roof!

  27. I haven’t ever considered your tip about trimming trees. Now that I think about it, the roof below a big tree in my yard does seem in worse shape than the rest of it. Do you have any tips on how I can repair this type of thing or contact a professional? Thank you for all of your applicable tips!

  28. Justin Knox says:

    Thank you for the help. I just had some roofing repairs done and realized that I have not maintained my roof as well as I should. I had not thought about having my roof inspected every year. Does that need to be done professionally?

  29. Drew says:

    Good advice to check for leaks on both the top of the roof and underneath from the attic. That’s a good way to cover all of your bases. Thanks so much for sharing!

  30. I’m a new homeowner and one thing that I really want to do is make sure that my home is kept in good shape. I figured that one of the key parts to a good home is a good and well kept roof. This article helped me see how I can maintain my roof and the importance of getting it inspected. I’m grateful for services that can help me do that and I plan doing the small things to make sure my roof stays in good shape.

  31. Kenneth Gladman says:

    I had been thinking of painting some parts of my roof. I didn’t realize this could possibly void the warranty. I am glad I can across this, I will have to talk to the roofing company and see what I can and can’t do.

  32. I didn’t realize that painting a roof might make the roofer’s warranty void. This is something that I have never really considered doing, but it is interesting to know. There is a fair amount of damage on my roof that I’d like to take care of before the winter comes. Do you have any tips on how I might be able to find a good company to replace and repair it?

  33. Wade Joel says:

    The roof of a house is very important. It protects the house from many different things. I did not know that you should have your roof checked annually. I will have to get mine checked to make sure it is alright.

  34. Faylinn says:

    I know that it is important to keep gutters free of any debris so that roof can be protected, but I really hate cleaning them out. I have heard that I could put some type of guard on top of the gutter to keep leaves and twigs from getting in there so that water can run freely. However, which type of gutter do you think best protects a roof?

  35. Justin Knox says:

    Thank you for the help. My wife and I are needing to have some roofing repairs done soon. I had not thought about inspect the underside of the roof deck, as you mentioned. Is it common for there to be a leak or something in that area?

  36. April Cook says:

    I really like your tip to never paint an asphalt roof. I didn’t know that this might void the warranty. We are painting our home soon and want the roof to match, but we will find another way instead of painting it. I think we might just have to replace the roof with something lighter in color. Are there any materials that can be painted? Thanks for this information!

  37. Charles Kemp says:

    I think ti would be smart to keep the gutters clear. I have heard that a contractor will tell you to make sure to keep them clear because they can cause problems on the roof. I would rather have an extra chore than to have leaking roofs.

  38. I wouldn’t have thought to keep tree branches away from the roof. I have a lot of trees on my property so this might be a problem. I will have to get the trees trimmed so that I don’t end up damaging my roof!

  39. Braden Bills says:

    I want to make sure that my roof is reliable. I didn’t know that there were so many different things to consider when it came to that! I’ll do what I can, but I might hire someone to inspect and clean it. Thanks for sharing!

  40. I have a large tree that hangs over my roof. I love the way it looks. I had no idea it could help cause mold on my roof. I will have to get up there and check that it is not scraping my roof. As much as I love that tree I will trim it a little bit if it is hurting my roof.

  41. I noticed that my roof is starting to go bad and I need to get it replaced. It can be a pretty expensive job sometimes, so I really like your tips about how to keep it nice for longer. We will definitely be getting our trees trimmed to avoid problems. Thank you for sharing.

  42. Scott says:

    This is a great article, especially about not walking on the roof. We often tell clients that roofers that walk on the roof are damaging their roof and really just showing off for them! It’s bad for their roof to have contractors stomping around. Thanks for the support

  43. Making sure your roof is reliable does seem like a smart thing to be aware of when you are a homeowner. I wouldn’t want my fiance going up on the roof to hang Christmas lights if I didn’t know the roof was stable. It might be a good idea to have a professional come check that for us.

  44. Jalu Sakti says:

    The seventh tip you gave is really applicable in my area. Snow starts about October and goes until April, so it’s really important to make sure we know how to deal with roofing problems in the middle of snow season. I’m so glad you included that section because I do a yearly roof check every November, and I probably haven’t been very gentle on my roof shingles in the past. I will make sure and follow these tips, this year.

  45. Kate Hansen says:

    I really appreciate how you suggest to make annual inspections of your roof to evaluate its general condition. I’m not a roofer, but I like to make sure my roof is in great condition. If I get on the roof often enough, I’ll be able to spot things that are unusual and get a real roofer involved to evaluate the problem and fix it.

  46. Sarah Smith says:

    I want to make sure my roof is up to the weather this winter. Thanks for the advice about how you should get the underside of the roof inspected to make sure there are no leaks. Something else to consider is to get your roof inspected by a licensed professional.

  47. Adrian Moss says:

    I have customers that learn the hard way when it comes to trees over their house. A few discussed cutting them back prior to storms coming, and ended up having tree damage to their house and their neighbors. Great info.

  48. Matt says:

    I like number 2. I own a roofing company, and am always telling my customers that preventative care for your roof is one of the most important things to homeownership. Great post, and great steps!

  49. Thanks for bringing to my attention the importance of annual roofing inspections. My husband and I just moved into our first house, so this is the first time we’ve had a roof to take care of. I imagine that having annual inspections could prevent severe problems coming up, so we’ll look into having a professional come and asses at least yearly.

  50. Cindy Tesler says:

    I agree that you should make annual inspections of the roof to evaluate its general condition. You also said that this is when you can find potential leakage problems before they develop. I think it’s a good idea to choose a roofer that has a reputable website that appeals to their customers.

  51. Braden Bills says:

    I want to make sure that my roof is healthy. I’ll make sure that I keep an eye out for issues! If I notice any leaks, I’ll call a professional as soon as possible.

  52. I really like what you said about being careful when removing snow from your roof. My husband and I just moved to a new state, and it snows a ton here. We’ve never had to deal with this before! We’ll be sure to be careful when getting the snow off of our roof, so that we don’t damage anything.

  53. I have never thought of using binoculars to help with inspection of a roof. It seems like an excellent idea though, since it can help you getting a closer look at your roof. I would imagine that if you did see any problems on your roof you would probably want to go on top to make get a better detail of what the problem is though.

  54. Finn Stewart says:

    I like how you give the suggestion to limit walking on your roof to a minimum to avoid damaging the surface. That’s why I think it’s important to hire a professional to do any work on your roof. That way you won’t damage anything by trying to do the work yourself. Thanks for sharing!

  55. siaosi says:

    I didn’t know that you could not paint or coat asphalt roofing. I would want to have my shingles replaced in that case. I would like to get some colored tiles instead.

  56. Marie Watson says:

    Thanks for sharing some tips to ensure “roof reliability.” You make a great point about how you should have your roof inspected once a year to make sure it is in good condition and to detect any leakage problems before they become serious. I haven’t been very good at thinking about my roof, so I will have to make sure I hire a roofing inspector who can make sure it stays in good condition by making any necessary repairs.

  57. You advised keeping trees trimmed to prevent branches from scuffing the roof surface. I am planning on getting a new roof soon, and wanted to know how to best take care of it. I have a few trees around my home, so I’ll have to keep a close eye on them. All that’s left is to hire a good roofing contractor to install the roof.

  58. Thanks for share roofing contractor information. I think there services are good quality.

  59. siaosi says:

    I like how you mentioned that I should have some annual inspections done to my home. I would like having everything fixed properly once everything was inspected. I would like to make sure that my home is taken care of properly.

  60. jresquival says:

    That’s a good tip to get an annual inspection of your roof. That way you’ll be able to catch any damage that’s starting to develop on your roof. My house is a little older; are there any extra tips I have to do?

  61. Georgia B says:

    Thanks for the tip on keeping trees near the house trimmed to keep from scraping the roof! We just had our roof redone and I want to make sure it stays like new for as long as possible. There are a couple of trees close to the house, so I’ll be sure we keep those trimmed back to protect the roof!

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