As a Texas homeowner, your roof plays a critical role in protecting your home from the elements. With Texas’s hot summers, frequent storms, and occasional hail damage, proactive roof maintenance is essential to extend your roof’s lifespan and prevent costly repairs down the road. Here’s what Texas homeowners need to know about keeping your roof in top shape:
Inspect Roof Annually
The first key to proper roof care is to inspect your roof at least once a year, preferably in the spring after heavy winter and storm weather has passed. Look for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as missing or cracked shingles, damaged flashing, or holes where water could leak through. Also check any areas where the roof connects to walls, chimneys, skylights, or vents for secure connections with no gaps or cracks. If you don’t feel comfortable conducting your own inspection, hire a professional roofing contractor to inspect and provide a thorough report.
Make sure to clear your roof of any branches, leaves, pine needles, or other debris at least twice a year. Debris left on the roof can lead to water backup and drainage issues. Carefully sweep or use a leaf blower to remove buildup. Also clean out your gutters so they can function properly when rain hits.
Trim Overhanging Trees
Look for any trees or bushes on your property that have branches extending over the roof. These should be trimmed back so they don’t rub or damage the shingles. Friction from overhanging branches can rapidly degrade and wear down your roof.
Reseal Exposed Nails
Examine areas where flashing connects to your roof, such as around vents. Over time, the flashing can pull away from the shingles, exposing nails underneath. This creates an entry point for water intrusion. Seal down any protruding nails with roofing cement or caulk. Then re-secure the flashing.
Repair Damaged Shingles
If you find any cracked, missing, or blistering shingles, don’t wait to make roof repairs. Damaged shingles leave your roof vulnerable to leaks. Carefully pry up and replace damaged shingles with new ones that match your existing shingle type and color. Properly seal down all replacement shingle tabs.
Consider Re-Coating or Re-Coating
If your asphalt shingle roof is aging and has moderate cracks or loss of granules, applying an elastomeric re-coating can extend its lifespan 5-10 years. These thick fluid coatings fill in cracks and gaps. For severely worn shingle roofs, a tear-off re-roof may be needed. An experienced roofer can assess which option makes the most sense.
Beware of Hail Damage
Texas storms can bring hail, which often chips and pits shingles. Multiple impact points cause further deterioration. Following storms, inspect for hail damage or hire a pro. Wind-driven hail can be sneaky – hidden by the next row of shingles above. Identify and repair all hail damage spots.
Maintain Proper Ventilation
Proper airflow under your roof is key. Good ventilation moderates attic temperature and reduces moisture that corrodes shingles. Ensure roof vents aren’t obstructed by insulation or dust buildup. Install ridge and soffit vents if inadequate ventilation exists.
Watch for Roof Leaks
After heavy rains, go inside your attic to check for any signs of moisture penetration or dripping. Dark stains on wood or wet insulation indicate a leak. Perform an internal and external inspection to locate the source of the leak. Roof leaks left unaddressed lead to mold, mildew, and rot issues.
Know Your Roof’s Age
The lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 15-25 years. Once your roof nears or exceeds its age range, expect to budget for a new roof installation. Trying to push extra years from an old roof will likely lead to emergency repairs down the road. Schedule a roof replacement proactively to avoid getting caught off-guard by failure.
With proper maintenance and care, your Texas roof should provide decades of reliable protection for your home. Follow these tips to safeguard your roof against the many threats that Texas weather brings. Invest a little time each year, and you’ll save yourself costly roof problems in the long run. Your home will better withstand what the elements dish out.
Use a Roofing contractor familiar with the weather patterns in Texas as a resource to stay on top of your roof’s maintenance schedule to avoid costly repairs.