Freeman Exteriors

Asphalt Roof Shingles Maintenance and Care Guide

The roof of the house lined with gray bitumen shingles

Asphalt roof shingles typically last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, depending on the quality of the shingles and how well you maintain them. If you’re to make it closer to the 30-year mark before replacing your roof, get into a regular roof shingles maintenance routine now. Simple tasks can protect the integrity of the asphalt shingles and keep your roof strong.

Keep reading to learn about regular maintenance for asphalt roof coverings.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters might not seem like an important part of maintenance for asphalt shingles, but keeping the water flowing can protect your roof. When water runs off of your roof, the gutters direct it away from the roof and home.

If the gutters get backed up, the water can’t flow and often gets backed up and runs over the gutters. It can force its way under your asphalt shingles, where it can soak into the roofing structure. This potentially causes mold, rotting, and other damage.

Clean your gutters a minimum of twice per year as part of your overall home and asphalt roofing maintenance. Plan to clean the gutters in the spring and fall. If you have lots of trees on or near your property, you might need to clean the gutters more often to keep them clear.

Inspect Your Asphalt Roof Shingles

Out of sight, out of mind shouldn’t be your philosophy on asphalt roof maintenance. Regular visual inspections at least twice per year help you spot obvious issues with your roof, even if you’re not a roof expert. Having a professional inspect your roof occasionally can also be beneficial, especially if you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder.

When inspecting your roof, look for dirt, debris, and moss growth that need to be corrected. These are easy things you can handle yourself if you feel comfortable working on the roof. If not, contact a roofing company to handle routine maintenance for you.

Next, look for signs of damage to the shingles. This could include:

  • Curling corners or edges
  • Missing shingles
  • Loose shingles
  • Large amounts of granules in gutters
  • Worn spots on shingles
  • Cracks
  • Blistering
  • Dark streaks

Look at other areas of the roof, such as your chimney, to ensure those things are in good condition. Falling chimney bricks can cause severe damage to your roof, so get those issues repaired.

Fix Issues Immediately

If your inspection reveals damaged asphalt shingles, don’t wait to repair the issue. Even one damaged shingle can allow moisture to seep into your roof and cause major issues. Repairing the shingle problem immediately can seal up your roof and prevent the need for very expensive repairs.

Instead of trying to fix the asphalt shingle damage yourself, contact a professional roofing company for roof repairs. The pros have the equipment and experience to do the job safely and correctly. They can also do a more intense inspection to look for other potential issues that might need to be repaired. 

Clean Asphalt Roofing

As the highest surface on your home, your roof collects a lot of dirt and debris. Asphalt shingles can also grow algae and moss. Keeping the roof clean helps the shingles last longer and can prevent damage to the roof.

Remove sticks, leaves, and other natural debris from your roof regularly. Use a garden hose to wash away dirt and remaining debris. Avoid using power washers, which can damage shingles and loosen the adhesive that keeps them bonded together.

If you have algae or moss growing on the shingles, you can mix together household bleach and mild detergent to help clean it off. Use a spray bottle or sponge to gently apply the mixture to the shingles. Let it sit for a while to work before rinsing it gently with a garden hose.

Keep in mind that the bleach and detergent can kill any plants they come into contact with. Protect any landscaping below the roof if you use these cleaners on your roof. When you rinse the cleaner off of the roof, it can get washed on top of your plants and cause damage. 

Improve Insulation and Circulation

Attic insulation can help extend the life of your asphalt roof shingles. It keeps shingles from swelling and cracking due to fluctuations in the temperatures of the attic. Circulation and insulation also prevent moisture from building up in the attic, which can cause issues on your roof.

Insulation and circulation in the attic are also important preventative steps for ice dams, which can severely damage your roof and cause leaking in your home. When heated air from your home enters your attic, it causes snow to melt, but that snow refreezes, creating ice. The ice can push up under your shingles and cause severe damage.

When your attic is well insulated, it stays colder, similar to the outdoor temperature. This cuts down on melting and can prevent an ice dam.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Trees near your home provide lots of shade, which helps keep your home cool in the summer. However, they also pose a risk to your asphalt roofing if the branches overhang the shingles. 

Leaves and twigs that fall from the trees can collect on the roof. This causes water to pool, which can cause the shingles to deteriorate. 

Low-hanging branches move frequently, even in normal wind, which can push them into the shingles. The branches can scrape off the granules that help asphalt shingles protect your roof. Your shingles become less effective when this happens.

In severe weather, branches can hit the roof even harder or fall off the tree and smash onto the roof. When this happens, there’s a good chance at least some of your shingles will become damaged.

As part of your asphalt roofing maintenance, keep the branches of nearby trees trimmed. Remove branches that overhang the roof and could potentially hit it if they fall. 

Take Care of Your Asphalt Roof

Asphalt roof shingles are a reliable roofing option and can last for years when properly cared for. Get into your asphalt roof maintenance routine now to keep your shingles in good shape. 

If your asphalt roof has seen better days, contact us for an estimate. Whether you need your asphalt roof replaced or repaired, we can help.

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Jake Freeman

Jake Freeman

Freeman Exteriors is a family owned and operated general contracting company. We specialize in roofing and commercial renovations. We serve Champaign County, Vermilion County, and surrounding areas. Our goal is to be the general contractor of choice through our pledge to maintain the highest quality of standards and workmanship. Give us a call today to begin your next project!

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