Roof work is usually best left to the professionals. The consequences can be dire (big leaks) if you make a mistake when repairing your roof, and climbing up there can be pretty dangerous, too. This does not mean, however, that you should not play a role in your roofing care. There are some things that you absolutely can and should do as a homeowner to keep your roof in good shape.
Make sure your attic is well insulated.
As long as you have fiberglass insulation in your attic, it is easy and safe enough to handle and install that insulation yourself. You'll just want to wear goggles, gloves, and long sleeves so you don't get splinters from the fiberglass. Make sure you have two layers of insulation in your attic. If you do not, buy a few rolls of insulation and add then to the top of your current insulation. This will protect your roof by preventing heat from traveling up through the roofing in the winter. By blocking this heat transfer, you prevent the formation of damaging ice dams along the roof's edge.
Sweep away big piles of leaves.
It's not unusual or harmful for a few leaves to land on the roof. When you do need to worry is when your roof gets covered in a bunch of leaves at once — especially if those leaves get wet and weighed down, causing them to stay up there longer. The leaves can trap moisture in the shingles, and then it won't be long until those shingles crack or peel.
If you buy yourself a long-handled roof broom, you can reach up there and clear the leaves off without climbing on a ladder. It doesn't have to be perfect; if there are a few leaves left, that's better than nothing.
Give it a good look-over once a month.
Once a month, make a point of going outside and looking carefully at all parts of the roof that you can see from the ground. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can even climb on a small step ladder to see parts you couldn't see otherwise. What are you looking for? Well, any of these things:
- Missing shingles
- Peeling shingles
- Chipped shingles
- Moss growth
- Black streaks
Have your residential roofing company come out if you notice any of these problems during your roof inspection. You can do the detection, but they will handle the repairs.