You take steps to maintain your vehicle and appliances, steps must be taken to maintain your roof.
General Steps in Preventative Roof Maintenance
Keep your gutters clean, especially if your building is in an area with cold winters. If rain cannot run off your roof and drain, it will build up and penetrate under the roof. Poor drainage and insulation problems can lead to ice dams forming in winter. Ice dams damage the felt and wood under your shingles and create leaks.
Keep trees trimmed and branches away from your roof. Branches that contact your roof during high winds will damage the shingles. Heavy branches may break and fall onto the roof creating more damage. These steps in preventative roof maintenance will help you avoid the expense of repairing or replacing damaged or missing shingles.
For areas with heavy snowfalls, arrange to have someone remove excess snow build up on your roof. This is a job for a professional. The increased weight of snow and ice may be more than your roof is designed to withstand. This type of roof failure is expensive and can result in interior damage and injuries.
Inspections as Part of Preventative Roof Maintenance
Have a professional inspection done on your roof at least once a year, if not twice. Early spring and fall are a good time to catch problems before they become serious issues. If damaged shingles are quickly repaired or replaced, it will lessen the potential for expensive damage. Once one or two shingles lift, the rest becomes exposed and your roof could begin to leak.
Inspections should include checking the flashing around any roof penetrations. Seal damage is easy to repair when it is caught quickly. If left un-repaired, leaks will begin and the water can travel along your ceilings and walls, causing internal damages that must also be fixed. A few steps in preventative roof maintenance can save you the cost of replacing your roof long before you really need to.