A Checklist For Maintaining Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Your asphalt shingle roof is the shield that protects your entire home from the elements. It takes the brunt of rain, snow, scorching sun, and everything in between. Just like any good shield, however, it needs regular maintenance to stay strong and reliable.

Think of this checklist as your guide to keeping your asphalt roof in tip-top shape. It’s all about easy things you can do yourself to make your roof last longer. Follow the tricks below to avoid expensive repairs later on and keep your home cozy and dry all year round.

Regular Inspections: Your Roof’s Check-Up

Think of a roof inspection as a check-up for your home’s most important defense system. Ideally, you should perform a thorough visual inspection of your roof twice a year – once in the spring after the harsh winter months and again in the fall before winter sets in.

Inspect for:

  • Debris: Leaves, branches, and other debris can trap moisture and clog gutters. This will lead to leaks and premature shingle wear. Look for any accumulation and clear it away carefully.
  • Shingle Condition: As you inspect the roof surface, keep an eye out for missing, cracked, or curled shingles. These are signs of wear and tear and may require repairs.
  • Flashing: Flashing is the metal material used around chimneys, vents, and other roof penetrations. So keep an eye out for any rust, gaps, or loose spots that might let water start sneaking in.
  • Gutters and Downspouts: These are crucial for directing water away from your home’s foundation. Make sure they are free of debris, securely fastened, and properly angled to channel water away from your house.
  • Safety First: Inspecting your roof can be dangerous, especially if it’s pitched steeply. Call in the professionals to handle that inspection if walking around up on your roof doesn’t seem like a safe idea to you. No need to put yourself at risk – leave the task to fix your roof to the experts who do it all the time. They’ll get up there and check everything out properly for you.

Keeping Your Gutters Clean: A Crucial Job

A clogged-up gutter system can really mess with your roof in the long run. Aim to clean your gutters at least once a year and more often if you have a lot of trees around your house.

Follow these tips to clean your gutter safely:

  • Secure yourself: Before climbing a ladder, ensure it’s on stable ground and properly secured. Use work gloves and consider wearing safety glasses for protection.
  • Remove debris: Get yourself a little trowel or scoop and dig all that junk out from the gutters. These could be leaves, sticks, whatever’s clogging up the flow and making a mess up there. Just scoop and toss until the gutters are clear and running smooth again.
  • Flush with a hose: Blast some water through to really clear out any lingering grime or buildup still hanging around in there. A nice rinse will get everything flowing free and clear again. Ensure the water flows freely and exits away from your house.

Removing Moss and Algae Removal

Moss and algae growth on your roof are not just unsightly; they can also trap moisture and accelerate shingle deterioration. 

Here are a few options to remove moss and algae from your roof:

  • Manual Removal: For light growth, you can use a stiff brush and a mixture of soapy water to scrub the affected areas. Be gentle to avoid damaging the shingles.
  • Zinc Strips: These strips, placed along the ridge of your roof, release small amounts of zinc that help prevent moss and algae growth. However, they may not be effective for all roof types.
  • Shingle Cleaner: Several commercial shingle cleaners are available. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using these products, as some can be harsh on shingles.
  • Important Note: While moss removal is important, be cautious about using high-pressure washers. The intense water pressure can damage shingles and accelerate wear.

Proper Ventilation: Ensuring Your Roof Breathes

Proper ventilation is vital for a healthy roof. It allows trapped heat and moisture to escape from the attic, preventing problems like mold growth, ice dams in cold climates, and shingle deterioration.

Here are the key components of proper roof ventilation:

  • Intake Vents: These vents are typically located along the eaves of your roof and allow fresh air to enter the attic space.
  • Exhaust Vents: These vents are usually located near the peak of the roof and allow hot, humid air to escape. Common exhaust vents include ridge vents, power vents, and static vents (wind-driven).

If you’re unsure about the adequacy of your roof’s ventilation, a professional roofing contractor can assess your attic space and recommend improvements if necessary.

Trimming Overhanging Branches: Keeping Trees at Bay

Tree branches that hang over your roof can cause several problems. They can scrape and damage shingles during windstorms, and leaves and debris from overhanging branches can clog gutters and promote moss growth.

Here are some tips for keeping tree branches away from your roof:

  • Prune regularly: Make a habit of pruning branches that get too close to your roof at least once a year. Aim to maintain a clearance of at least 6 to 10 feet between branches and the roof.
  • Hire a professional: For large trees or branches that are difficult to reach safely, consider hiring a certified arborist to handle the pruning.
  • Safety First: When pruning branches yourself, always prioritize safety. Use proper tools and follow safety guidelines, especially when working at heights.


Your asphalt roof maintenance is going to pay off big time down the road. We’re talking years and years more that your roof will have your back and keep your home high and dry.

But it’s not just about keeping the rain and snow out. Putting in a little elbow grease on your roof here and there? It’ll end up saving you some cash on those energy bills too. And let’s not forget the curb appeal factor – a nicely maintained roof makes your whole place look sharper from the street.

So don’t sleep on this roof stuff. Do yourself a favor and make it part of your regular home upkeep routine. Having that solid roof over your head providing maximum protection? That peace of mind is priceless. Just a little effort goes a long way with this.