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  • Writer's pictureElite Roofing

Roof Maintenance Tips For Homeowners That Can Prevent Expensive Leak Repairs

With the upcoming Winter weather quickly approaching, it is important now, and all year round, to perform maintenance on your roof. Although we recommend that you get roof maintenance at least once a year from a licensed and professional contractor, there are some things that you, the homeowner, can do to avoid costly repairs! Read on to see some things that you can do to avoid leaks and repairs in between your annual or semi-annual roof maintenance!

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Clear Out Your Roofs Drainage Systems

If you live in Jersey City or the surrounding areas, you may have a flat roof. Most drainage systems for a flat roof run along the edges of your roof, or you may have something called internal drains. Although commonly found on commercial buildings and/or extremely large flat roofing systems, many residential properties that have flat roofs in Hudson County feature this type of drainage system, as well. Internal or inner drains are used to keep sitting water away from the walls and foundations of your home. Often placed directly in the middle of the roof, these drains feature attached pipes that redirect rainwater down into the roof of your building and outside to keep sitting water at bay. Most times, internal or inner drains have a strainer to catch large debris that must be cleaned out regularly to avoid leaks. If you have an accessible flat roof, clearing out leaves and other debris from your internal/inner drains is an easy task that can help to avoid unnecessary pooling water that can eventually cause leaks.

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Another common type of drainage system found on many flat roofs are scupper boxes. Scupper Boxes are custom-fabricated drainage tubes that are used to redirect rainwater into a pipe and down through the side of a building. Scupper Boxes act as an alternative and additional drain which allows excess rainwater to drain properly, avoiding the possibility of water to sit or penetrate into your roofing system. Unlike internal/inner drains, scupper boxes do not require a strainer as most openings for a scupper box are large enough to clear out any debris or leaves that the traveling rainwater may collect. If your home uses scupper boxes as a way to drain rainwater off of your roof, most times you do not need to worry about clearing these out, but it is still important to make sure the internal/inner drains are cleared, as well.

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On the other hand, if you have a shingled roof, you most likely have gutters attached to the sides of your roof. Gutters, also known as conductor pipes, are “a shallow trough that is placed beneath the edge of the roof to carry excess water away from the building.” The most common types of gutters are usually made out of aluminum, vinyl, or galvanized steel; although your contractor may recommend a specific type of gutter, this option is up to the homeowner. It is important to note that, unlike internal/inner drains and scupper boxes, gutters often need to be regularly cleaned out as debris, leaves, and other greenery tend to build up quickly. In order to reduce the number of times your gutters need to be cleared out, certain options such as gutter guards are available that block debris from entering and clogging your gutters.

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We highly recommend getting your gutters cleaned out at least twice a year, once in the Fall to clear leaves that may have fallen, and once in the Spring. Although this may seem like an easy task, it is extremely important to ensure that if you, the homeowner, decide to do this on your own, you have the proper safety equipment to do so. When it comes to clearing out the gutters on your shingled roof, we highly recommend that you contact a roofing contractor to do so in order to avoid any hazards such as falling off of the ladder. If you feel that you need assistance with this task, feel free to contact your local roofing professionals! If you’re located in Hudson County, you can call us at (201)436-1011 to schedule your roof maintenance, today!

Remove Leaves and Debris From Your Roof

Just as you would clear your gutters of any leaves or debris, it is important to also clear off your roof, especially if you have a flat roof. If you do happen to have a flat roof with roof access through either a hatch, fire escape, etc., clearing off your roof of any leaves or debris can be an easy task for you, the homeowner, to complete. Debris may include tree branches, leaves, and/or any accumulated dirt that can affect the drainage of your roof. Leaves and debris can also cause excessive unnecessary weight to sit on your roof which can overall affect your roof's lifespan. On the other hand, if you own a home with a shingle roof, this may be a task that is a bit more difficult to do as you would need to access the roof with a ladder. Again, the same as clearing out your gutters, we urge you to practice extreme safety while doing so. Only if you are comfortable and confident being on a ladder should you attempt to clear your shingle roof or gutters of any debris. If you find that your roof does have an excess amount of debris and you cannot easily access it, be sure to contact us to let us help you out with this task!

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Clear Overhanging Greenery

Although it is extremely important to clear your gutters and roof of any leaves or debris, it is also important to make sure that there are no overhanging tree branches or other forms of greenery over your roof. Clearing overhanging greenery is a simple task that you, the homeowner, can do yourself if you have the necessary tools. As the temperature starts to shift, any remaining leaves or branches left hanging over your home will eventually fall or break off as well, thus causing your freshly cleared gutters to refill again. In order to protect your gutters after they’ve been cleared, certain roofing contractors may recommend Gutter Guards, which are thin metal mesh coverings that sit over your gutters to catch any larger debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) Although Gutter Guards can help avoid larger debris to enter and remain in your gutters, we’d like to note that smaller debris and dirt can easily sift through causing dirt accumulation and eventually causing that dirt to “cake up”. If you find this to be a hard task to do on your own, be sure to contact a roofing contractor for help!

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Inspect Your Attic Space

One of the easier tasks to do in order to avoid costly repairs includes inspecting your attic space for any signs of leaks or water damage. By doing so, you may be able to spot an oncoming leak before it fully penetrates your home. Some signs that your attic space may have that can indicate that there is or was a leak can be:

  • Mold

  • Lack of ventilation

  • Clogs in intake vents

  • Soaked insulation (even when it hasn't rained recently)

  • Algae stains on plywood

  • Black rings or rust around nails

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If you see any of the signs stated above, it is important to get in contact with a roofing contractor (even if you do not have an active leak) as these can be signs of a significant leak later on, or soon-to-be increased damage.

Inspect Your Roofs’ Shingles

Another simple task that you as a homeowner can easily complete is to conduct a visual check of the condition of your shingles. Depending on the weather and temperature conditions of your area, your shingles may erode or become damaged quicker in areas of high wind, snow, rain, and even high sun exposure. Some signs that indicate that the shingles of your roof are damaged are that the shingles are cracked or curling, and/or that there are mineral granules/buildup in your gutters. Other signs include obvious discoloration, missing shingles, or visible damage from excessive wear and tear. If you find that your shingles are missing, out of place, damaged, or just have general wear and tear, we recommend contacting a local roofing professional as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to your roof.

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Have A Trusted Roofing Expert Perform Your Roof Maintenance and Repairs

Lastly, we always recommend and urge homeowners to not only perform DIY roof maintenance but to also get annual or semi-annual (depending on the conditions of your area) roof maintenance performed by a local and trusted roofing contractor. If you’d like to learn what annual or semi-annual roof maintenance includes, be sure to check out our blog, What Is Roof Maintenance & What Does It Include?, using the link below!

By performing these quick and simple tasks in between your annual or semi-annual roof maintenance, you are actively preventing and avoiding any need for roof repairs. If you see something off with your roof or notice any small leaks, it is important to contact a roofing professional as soon as possible to prevent small repairs from turning into significant issues. Here at Elite, we want your roof to last as long as possible; if you are in need of annual or semi-annual roof maintenance, be sure to contact us, Hudson County’s top-rated roofing contractor today to schedule your next roof maintenance! You can reach us by calling our office at (201)436-1011, emailing us at, or filling out our form on our Contact page on our website.


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