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Attic and Roof Maintenace Attic and Roof Maintenace

What’s Going on Up There? Check Your Attic and Roof

The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” definitely applies to your home’s roof and attic. We can sometimes take for granted what problems a well-built, and well-maintained attic and roof can prevent. But just a little regular attention can save you a lot of effort and money in the long run.

Basic Attic Maintenance


You should keep your attic clean, dry, and well-ventilated for the best performance. The U.S. Department of Energy points out that “The number one enemy facing an attic is moisture. It can enter from any direction – above, below, or from the side – and it can warp and damage the roof, render insulation useless, and create moisture problems in the main living areas of the house.” You should make sure that ventilation from the interior of your home (such as your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen) doesn’t simply pump hot or moist air into your attic. Always ventilate to the outside of the home. Moisture can also come into the attic from the roof, especially from leaks – look for improperly installed chimney flashing or shingles. Here are some basic tasks you can tackle to check your attic for signs of trouble.

    1. Clean your attic fan regularly or install one if you don't already have a radiant barrier to help cool the attic in hot weather -and in turn - keep your house cooler.
    2. Don't wait to make repairs. Check seasonally or after a bout of heavy weather for signs of water damage or leaks. Fix leaks and cracks quickly to avoid mold and water damage. Even a small crack could mean lots of damage behind walls.
    3. Check your insulation. Do a check to see how well your insulation is performing. This simple task will help save you money. Need to add more insulation? Check out our guide to blow-in insulation.
    4. Evict unwanted guests. That sound you hear probably isn’t a cartoon mouse in your attic. Get rid of any unwanted pests, like bees, mice, bats, birds, or squirrels as soon as you suspect they’ve moved in. They can not only make a mess or damage wiring and possessions, but their waste can also bring with it diseases that can harm humans. Consult a professional removal service if needed.
    5. Check (or install) baffles. In the attic, baffles work to keep air moving through soffit vents. Make sure you don’t block airflow in the attic to the outside.

Basic Roof Maintenance


You don’t have to own an old roof for it to have problems. Even new roofs can come with issues due to improper installation, storm damage (such as from hail or debris in the wind), or even poor materials. Much of regular shingle roof maintenance can be performed by the homeowner, and some doesn’t even involve a ladder (though some are also best performed by a roofing professional).

      1. Fix leaks. You can fix or prevent leaks in your roof by making sure you have proper installation of flashing and vent pipes. If you do see a leak (such as during your attic inspection) look at your flashing and vent pipes in your roof for potential sources of water.
      2. Fight back against moss and mildew. Be sure to check the deeply shaded areas of your roof. Moss and mildew might look charming on a storybook house, but it can mean a slippery, fast-aging roof. Clean away moss and mildew regularly with special soaps and install zinc flashing to inhibit growth.
      3. Attack algae. Similarly, algae should be removed with a solution of water and bleach. Left untreated, algae can weaken your shingles and can also cause your home to heat up due to poor reflection of sunlight.
      4. Replace old roofs completely. Even if you haven’t had a hailstorm for years, your roof could be feeling its age. Roofing materials last 20-30 years, which sounds like a long time, but if your shingles are bowing or curving, it’s time for a new roof.
      5. Look for the missing ones. Replace missing or damaged shingles. After a roof is installed, your roofer may leave you with a flat of spare shingles. If not, you can note the color and obtain replacements easily. It is best to do this immediately after your roof in installed so you can be sure they aren’t discontinued.
      6. Don't let soffits drip. Look for peeling or missing paint in your home’s soffits. This could be due to damaged gutters or a poorly draining roof. Repair them quickly to avoid bigger and more costly repairs down the road.
      7. Install or replace drip edges. You may not notice drip edges, but they can help your roof shed water efficiently. A simple L-design, they keep water from pooling under the shingles and help drain it into the gutters.

McCoy’s Can Help You Keep Up Your Roof and Attic from the Bottom Up


Always ready to help keep a good roof over your head, our experts at McCoy’s are here to help you choose the right tools and supplies needed to tackle any of your attic or roof problems now, or in the future. From hardware to know-how, we can help you every step of the way.