6 Tips to Keep Your Roof Looking New

Lauren Wellbank
Written by Lauren Wellbank
Updated December 24, 2015
The exterior of a yellow house with a nice roof
Photo: Claudiak / Adobe Stock

Here's how to help your roof live a long and prosperous life

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Performing routine cleaning and maintenance on your roof can not only keep it looking its best, but it can also increase the lifespan of your roof. Considering the average cost of a new roof can vary from $5,000 to $45,000, prolonging just how long you can go between roof replacements is a top priority. The good news is that keeping your roof like new is as easy as staying on top of small maintenance and cleaning jobs. 

1. Clean Debris, Algae, and Mildew

Much like your siding and your windows, your roof needs a good cleaning every now and then. Clearing your roof of debris like leaves and sticks will help prevent algae and mildew from growing. 

You can hire a professional roof cleaning service to do this job, or you can tackle it yourself (remember to use safe ladder practices). You can buy an enzyme cleaner at a local hardware store, attach it to your hose, and then spray the solution onto your roof. Most of these cleaners will sit for a day or (or until the next rain) and then rinse off on their own over time, making them a quick and easy cleaning option.

2. Install Gutters

If your home doesn’t already have gutters, installing some to help keep water moving down the slope of your roof and away from your house can help keep your roof looking stellar.  Not only do gutters help control moisture (which can help prevent algae and mildew from building up), they keep water from going under shingles and into the eaves.

3. Prevent Ice Dams

While they may sound like something beavers build over winter, ice dams are ice deposits that form in your gutter and block water flow—and they can cause damage. Ice dams happen when a ridge of ice develops at the lower edge of your roof slope, preventing the melting snow from higher up on the roof from sliding down and into your gutters. Instead, the water backs up, eventually leaking into your home. Install and clear your gutters before winter begins. Also, winterize your home to prevent your roof from uneven heating (which leads to melting snow).

4. Trim Your Trees

Those leaves that look so pretty at the start of fall can wreak havoc on your roof (and your back) when it's time to collect them. Trim back any tree branches that hang over your roof to avoid the collection of fallen leaves and wind-blown branches. Since trimming trees often requires a chainsaw and a ladder, you may prefer to hire a pro. You can expect to pay a tree trimmer between $200 and $760 for the service.

5. Sealants and Coatings

Apply a sealant or coat after installing your roof to improve its longevity. Only certain types of roofs need sealants to look their best—like stone, metal, and slate. A certified roofing professional can reapply it every few years.

6. Inspect Your Roof

A man wearing gloves inspecting a roof
Photo: Andrea Miller / Adobe Stock

The best way to keep your roof in great shape is to keep an eye on it. Familiarizing yourself with how your roof usually looks will help you quickly spot problems so you can fix them immediately. You can call a local roof inspector with your concerns before they become serious problems.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.