Although a new roof can be an object of beauty, it will not be
protective for long without proper maintenance.
At least twice a year, the roof should be inspected against a
All changes should be recorded and reported. Guidelines should
be established for any foot traffic that may be required for the
maintenance of the roof. Many roofing materials should not be
walked on at all. For some slate, asbestos, and clay tile
a self-supporting ladder might be hung over the ridge of
the roof, or planks might be spanned across the roof surface.
Such items should be specifically designed and kept in a storage
space accessible to the roof. If exterior work ever requires hanging
scaffolding, use caution to insure that the anchors do not penetrate,
break, or wear the roofing surface, gutters, or flashing.
Any roofing system should be recognized as a membrane that is
designed to be selfsustaining, but that can be easily damaged
by intrusions such as pedestrian traffic or fallen tree
branches. Certain items should be checked at specific times.
For example, gutters tend to accumulate leaves and debris during
the spring and fall and after heavy rain. Hidden gutter screening
both at downspouts and over the full length of the gutter
could help keep them clean. The surface material would require
checking after a storm as well.
Periodic checking of the underside of the roof from the attic
after a storm or winter freezing may give early warning of any
leaks. Generally, damage from water or ice is less likely on a
roof that has good flashing on the outside and is well ventilated
and insulated on the inside.
Specific instructions for the maintenance of the different roof
materials should be available from the architect or contractor.