The roof covering your home is a protective barrier against the elements. In reality, it’s a complex structure that requires maintenance throughout its lifespan. As a homeowner, it’s important to know a few roof repair tips that can help you save money and protect the entire household. Take a look at these guidelines below.

1. Mysterious Stains Indicate Leaks

If you notice any yellowing stains in your attic or even within the home, consider a look at the rooftop. According to Home Depot, damaged shingles, exposed mounting holes and even aging rubber gaskets can allow moisture into the home. These leaks may be minor, but they leave telltale stains that will be permanent.

Ideally, ask a professional to test the roof for leaks. Any moisture seeping into the home will cause mold and mildew, which can further damage the roof over time.

2. Shingles Should Always Lay Flat

It’s not normal for any shingle to curl, loosen, crack or flap in the wind. Every shingle should lay flat on the rooftop. Homeowners should take a look at their roof from the sidewalk after big storms. Pull out a pair of binoculars, and look for any shingle anomalies.

With diligent observations, you should be able to pinpoint any problems before they worsen. Neglecting the rooftop can lead to missing shingles, which allows a large volume of moisture to enter the home at any time.

3. Patching Damages Works for Newer Roofs

If you notice damaged shingles on your roof, a patch job is often the go-to procedure. Simply replace that damaged area to prolong the rooftop’s lifespan. This strategy is only appropriate, however, on newer roofs. Homes with rooftops that are older than 20 years should have the materials replaced across the entire structure. Patching older roofs will only lead to further repairs that can cost more than investing in a new roof outright.

4. Metal Flashing Requires Inspections Too

The roof isn’t just layers of shingles. Along rooftop transitions, most homes have metal flashing. These sections surround and protect walls, valleys, vents and chimneys. Metal flashing should be inspected by the professionals to ensure that it’s resting in the proper positions, reports The Family Handyman. Metal that bends upward or outright rusts will allow moisture into the structure. Some flashing can be repaired, whereas other sections should be replaced for the good of the rooftop’s construction.

5. Venting the Attic Helps the Roof’s Lifespan

A clever tip for your roof-repair needs includes venting the attic. Vents added to the rooftop to allow air to leave the attic creates a moderate temperature within the structure. During the summer, hot air won’t place strain on the structure and rooftop. As a result, the shingles have a slightly longer lifespan. The home also remains at a comfortable temperature without the hot air being trapped in the attic, which prompts many homeowners to turn on the air conditioning.

6. Roof Replacements Offer a Look at the Structure

Roof repairs that include a replacement offer another perk besides the fresh rooftop surface. During the removal process, the professionals can inspect the plywood that supports the shingles. If there are any damages here, the plywood can be replaced. In fact, roof replacements are the only time that these areas can be inspected, so it’s a major benefit for homeowners. They can be sure that the roof is structurally sound for the next few decades.

Hiring a professional for a thorough inspection each year is imperative. Be sure to prioritize this appointment for your home. Between your knowledge and a professional’s evaluation, your roof can last for many decades without major issues.