Ask the Expert: Up on the Roof

As you’re readying your East End home for the fall and winter, few things are important as the roof over your head. But “it’s a good bet that most homeowners know very little about their roof,” says Mike Scrivano of M. Stevens Roofing. “How old is it? When was it last inspected? How long will it last?” These are just a few of the questions you might be asking yourself. We have others, so we went to Mike for the answers.

Mike Scrivano of M Stevens Roofing
Roofing Expert Mike Scrivano of M. Stevens Roofing

The Question: What kind of maintenance does my roof really need? I’m thinking if I have no leaks, I have no worries.

The Answer from Mike Scrivano of M. Stevens Roofing: Nothing could be further from the truth. Like many areas of a house, a roof needs some regular maintenance to provide the necessary protection from the elements and for maximum life expectancy. For the most part, roof maintenance means periodic inspection and recognizing some warning signs of deterioration—curled and dried shingles, stains and aging flashing.

Flashings are the thin pieces of formed metal or other material laid into joints and alleys and around any roof openings that prevent water seepage. Any flashing work should be done on the average of every 5 years. All extrusions—the openings in the roof such as vents, chimneys, skylights and pipes—are areas of concern because leaks can develop around them.

Moss and algae growth on shingles probably means poor drainage or lack of sunlight in the stained area. Trim any hanging tree branches and ask a roofing contractor about treating the stained area with an algaecide or moss removing solution.

A second roof cannot be installed over an existing roof that has curled and dried shingles. Removing the dried shingles and replacing damaged sheathing—that’s when a roofing job gets expensive.

Have more questions about your own roof? You can contact Mike Scrivano of M. Stevens Roofing at 631-345-2539 or visit online at


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