Summer is the perfect time to inspect your roof before any potential problems are covered up and made worse by the snow and ice of winter. Not to mention, inspecting your roof during the winter could be more dangerous. Take a short break from your summer fun activities to ensure your roof is operating efficiently for the colder months ahead with these roof maintenance tips.
First of all, use the proper gear when inspecting your roof. Make sure you are wearing shoes that grip, gloves and protective clothing in case you fall. When climbing the ladder, have someone hold it for you to keep it steady. Remember to move slowly and watch your step. During this do-it-yourself inspection, you’ll want to look under eaves for loose debris, leaves, sticks, nests and insects. Next, check the roof’s flashing or metal strips. These are usually around chimneys, vents, satellite dishes and skylights. Keep an eye out for fungus and mold. This could be a sign of a leak. Finally, check your shingles. Are there any missing, torn, dented or loose shingles?
Always keep an eye on your gutters. Not only can they become filled with debris, harsh weather can loosen gutters and create cracks around your home that lead to leaks. Take a walk around your house and tighten all the bolts and realign the gutters as necessary. Next, climb a ladder and clean them out. Don’t forget to clean the roof drains and downspouts as well. Once you have done that, run a hose through the gutter system to see if there are any leaks and that the water is flowing correctly. If you find any areas that you can’t fix, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to repair or replace the gutter before it causes more costly repair down the road.
Being exposed to everyday wear and tear from various elements can cause shingles to become worn down or torn off. This makes the interior space vulnerable to water seepage and rot. Look for signs that your shingles are loose, curled, worn down, missing, cracked or have dark spots. It’s important to examine your shingles yearly to ensure their integrity.
Take a look at your surrounding landscape, it’s important not to overlook leaning branching that are close to your roof. These branches can scratch and gouge your roofing materials or worse, fall on your home. To protect the roof, simply trim back and remove any branches that are getting too close or are hanging over. Even if the tree seems healthy, a large summer storm, hailstorm or winter wind could potentially cause breakage.
If you notice any open areas in your eaves, repair them in a timely manner to avoid rodents and birds from making their nests. If left alone for too long, rodents can cause many problems for your roof. Bird droppings tend to be very acidic and can damage your shingles over time. Roof rats, squirrels and raccoons can burrow through your roof and chew through your electrical insulation and potentially start a fire.
If your home has a skylight, check its metal stripping to make sure it’s not leaking. A hail storm could also damage the glass and leave a crack that would otherwise go unnoticed from inside the home. Give your skylight a good once-over a couple times during the summer.
Mold and algae enjoy humid summer days. Inspect the outside and inside of your roof for mold and algae. Check the attic ceiling and roof shingles for discoloration. This could be in the form of large black spots, white spots or off-colored wood. If you see any signs, you will need to do a good roof cleaning. Be aware that using a pressure washer with the wrong tip or spraying at a close range could completely clean off the granules that protect your shingles from the sun. Another option would be to spray an eco-friendly cleaning compound. Or instal a copper or zinc strip on your roof as a natural prevention. Copper and zinc strips contain minerals that inhibit moss, mold and algae growth.
Staying consistent with your roof inspections and repairs is crucial for the longevity of your roof. Make sure your roof is winter ready and call the experts at Precision Windows and Doors at 816-524-8999 or 913-649-1199 for a free estimate.