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The roof is one of the most important, essential parts of your home. Your roof provides shelter from the elements, helps to insulate your home, and even adds to a house’s property value. Because a roof is so important to the home, it is equally as important to treat it as such. Living in Florida comes with some extreme weather that can beat down on your roof. This southern state may not get the snow and ice of those in the north, but rain and wind can definitely do a number on a roof by itself. Below we’re going to go over some things you can do to keep a healthy, long-lasting roof in the Sunshine State.

Gutters

A proper gutter system’s job is to control the water flow around and off of your home. In an area like Florida, where homeowners can see an average of over 59 inches of rainfall a year, having a working gutter system is pretty important. When a gutter system is clogged with debris or failing, a home may see damages to the fascia, experience roof rot, and improper water runoff can even mess with the foundation of a home.

One of the things you can do to keep your gutters in working order is to simply inspect them quarterly. A handful of times a year, get the ladder out and climb on up to make sure your gutters are flowing smoothly. You may find it necessary to put on some waterproof gloves and clean out leaves and other debris. If these things are left to sit and pile up in your gutters, they will back up the water flow, which can lead to the damage mentioned above. Water damage is no fun to mess with.

Trees

Now, most of Florida isn’t exactly considered woodsy, but we do have some trees around here. Just like with gutters, it’s a good idea to check out the trees around your property a few times a year. If you notice any debris or branches that have fallen onto the roof, put on some boots with good tread and get up there to clean them off. Branches and leaves left to sit on your roof can cause mildew growth and even rot, damaging not only your roofing shingles but possibly the materials below as well. If this happens, you may end up being in need of a total roof replacement.

If you find the trees around you have grown too close to your home, it’s also a good idea to keep them trimmed back. With trees brushing up against your home, you may be more likely to encounter pests. Also, with heavy winds that can be caused by storms and hurricanes, a branch above the home that falls at great speed can actually puncture your roof. One simple branch can break right through if it hits your roof at the right angle and speed. This is extensive damage no homeowner wants to deal with. If you simply take some time to trim back your trees in the springtime, your chances of this happening drop dramatically.

Wind and Hurricanes

Florida is at risk for hurricanes from both the Atlantic and the Gulf sides of the state. That is a double whammy and makes it twice as important to make sure your roof is in good condition before hurricane season hits.

Wind speeds can hit incredible highs and the rainfall during just one storm is enough to flood a city. Making sure the shingles on your roof are in good shape prior to the season is a great start to maintaining your home. Things to look for:

  • Curling Shingles — The high heat of Florida summers can give your shingles a beating. If you see your roof shingles curling up, you definitely want to get those repaired. Curled shingles are susceptible to further damage because water can get underneath, causing damage to your lining or even causing leaks. Curled shingles can also catch the wind, which means they can easily be torn right off of the roof, leaving your home vulnerable to the elements.
  • Bald Shingles — Asphalt roofing shingles have granules on them to help guard against the elements and UV rays (they even make them more fire retardant!). When they’ve hit the end of their lifespan, or there is excess water runoff from a bad or damaged gutter system, you can be left with bald shingles. Having shingles without the adequate granule coverage can leave your roof defenseless against the elements during a hurricane.
  • Any Lifting or Separating — Your shingles should be flat and even. Any waviness or anything out of place is a sign you may be in need of a roof repair.

When you take the time to inspect your roof shingles for signs like those mentioned above, you can get ahead of the weather and make sure your roof is ready to take on the Florida hurricane season.

Heat

Heat and moisture are two things that can definitely wreak some havoc on a home. For a roof, these two components combined can cause things to expand, stretch, crack, and even break. If you don’t have proper ventilation in your roof, the shingles can even be damaged from within the home, with issues being caused by an overheated attic or crawlspace. Trapped moisture from poor ventilation can cause mildew and mold, both of which can cause decay on your roof rafters, as well as the roof itself. Checking your ventilation twice a year or so is a great thing to add to your to-do list. Simply making sure your roof is getting proper ventilation can help keep it in great working condition all year round.

The roof is a shield to protect your home, and like anything, it needs proper maintenance to work correctly and efficiently. Simply taking the time to inspect your roof a few times a year can definitely aid in keeping your home in tip-top shape for the Florida weather. If there’s anything we can do to help you out, feel free to contact us. We would be happy to assist you.