As we have mentioned many times in previous blog posts, continuous roof maintenance is extremely important in keeping your shelter in tip-top shape for decades to come. Whether it is done by you, or by hiring an outside company, cleaning your roof and keeping it healthy will stave off premature roof repair and potentially save you thousands. Below, we’ll tackle some things that can be done in the spring in order to keep your roof looking its best.
Clean Out Those Gutters
Clogged gutters can cause a whole host of problems and adding this in with your bi-annual roof maintenance is a good plan. While you may have just cleaned your gutters in the fall, it’s best to check on them in the spring as well. There can be left over leaves and other backup-causing debris that ended up there over the winter. Clogged gutters cause clogged downspouts, which in turn causes water backup that can freeze, or it can even divert water runoff to an area where it’s not meant to flow. None of these things are good for your roof.
To begin, always remember safety first and most importantly, don’t clean gutters from the roof itself. This is incredibly unsafe and can only lead to trouble and then roof repair won’t be your only problem. It is best to safely climb a ladder (with a spotter if necessary), and remember to never overreach. Just know in advance that you’ll be climbing up and down frequently and moving the ladder often. Once you’re set with the ladder, throw on some work gloves and start scooping out the debris and simply toss it down to a tarp below. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also use a high-pressure hose to blast the crud out, but we find using your hands is a little easier.
It’s not the grandest of work, but having clean gutters is essential to the health of your roof and your home. If your gutters are full of debris at any time of year, that can weigh them down, damaging the fascia and even pulling them away from your home altogether, causing more damage and the need for roof repair. This is also a good time to check for any signs of damage or wear and tear as well.
Check for Debris
Your gutters aren’t the only place that can gather debris! When is the last time you checked out your roof on the backside of the house? It’s been a long winter and who knows what the weather has knocked onto your roof. Cleaning your roof is essential in keeping your shingles pristine. Sure, a couple of twigs and leaves are expected here and there, but if they pile up and start to rot, you’re going to be in a whole lot of roof repair trouble.
For this one, you definitely need to get up on the roof, so make sure you’re wearing boots or shoes with a good tread, and again, use ladder safety. During this portion of roof maintenance, it is essential to take your time. You don’t want to lose your footing. Just take it slow, with careful steps, and toss off any wayward branches, sticks, or other debris. You may think these tree pieces are not a big deal in cleaning your roof, but those little guys can actually cause some pretty good damage in the right conditions. If you get one underneath a shingle, it can tear it right off. Larger sticks and twigs have even been known to fall at the perfect angle, completely puncturing an otherwise solid roof.
Getting all of this stuff off of your roof will also prevent further damage from things like moss, mold, and algae. Those bring a whole new cleaning list to the table.
Check it Out
Now that the cleaning part of your roof maintenance is out of the way and you have everything spic and span, it is time to inspect. While you may have come across some issues while cleaning, it is always best to give your roof a really good once over and make note of any necessary roof repair that is needed.
Here are some exterior issues you may want to keep an eye out for:
Damaged Flashing– Look for things like cracks, holes, rust, or water leaks.
Bald Shingles– A severely wet winter may have done a number on your roof with water runoff.
Lifting/Separating– Nothing should be out place or uneven on your roof.
After cleaning your roof and then inspecting the exterior, the next place you want to check out is actually inside of your home. When was the last time you were in your attic? Don’t have an attic? Time to shine a flashlight into that crawlspace.
Once all of the sticks and debris are gone, the roof maintenance continues on the inside. You’ll want to take note of any issues like new stains on the ceiling, any water leakage, and sunlight peeping through. A little daylight glow is ok, but if you’re seeing streams of direct sunlight, it is definitely time for immediate roof repair. It may seem obvious, but sometimes these issues are very easily missed.
Get Out the Loppers
Spring cleaning and roof maintenance don’t stop with cleaning and inspection. Now it’s time to be proactive. Keep that ladder handy because it’s time to trim some trees.
Once again practicing ladder safety, a great additional step to roof maintenance is trimming the trees around the exterior of your home. While you don’t want to attack them like Edward Scissorhands, keeping the trees and tall bushes around your home trimmed back will extend the life of your home as a whole. In both the winter and the spring, keep an eye on branches that have begun to droop low or grow towards the house. By keeping this landscaping in check, you are being proactive in keeping roof repairs at bay.
Cleaning your roof may seem like a high maintenance project, but your roof is essential to a quality home. Setting up a schedule for bi-annual cleaning, whether you do it yourself or hire the work out, is guaranteed to assist in helping your roof last as long as possible. Roof maintenance is paramount to a healthy home. If there is anything we can do to help, please reach out to us here.