The start of a new season is the perfect time to start on your roof maintenance checklist. Ideally, your roof should be inspected twice a year: once in late spring and again in the fall. When roof problems are neglected in the fall, the winter months can exacerbate the damage, resulting in more costly repair expenses in the spring. Brace for the chillier months ahead by completing these essential roof maintenance tasks.
1. Trim Trees Around the Perimeter of Your Home
You probably do not give much thought to the trees that surround your home. However, larger trees with extended branches can pose a hazard to your home. If a tree is leaning over your roof, branches and twigs can break off and fall onto your roof, causing damage. Leaves from overhanging tree limbs can also collect in your gutter, resulting in problemsome blockages. Wood rot, mold growth, and termite invasions are also concerning. This fall, take some time to trim overhead branches that are near your roof.
2. Assess the Condition of Your Attic
The state of your attic can have a direct effect on the condition of your roof. This fall, check to see if the insulation in your attic is covering the vents in the eaves. If it is, be sure to uncover these vents as this allows air to escape and prevent ice dams from forming on the roof in the winter. Also, make sure that ridge and eave vents are free from plants and other debris. If you suspect that you have unwanted guests in your attic, such as birds or rodents, have this problem remedied before winter. These critters can create holes in your roof and cause extensive damage that is often costly to repair. If you discover any of the aforementioned problems, you should consider replacing your attic in this fall.
3. Inspect the Roof Flashings for Faults or Damage
Roof flashing is an essential component of your roof. Flashing helps seal the spaces between the joints of the roof which is important for keeping water out. Over time, roof flashing can develop small holes or can become corroded in different spots. Tiny holes can usually be plugged with a roofing cement. However, larger sections of damage may require a new section of flashing. Also, check to make sure that the flashing is not pulling away from the roof or leaving gaps where water could seep through.
4. Clean and Inspect Your Gutters
Your gutters have an important job to do. They are designed to reroute water from your roof to an area away from your home’s foundation to prevent basement flooding and similar issues. Unfortunately, gutters can easily become blocked with leaves, twigs, and other debris. This fall, clean out debris from your gutters to allow water to flow freely. Also, carefully inspect your gutter system to ensure that water is not pooling around your home’s foundation. When water saturates the soil around your home, it puts excessive pressure on the foundation walls which can cause them to crack.
5. Replace Old, Worn, or Broken Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are a highly popular roofing material because of its durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of maintenance. However, like any roofing material asphalt shingles can succumb to old age and poor weather conditions. In time, asphalt shingles often develop bald spots which reduces their ability to protect your home. They may also warp, curl at the edges, break, or come loose and slide off of your roof. If you have asphalt shingles that are damaged or missing, have them replaced long before winter.
6. Look for Signs of Damage on Wood Shake Roofs
Wood shingles and shakes are a sought-after roof material due to their durability in heavy rains and snowstorms, and resistance to strong winds, even in hurricanes, and hail storms. These shingles are also highly energy efficient and create a natural insulation barrier between your home and the outside world. However, wood shake roofs can warp and suffer other types of damage over time. If just a few shingles or shakes are damaged, the individual pieces can usually be replaced. However, if more than 25 percent of the roof is damaged, it should be completely replaced.
7. Examine Metal Roofs for Leaks and Other Damage
Metal roofs have a long lifespan if properly cared for and have energy efficient properties that make them an attractive roofing material option. Of course, metal can also suffer damage from falling tree limbs, harsh weather conditions, and natural wear and tear. Metal roofs are also susceptible to corrosion, pitting, and gapping at the seams which allows water to seep through.
Just like asphalt and wood shake roofs, metal roofs should be carefully inspected in the fall to look for leaks and other possible signs of damage. Also check for damage that could be hidden under the metal roof.
8. Hire a Professional to Perform a Roof Inspection
Even the most observant homeowners may miss signs of roof damage. Whether you do not think that you are up for the task or you think you could have missed something when inspecting your roof, it is always a good idea to call a professional for a more thorough inspection. A professional roofing contractor may find damage that you overlooked or may discover issues that you did not notice before, such as pest droppings or cracks or gaps in roofing materials. By having an expert perform a fall roof inspection, you can rest easy knowing you did not miss anything important.
Schedule a Free Roof Evaluation
Your roof works year-round to protect your home from the natural elements. Unfortunately, even the strongest of roofs can fall victim to damage from weather, pests, and various environmental factors. If you manage to catch roof damage early on, you may only need to have a quick repair done to return your roof back to its pristine condition. However, allowing roof damage to worsen over time can result in more costly repairs down the road. This fall, contact the roof repair contractors at Beyond Exteriors to schedule a free roof evaluation.