Keeping your roof in good repair is important. Regular home maintenance prevents costly repairs and helps your roof survive the winter. A dump of snow or heavy winds or a steady rainfall for two or more days in a row can result in some type of roof damage. Whether the damage is a few missing asphalt shingles, a pile of debris sitting in a roof valley, or water seepage around a chimney or skylight, if not repaired, the result could lead to more serious issues. Here are some proactive ways you can protect your home from bad weather.
Inspect the Roof – Homeowner and Pro
An essential part of protecting the roof is to know what it’s up to. After each change of season visually inspect the roof for signs of potential trouble such as missing roof shingles, raised nail heads, damp patches around chimneys, dormer windows, or skylights, and teeth marks (squirrels especially enjoy chewing on asphalt shingles), and other signs of animal activity.
Also conduct a visual inspection after a storm or heavy snowfall.
Visual inspections done by the homeowner makes a person aware of any situation that might need immediate attention. However, you should book a roof inspection appointment with a professional roofing contractor once every two years. He or she will be able to tell you if there has been any structural damage or other types of damage that need fixing.
Don’t put off Repairs
If you do discover some type of damage during a visual inspection or an inspection conducted by a licensed roofing contractor, don’t put off making repairs. Unfortunately they are not going to fix themselves – if you leave it until later it could end up costing you more.
Limit the Number of DIY Repairs
Re-caulking flashings, filling in holes or cracks, removing moss, and sealing leaks are some common DIY repairs many do-your-selfers can easily handle. But when you are constantly making the same repair over again in a short space of time applying caulking or sealant to stop leaks and fill in holes is obviously a temporary fix. A consultation with a professional roofing contractor will help you identify multiple leaks, hard-to-trace dampness sources, and structural damage not readily identifiable by a homeowner. When you find you’re doing too many DIY repairs it’s probably time to get to the root of the problem.
Maintain the Gutter System
Remove small branches, leaves, and other types of debris from your gutters and downspouts. Preventing gutters from overflowing or splashing up into the soffit and fascia helps extend the life of your roof. Gutters that become clogged with debris when mixed with standing water can add weight to a gutter system, resulting in damaged fascia and sagging gutters.
Reduce the amount of debris that lands in the gutters and on the roof by trimming back trees. Prevent falling trees from damaging the gutter system or crashing through the roof by inspecting the trees on your property for disease, pest infestation, and bark damage (lawn mower or nibbling deer).
Remove Moss from Roofing Shingles
Moss can shorten a roof’s lifespan, so it’s important to have it removed as soon as it is spotted. Once it takes hold, it can be difficult to get rid of. Moss can eat into roofing shingles, compromising how well they protect your home. If the problem is not addressed, over time it can cause structural damage. It has to be completely removed or moss growth will keep recurring. The process might take more than one application of whatever moss removal solution you choose to use. If the roof is steep, not easily accessible, or the moss growth is already extensive, hire a professional to remove the moss.
Remove Fallen Leaves
When leaves collect in roof valleys or are allowed to sit on roofing shingles, they can block the air or sun from drying off the roof after a snow melt or a rain shower. Trapped moisture can result in damaged shingles (cracking, warping, or breaking). Removing fallen leaves from roofing shingles before they start to decompose will help keep the roof in good condition.