So, winter has finally come and gone. The snow is melting, birds are chirping, and the bi-annual task of checking for any roof damage is again upon us. The harsh winter weather is no stranger to causing some serious roof damage during its time with us each year, and as a homeowner, you know that your Spring to-do list includes checking and repairing any damage sustained by your roof over the winter season.
The buildup of ice and snow, dramatic temperature changes, and heavy wind can all cause flashing and shingles to come loose or break apart, leading to cracks and leaks, causing water damage and who knows how much untold misery. Here I am going to go through some Spring maintenance tips for your roof to ensure its lifespan, as well as maintain the reliability of your home.
Gutters: Inspection, Maintenance and Repairs
Gutters that are not properly maintained are going to shorten the life of your roof, and Spring is the best time to empty your gutters of large chunks of debris that have accumulated over the winter, either by hand or using a garden trowel. I would also recommend you take a power washer to your gutters, following the debris removal, to really clean out the remaining dirt buildup. Keep in mind that if you have a lot of big trees, you will have to check you gutters more frequently to increase their lifespan and effectiveness.
It is important to note that if you have tree overhangs or large branches in and around your roof, it’s best to take a proactive approach to trimming those branches. It will better serve your maintenance needs, and your roofs longevity.
Roof Shingles and Their Integrity
Once you have finished with the gutters, it’s time to conduct an inspection of the shingles on your roof and do some basic repairs, if necessary. Look for any signs of visible damage, such as missing shingles, warping, discoloration, or grain loss. These are all signs that shingles need to be replaced or repaired. Cracks that have formed in some shingles, due to the extreme shifts in temperatures, can cause your roof to leak, and damage the interior structure of your roof. These need to be repaired or replaced without delay.
Shingles can easily be replaced by simply removing the old one, and perhaps the two or three next to it, and after removing the nails and fasteners, simply slide the new shingle into place and nail it down. Cover each nail with some roofing cement, to prevent water penetration, and simply weigh the shingle down overnight to guarantee a tight and water-proof seal.
Flashing are the metal strips that are used to seal gaps and prevent water from leaking under your shingles. They are an important part of the roofing structure and need to be properly maintained in order for them to be effective. During the winter months, the hard rains and strong winds may cause your roofs flashing to come loose, allowing water to come into your home. In turn this could lead to the accumulation of mold and the creation of unsightly water damage. It is especially important that you check the flashing around your chimney, skylights and valley regions, as these are the most prone to damage during stormy circumstances.
I hope that this has been helpful in guiding you through the task of Spring roof maintenance and its importance. I wish for you a safe and fulfilling Spring roof maintenance experience.