Roof Had A Rough Winter? 8 Maintenance Issues To Check On When Spring Finally Arrives
Your roof is a crucial part of both your home's functionality and beauty, but caring for it can be tedious, especially after winter has finally left and spring reveals all the potential damage from snow, ice, and the constant contraction due to the cold. As you welcome the warmth of spring, take a look at the roof over your head from the outside and check on what may need to be done as a result of the long and weary winter.
1. Water Erosion
The valleys of your roof leave a nice path for water to flow down, usually toward the gutter system. Unfortunately, that constant flow may result in worn tiles. Examine these areas to ensure that they've held up over the constant snow-to-water cycles.
2. Piles of Leaves
As autumn gave way to winter, it likely left leaves behind, which can trap moisture, possibly leading to issues with mildew, corrosion, and extra weight stressing the roof. Clear the leaves away if possible, using a rake or leaf-blower. If you can't do it safely yourself, hire a roof contractor to take care of the accumulated debris, as it's not worth risking life and limb.
3. Gutter Destruction
Your gutters could have sustained damage throughout the rough winter, and this is definitely something you should address before the long and soaking spring rains start to fall. Look for signs of weight damage, such as buckling and bending in the gutter lines, and while you're there, make sure the gutters aren't plugged up with leaves or other debris.
4. Fractured Asphalt
If your shingles are made of asphalt, they might have cracked under the constant strain of low temperature contractions. Such damage may be repairable; however, since compromised shingles could lead to leaks, you may want to get the second opinion of a roofing contractor.
5. Curling Wood
If you have a wooden shake roof, curling, also referred to as cupping, may be evident. This is a naturally occurring process in wood, and you shouldn't have too much to worry about, unless you can see the base layers of the roof, such as the deck or felt. If the curling is sufficient to expose the underlying material, you could have a more serious problem on your hands—in which case, calling in a pro or replacing the shingles yourself may be in order.
6. Impending Moss
Fuzzy green patches showing up on your roof just in time for the nice weather is a good sign you need to clean it with a professional-strength agent, such as a bleach-based solution. You could use a hose or other sprayer, attached to the cleaning bottle, to clear away the growing moss, or you could contact a roofing contractor. While it may look like something out of a charming novel, moss can erode your roof much faster than it otherwise would age, making removal a necessity. Since moss prefers darker conditions, it's more likely to show up on the side of the house with the least amount of sunlight.
7. Damaged Flashing
The flashing on your roof helps direct water, guiding it safely over to the gutters and away from potential pools that could create leaks. All the flashing should be inspected for possible damage, even if there are no signs of leaking from the inside of the house.
8. Compromised Interiors
Unfortunately, if your roof is in rough shape, even if it's only in an isolated area, you're very to likely see this from the interior of the home. Watch out for the following symptoms that are likely telling you the roof is in serious trouble:
- Water stains on the ceiling or walls
- Areas of the floor that seem to give way more than they should, especially around sinks and tubs
- Flooring that's suddenly showing signs of damage, like cracking, warping, and/or discoloration
- The smell of mildew, which is usually overwhelming to the nose with a heavy, musty scent
Any indication that your roof is actually already leaking means you need to take fast action, as opposed to taking the DIY route. Unless you know how to determine the location of a leak and how to resolve it quickly, you're more than likely going to require the assistance of a professional roofer for roof repairs. Clear the areas near the evidence of leaking so the pro can more closely examine what's going on and get to the bottom (or the top, where your roof is concerned) of the problem.
If, by the time you're finished with your springtime roof maintenance, you're completely worn out and roof-weary, ask a roofing professional about installing a metal roof. They are durable and require less time and trouble where maintenance is concerned. Otherwise, be prepared to venture up to your roof come next spring, after winter has left the usual mess and mayhem.