The fall season is the best time for home maintenance tasks, in preparation for the cold months ahead. Your roof, in particular, needs additional care. In today’s post, your local roofers at Ritco Group, Inc. share the must-have items on your roofing maintenance checklist.
Why Should You Do Roof Maintenance in the Fall?
While roofing maintenance could be done at virtually any time of the year, the fall season is ideal because the weather is milder. If you are susceptible to plant-based allergens, you’d be less likely to suffer symptoms of spring allergies, as you would if you did your roof maintenance during the spring season. Also, roofing contractors tend to be less busy during the fall season, which means you’d be more likely to hire the contractor that you want, on the dates of your choosing.
Speaking of contractors, you’re probably wondering why you would even have a maintenance checklist. Shouldn’t your roofing contractor be responsible for all of this?
Maintenance tasks like thorough inspections and spot repairs are indeed the sole province of your roofing contractor. However, keeping an eye out for its condition is a year-round task. It would be costly, not to mention impractical, if you were to call upon your roofer several times in a year just to check upon your roof. Having said that, it is important to
Fall Roof Maintenance Checklist
As a homeowner, you’re not expected to perform your own repairs, or even climb the roof. The objective is to take preventative measures, keep an eye out for signs of potential roofing problems, and call up your roofer if repairs need to be done. The following items should be part of your roof maintenance checklist for this season:
- Clean the gutters. Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to back up into the roof’s edge and cause moisture damage, rot and mold growth. This underlines the importance of regular gutter cleaning, especially if you have trees on your property. You can choose to clean your gutters yourself, however, professional gutter cleaning is safer, more convenient and more thorough. Spot repairs can also be done when needed. If your gutters are up for replacement, consider choosing low-maintenance options like seamless gutters and corrosion-resistant materials like copper.
- Install gutter guards. Another way to keep your gutters clean is to install gutter guards, also known as gutter protection systems. You can choose from various configurations. Some feature a mesh that works like a sieve or filter on top of the gutters, while others have a specially-designed profile that sheds leaves and other debris down to the ground without taking the water with them. With gutter guards, the gutters will require less frequent cleaning, which can reduce the time needed for roof maintenance. Most types of gutter guards are designed to fit over existing gutters, so there’s no need to wait until your gutters are up for replacement just to get gutter guards.
- Trim overhanging tree branches. While still on the topic of having trees in the property, your roof can benefit from trimming overhanging branches. In addition to the leaves, twigs and needles that can clog your gutters, sharp branches can scratch the rooftop and leave the roof to further damage. On asphalt shingle roofing, deep scratches can remove the protective granule layer and expose the asphalt-saturated backing material to UV damage. On sheet metal roofing, sharp branches may scratch out the protective coatings and lead to corrosion-related problems. Even durable materials like tile and slate may break if hit by a tree branch propelled by high-speed winds. To ensure the tree’s safety, have an arborist or landscaper trim the branches for you.
- Clean the roof. A clean roof not only looks better, but is also less vulnerable to roofing problems. Twigs and needles can lodge themselves at the roof’s nooks and crevices, which can provide access to moisture, especially when high winds are involved. Moss and algae may also grow on the roofing surface, which creates unsightly dark marks on the surface. If you choose to clean your roof, make sure that you are using cleaning products that are specifically formulated for the roof. Avoid using a pressure washer, as it can cause more harm than good. Like gutter cleaning, roof cleaning is best left to professionals.
- Conduct visual inspections. Roofing inspections can be done without climbing the roof. On a clear day, bring a pair of binoculars and inspect every inch of your roof, taking note of things that are out of place. Look out for discolored and deformed shingles, flashing may be missing or damaged, and gutter troughs may be knocked out of alignment. Climb into the attic and check for airflow coming through the soffits and if there are pinholes of light coming through the roof. If you’re up for a high-tech solution, you can use a drone to record your inspection, and have it reviewed by your roofer later.
What Happens After?
If your findings indicate that your roof is in fairly good condition, then there’s nothing left to do until your next scheduled maintenance appointment with your roofer. Maintenance helps keep the wear on your roof caused by the elements to a minimum, and simple tasks like the ones discussed above can go a long way in keeping your roof in good condition — maybe even get you a few years more out of its service life.
In case you find signs of damage to your roof, your next step is to call your roofing contractor, have them take a closer look at the damage and have repairs done as needed. We understand that an additional expense isn’t exactly what anyone wants, but consider the alternative. Prolonged exposure to the elements will only increase the amount of damage, which will only increase the scope of repairs, which means higher repair costs.
If your roofer offers a maintenance service agreement, consider signing up for it. It’s an agreement that pre-schedules maintenance appointments throughout the roof’s service life, eliminating the need to set up an appointment every year. This helps make sure that you don’t miss out on annual roofing maintenance, even during busy seasons.
Ritco Group, Inc. is one of the most trusted roofers serving communities in Brentwood and Murfreesboro, TN. To learn more about our roofing services, give us a call at (931) 381-0175. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.