As our thoughts turn to hopes of spring, one thing we often overlook is the condition of our roofs. The coming of spring also brings rain and spring run-off, which can wreak havoc with your roof if it is not properly prepared. With a little maintenance this spring, you can help prevent leaks and preserve your roof another year if it’s still in good condition. Below are some ways you can inspect and maintain your roof for the coming year.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is an important aspect of spring maintenance. If your gutters are clogged, rain and snow melt-off won’t drain properly. Water can overflow the gutters and cause serious structural damage to your foundation over time. In addition, a gutter full of water is heavy and can damage the fascia boards on your roof. To clear your gutters, start by removing debris with a garden trowel or by hand. Don’t try to remove the debris with a hose as this may cause downspouts to clog. Flush the cleared gutters using a garden hose. Check the gutters after flushing for pools that indicate low spots. Gutters should be sloped about 1 vertical inch for every 15 to 20 horizontal feet so they drain properly.
Inspect Your Shingles
Winters tend to be hard on your shingles with ice and snow eroding the granules. The cold weather will also likely weaken your shingles slightly. If your roof was in questionable condition before winter, you may notice significant signs of wear when the spring thaws start. Check for shingles that are curled or cracked, and shingles that are losing their granulation. The granules on shingles are important because they add strength to the shingles as well as protecting the shingles from premature aging from UV rays. If your shingles are showing signs of wear, contact a professional roofer to get your roof repaired or replaced before you start noticing leaks.
Inspect Your Flashings
Flashings are the metal pieces used to seal gaps and prevent water from leaking under your shingles; they are usually located around chimneys, vents, and roof valleys. Check for loose or rusting flashings, or loose caulking around the flashings – this is a sign that the sealants have been compromised leaving your roof vulnerable. If it is just the caulking around flashings that is loose or deteriorating, you may be able to re-caulk them yourself. If the flashings have come loose or are rusting, they should be inspected and potentially replaced by an experienced roofer.
Most maintenance items can be done by anyone, however, if you’re concerned about the condition of your roof or would like a professional opinion on the state of your roof, give us a call at 416 743-8058.