Roof Maintenance Tips for Rainy and Snowy Climates

gutters snow iceWeather can wreak havoc and can damage houses, especially your roof. You need to consider how to maintain your roof and what kinds of damage you are likely to find, and you’ll find that a small amount of regular maintenance can prevent a much larger problem in future.

When?

Ideally, you want to check everything semi-annually, preferably before and after your rainier seasons. If you can afford them, professional roof inspections are the best option, and they will be able to find any leaks and decay, torn shingles, or damage to fixtures, gutters, and flashing. It is also recommended that you have your roof inspected for damage after any major storm.

So what else do you need to consider? First, think about environmental factors trees, storms, snow, and wildlife. If you have trees around your house, they can pose a risk damage from falling branches or from falling leaves that can block drains and gutters. To prevent damage, remove tree debris from your roof and prune any overhanging limbs. Snow and ice can also cause clogs in your gutter system or ice dams that can damage your gutters and roofline. Following a heavier storm make sure you check your building’s lightning protection system and especially check the lightning rod for damage.

The Roof

It’s important to check inside the roof cavity if you can gain access to it. This area inside the roof can be as important to the house as the exterior for several reasons, namely ventilation, mold, and infestations of wildlife. Ventilation is important for maintaining a roof and, in fact, poor ventilation is one of the leading causes of premature structural damage. A common indicator of poor ventilation in the roof is if you experience unusually hot or cold internal temperatures inside the house. Poor ventilation can also contribute to developing mold, which will frequently require you to seek an outside contractor to treat.

Wild animals like squirrels, birds and raccoons like to try to get into a warm, dry roof and will make themselves at home there. This can be messy, noisy and dangerous, considering the diseases that many animals can spread. If you find creatures nesting in the roof, you need to remove them and block off future access. Again this is often a job best left to the experts.

Finally, one of the most important parts of the roof that you need to consider is the gutter. Gutter maintenance is vital to keeping your home and roof in the best condition. So keep your gutters maintained and repair any damage right away to prevent costly roof repairs in the future. The rain gutter system is designed to remove excess water from the roof and channel it away from the house and foundation. A clogged or iced gutter or downspout can put a strain on a roof. You’d be surprised at how much it can weigh — more than enough to cause them to sag or detach entirely. Clear out your gutters and downpipes carefully each season, or schedule twice yearly professional cleaning. Include your downspouts, as they play a big role in protecting your yard and foundation. Have damaged downspouts repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid costly home repair.

The Gutters

Loose or missing gutters can cause damage to the roof and siding of your home. Sunlight and extreme weather can cause gutters to crack, and leak. Depending on the size and severity, you might want to make repairs yourself. If the cracks are small enough, waterproofing or gutter sealer is easy to apply, but you probably want to get a professional to deal with large holes or cracks. Gutters are designed to last decades, but they will need to be replaced eventually, even if they don’t suffer unnatural wear or damage. This is where you will want to ask a professional roofing and gutter contractor like Aerotech of Maryland to inspect the property and recommend a replacement system.

Finally, you should consider having your roof professionally inspected, cleaned and treated every 3 to 5 years. Following an inspection, a roofing expert will provide you with a detailed report outlining any issues they find. This report is a valuable source of information for property valuation and insurance claims.

A professional roofing contractor can then create a customized inspection and maintenance program tailored specifically to your house’s needs. They may also offer cleaning and treatment services along with inspections. While you can probably inspect the roof yourself, it is best to hire a professional roofer, not only for safety reasons but to ensure the job is done right and avoid costly mistakes that can damage the value of your home in the future.

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