Some roof repairs are unavoidable. For example, there's little you can do to stop shingles from being damaged in a bad windstorm. Many repairs, however, can be prevented with some simple, routine maintenance. Here's what you can do for your roof during each season to help reduce how often the roof will need to be repaired.
During Fall: Clean Out Gutters and Valleys
During fall, leaves and sticks can collect in gutters and valleys. (The Roofing Professionals Westside explain that a valley is the V-shaped channel that runs along the folds of a roof. They're where sections of roof that face different directions come together and create a crevice.)
These leaves should be removed because they're unsightly and detract from your home's appearance. They also should be removed because they can cause rainwater, or snow in the winter, to build up. If your roof and gutters can't drain, water may collect and find its way under your roof. Once it gets under your roof, it can cause the wood below the shingles to rot and create leaks.
Thankfully, cleaning out your roof's gutters and valleys is straightforward. To get leaves and branches out of the gutters, put on a pair of gloves, and climb up a ladder to the gutters. Scoop the leaves and branches out. To reach leaves and branches in the valley of a roof, you can use a broom that will sweep the debris away while letting you remain on your ladder.
During Winter: Clear Off Snow and Ice
During winter, snow and ice may build up on your roof, especially if you live in the Northern United States. If the snow and ice aren't cleared off, their weight can damage your roof.
You should never get on a roof during winter because the risk of falling is too great. Instead, use a roof rake, ice-melting pellets, or heat coils to melt snow and ice off of your roof. All of these items are available at most hardware stores.
During Spring: Check Your Roof for Leaks
If your roof has sustained damage during winter, it will likely leak when rain comes in the spring. Keep an eye out for any leaks, checking periodically in your attic to make sure no water is seeping down the ceiling.
If you notice a leak, immediately call a roofing contractor. A contractor will be able to assess the damage and recommend a fix for the leak.
During Summer: Watch for Damaged Shingles
In summer, keep an eye on your roof anytime there's a major storm. Winds during thunderstorms can rip up shingles, and tornados have even more powerful winds. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, you'll want to check your roof after each hail storm to see whether the hailstones have punctured or dented your roof's shingles.
Most of the time, it's easy to see wind and hail damage from the ground. You may have to walk to the other side of the road to see your entire roof, but you should be able to whether your shingles look normal, ripped up, or punctured. If you can't tell, try using a camera with a strong zoom to take a picture of the shingles that you can inspect.
If your shingles are damaged, you'll need to call a roofing contractor that can repair them. It may be tempting to delay any repair, especially if it doesn't rain often in your part of the country during the summer. Delays can lead to more damage, though, as broken shingles are susceptible to more damage during windstorms and hailstorms. Calling a roofing contractor quickly will ensure your roof is repaired as soon as possible.
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