The arrival of spring is always welcome news for homeowners, especially after an icy, cold winter season filled with too much snow. But along with some needed sunshine and mild temperatures, the arrival of spring also provides an opportunity for homeowners to take care of maintenance issues and make sure that the outer structure of their home is in good condition and ready to continue keeping the home safe and weather-tight. Since the roof is on the front-lines of any battle with winter weather, homeowners who want to help prolong its lifespan and keep it free of leaks or other issues should start a spring-time tradition of taking these actions to protect it.
Clear away debris from the previous fall and winter
Harsh winter winds frequently dislodge twigs, branches, and leaves, often depositing them along seams in a home's roof. When this material is allowed to remain on the roof after the winter is past, it will begin to break down, or compost, forming heat as the materials decay. This composting action can allow seeds, moss, and algae to grow in the organic matter collected on the roof, making it possible for the growing root systems to burrow under and between roofing shingles or other materials, as well as other damage to occur. If not cleared away, damage to the roof can occur and cause the roof to leak or age prematurely. To prevent this from happening, homeowners should use either gentle water pressure, a soft broom, or air to remove these materials each spring.
Inspect the roofing material for damage from wind, ice, or snow load
Once the roof has been cleared of any accumulated debris, the next step is to examine it for any damage that could shorten its lifespan. When doing this, be alert for:
- cracked, buckled, or missing shingles
- shingles that have lost most or all of their abrasive coating
- loose shingles or metal where roofing nails or screws have worked loose or gone missing
- areas of the roof's surface that sag or appear depressed, indicating a problem with the sheathing or roof support structure
- missing or damaged guttering, downspouts, soffit, or trim
If any damage or repair issues are noted, it is important to make sure they are repaired promptly so that the roof will be able to withstand the stress of heavy spring rains and the coming heat from direct summer sunshine.
Clean gutters to ensure that precipitation is able to drain away from the home
Guttering that is clogged with dirt or debris will not be able to properly channel precipitation from the roof, through all the guttering, and into the downspouts to be carried safely away from the home. Since allowing water to pool around the exterior of the home can damage the foundation and cause it to leak, adding this step to your spring roof cleaning task list is a good plan.
Check sealant around pipes, vents, and flashed areas
In addition to damaging the materials that make up the roof, freezing and thawing action can also prematurely age the sealant used around pipes, vents, and flashed areas to prevent them from leaking. When this type of aging occurs, some types of sealant may shrink or pull away, allowing moisture to penetrate the surface and soak through into the sheathing or attic below. Homeowners who take time each spring to check these areas and replace the sealant as needed will be better able to prevent leaks and water damage to their home.
For more spring care tips for your roof, or to schedule a professional inspection or repair, contact reputable roofing services in your area. These professionals have the tools, equipment, and knowledge to safely examine and repair or replace even the steepest roof so that your home is safe and free from leaks, no matter what next winter brings.