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Winter, spring, summer and fall each come with unique challenges homeowners have to address. Through cold fronts and heat waves, rain, snow, sleet and hail, preserving your property can be challenging when it interferes with your finances and your time. By doing what you can to maintain your roof year-round, you can reduce the strain that roof repairs can put on your wallet, and your patience.
Fortunately, you have resources at your disposal to help manage inclement weather. Even if you’re fighting through a frigid, unforgiving January or you’re halfway through the humidity of July. Don’t give up.
We’ll detail a few simple strategies for keeping your roof in excellent condition throughout the year. As we walk through essential tasks for each season, you’ll see learning how to maintain your roof is relatively simple and straightforward, as long as you follow some of the suggestions below.
Winter weather damage is often expensive to fix, so it’s important to prepare your roof if a heavy snowstorm is looming in the forecast. Most preventive measures are easy to implement without professional help. If you have moderate DIY experience, you’ll find it isn’t difficult to handle many of these tasks yourself.
You should start with an inspection, surveying your roof for any missing shingles, poorly sealed flashing or loose vents. If you’re confident you can replace these shingles and attend to flashing on your own, you should! If there’s any risk involved with scaling your home, however, it’s best to delegate the work to a professional.
Moving forward, take time to clear your gutters and downspouts of any accumulated leaves and debris. An obstruction can send rainwater down your exterior walls, and in many cases, it’ll enter your interior walls. As a precaution, channel rainwater to pour three or four feet away from your home’s foundation.
- Replace shingles
- Seal flashing and vents
- Clear gutters
Spring is an opportunity to check your roof for any damage your roof might’ve sustained over the winter. Wind, snow or ice can cause previously unnoticed cracks or fractures in your shingles. Set aside an hour to evaluate your roof’s condition and make sure you’re not missing anything.
Through March, April and May, you’ll want to remain particularly cautious of leaks. Take the initiative in finding them, spraying water across your roof with your garden hose to simulate a passing shower — just make sure you don’t apply too much pressure. As you wet the shingles, look for any vulnerabilities.
Pay close attention to the ridges, the valleys and intersections where two planes of your roof meet. When water flows over these vulnerable areas, it can accumulate and cause leaks. You should also look for problems in your chimney, pipes or skylights — all prone to leaks as well.
- Check your roof for cracks and fractures
- Look for leaks
The heat and humidity of summer are hard on your roof. Pounding rain can prove disastrous if you haven’t made the necessary repairs. As you move into the warmer months, it’s vital to fix or replace any loose shingles and make sure everything is in its proper place. And that’s only the beginning.
Wet weather fosters mold and algae growth, eating away at your shingles little by little. If left unaddressed, this mold and algae eventually lead to rot, compromising your roof’s structural integrity. You don’t have to let it get to that point, however, and you can spray the buildup with a chemical solution.
You’ll also have to consider overhanging branches from trees in your yard, and whether the canopy has grown to an unsustainable size. Look for any large, heavy limbs with the potential to fall on your home. If you see one that’s even slightly risky, contact a company to have it removed and taken away.
- Replace loose shingles
- Get rid of mold and algae growth
- Trim trees
Though you should regularly clear your gutters, redouble your efforts when fall comes around. It’s best to set a schedule to avoid procrastination, because leaves from the shedding trees will build up quickly and overwhelm you if you’re not active. The alternative is water damage.
You’re also taking other risks if you don’t attend to your gutters: They can rip from your wall if the mass of leaves and detritus grows too heavy. If water can’t pass through, it’ll stagnate, attracting pests who use the standing pools to reproduce. In other words, gutter cleaning is a priority you can’t afford to ignore.
Otherwise, fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter, and you should get in touch with someone who can perform a professional inspection. While you might have a basic grasp on how to maintain your roof, it’s best to get help when you need it. In most situations, it’ll save you more money than it costs.
- Clear your gutters
- Schedule an inspection
How To Maintain Your Roof
Knowing how to maintain your roof in every season is a crucial part of homeownership. Through winter, spring, summer and fall, maintenance is your duty, and though it isn’t always easy — and it’s very rarely fun — you have a property to take care of.