Fall Roofing Maintenance

On the ladder, fixing the roof

NathanReed, Flickr.com

The crisp air, chilly breeze and falling leaves are all indications that winter is just around the corner and it’s time to prepare your roof for the upcoming snow and cold weather. Proper autumn roof maintenance will prevent winter damage, so plan ahead and don’t wait until it’s too late. It’s especially important if you live in a Midwestern city like Milwaukee where winters can be brutal. Your roof is particularly vulnerable because of the damage that can be caused by snow buildup, winds and freezing temperatures. If you don’t have the time or ability to examine your roof on your own contact a professional roofer. Roofers have both the experience needed to identify weaknesses in your roof, as well as the knowledge and ability to repair these issues.

Inspecting Your Roof

It’s important to examine your roof and see if anything looks wrong. You will probably be able to spot warping, shingle damage, or cracks. In addition, be sure to have a close look at your insulation and flashing. The next thing to examine is your roof’s gutters. Make sure they are properly secured and have nothing clogging or blocking them. In addition, make sure your attic vents are free of debris.

Cleaning Your Roof

Clean off and any leaves, branches, or debris that has accumulated on your roof. If you have a tree nearby or above your roof, it’s a good idea to trim away some of the branches. If this is difficult for you, consider hiring a landscaper. Clean out your gutters – there may be a blockage which can cause ice dams to form. This occurs when melting snow freezes and lodges itself under the shingles, which can cause damage to your roof.

If you don’t like the hassle of cleaning the gutters you can purchase a gutter guard to keep out leaves and debris. The guard is like thick netting which snaps on to your gutter, allowing water to enter, but keeps out leaves and other debris. If there is dirt, grime or other buildup in the gutter, use a hose to spray it away. As you do so, observe the flow of the water – it should flow freely and drain without getting slowed up. If not, your gutter needs additional cleaning.

It’s also important to make sure your roof is free of moss and algae. Not only does it look bad, but if left, moss can speed up the wear on your roof’s shingles. In freezing climates frost can damage the coating on the shingles and in all climates the moss can cause cracking and separation between shingles.

If you find issues that need attending to, have them repaired as soon as possible. Your roof is obviously one of the most important parts of your home, and neglecting it can be a serious error that may cost you thousands of dollars in the future. Be sure to conduct a thorough examination of your roof or hire a professional to conduct maintenance on your roof while it’s still fall so you don’t face serious issues during the winter.

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