Spring showers are falling from the skies, and May flowers are just around the corner. Though spring may make you feel like lounging on the patio or traipsing through the park, it's worth your while to take an afternoon (or two) and focus on your roof. This vital structure protects your home from the elements, and now is the perfect season to make sure it's still in good shape. Tackle these five roofing inspection and maintenance tasks, and then you can get back to your springtime relaxation.
Clear the gutters.
Hopefully you cleaned your gutters in the fall when all of the leaves were tumbling from the trees. Even if you did, there may be more leaves and debris that got caught in the gutters as melting show carried it down the roof in the winter. You need your gutters to be in tip-top shape for all of the spring rain. Otherwise, water will accumulate on the roof and lead to leaks.
As long as you're confident climbing on a ladder, you're capable of cleaning your gutters. Just put on a pair of rubber gloves, and use your hands to pull any debris out of them. Use a hose to run some clear water through them when you're done; this rinses away any lingering small debris.
Look for peeling shingles.
In the winter months, water sometimes accumulates on the edge of the roof and then freezes. As ice, it can pry up the ends of shingles. So while you're cleaning your gutters, keep an eye out for shingles with peeling edges or corners. As long as they're still in decent shape, you can tack them back down yourself by pounding a roofing nail through the peeling edge. Then, smear some roofing cement on the nail head so it does not leak.
If the shingles are in sch bad shape that they're starting to crumble or about to fall off completely, let your roofing company take care of them. Chances are, they need to replace the shingles entirely.
Examine the flashing.
Flashing is the metal fascia that's used to join chimneys and other projections to the roof. There may also be flashing along any valleys where two sections of roofing come together. Take a look at yours this spring and make sure it's not rusting, peeling, or coming unwelded. Deteriorating flashing can easily cause a leak, which in turn can cause your roof underlayment (the wooden structure under your shingles) to rot prematurely. So if your flashing does not appear to be in great shape, contact your roofing company to come replace it.
Clear any leaves.
At this point, any leaves that you see on your roof have probably been there for months. Chances are, they are starting to rot, and this rot will cause the shingles to break down, too. Take a long-handled broom and sweep these leaves off of the roof. Make sure you remove them from the roof completely so they don't end up clogging the gutters.
Trim your trees.
This might not sound like a roofing task at first, but it is done for the protection of your roof. Even if the tree is not directly overhanging your roof, any loose branches may blow onto the roof in a high wind, causing serious damage. Spring is the best time of year to trim many species of trees; the earlier in the spring you trim them, the better. Make sure you (or your tree care expert) pay the most attention to branches that are old, dying, diseases, or too heavy.
If you work swiftly, you should be able to complete this checklist within a day. Talk to local roofing companies like Drey Roofing if you notice anything amiss with your roof during the process.