Roof-Spring-Cleanup-300x225Each spring, it’s smart to check for any havoc wreaked on your roof by our long, and often harsh, Steamboat winters. Although employing a roofing contractor is always the safest bet to ensuring an accurate inspection, the following recommendations can also be conducted on your own.

Gutter Cleaning
The purpose of a gutter is to prevent moisture buildup from damaging the structural integrity of your home by trapping water from the roof.

Properly functioning gutters are essential to upholding a roof’s vitality as well as preventing water damage to your siding. Therefore, it’s important to clean out any debris in your gutters every spring, as well as fall. After the large debris is removed, use a hose, power sprayer or water bucket to clean out any remaining dirt in your gutter. Also make sure to trim any nearby trees with branches hanging over the roof.

Shingles
After cleaning the gutters, the next step is to check the shingle quality of your roofing. Using a properly secure ladder to access the roof, check shingles for missing pieces and curling. Curled or damaged shingles might be an indication your roof is having problems holding up to wind damage, or that it has reached the end of its shelf life. A spot replacement might only be needed, if the damage is limited to a specific area of the roof. In either scenario, it’s best to consult with a roofing professional for a clearer picture on the extent of the damage.

Heavy grain loss is another sign indicating the need for shingle replacement. The grains on a roofing shingle provide it with protection from the sun. Overtime, these granules will wear off, making shingles vulnerable to brittleness and cracking from heat and exposure.

Also make sure to remove any moss or mold build-up on your shingles. Avoid doing this with a pressure washer, or you might end up removing the protective layer of your shingles. Instead, use a special moss removal solution on the shingles and then proceed to remove moss and mold with a long-handled broom.

Odds and Ends
When conducting spring housekeeping on your roof, make sure to also do the following:

• Tighten the bolts on metal roofs.

• Repair or replace flashing that is loose or damaged. Flashing are strips of metal placed around objects such as pipes and chimneys that prevent water from entering seams or joints. Any gaps between flashing and the roof should be sealed with roof cement.

• Remove any animal nests found in the vents of columns along the edges of the roofs. These vents are often a popular burrowing location for animals during the winter.

The condition of your roof can have a substantial impact on your entire home. While there’s no escape from having to eventually replace your roof, conducting quality control checks each spring will help prolong its longevity and prevent minor damage from turning into bigger problems.