Your roof is akin to the bottom of your shoes, in the sense that you don't really think about it unless a hole forms. Unfortunately, any season of the year can tear into your roof, either gradually or all at once, leaving a hole and/or other damage that will call for emergency repair. Protect your roof from whatever Mother Nature doles out with a call to the roofing professionals who know how to handle her every move.
The Woes of Winter
Heavy snow and ice can cause your roof to buckle or even give way completely in weaker spots. The expansion-contraction cycle is too much for an old or otherwise compromised roof to handle, and when you add the weight of snow, you could be in for a real doozy of a repair bill, unless you're prepared for winter. Your entire house, in fact, should be analyzed and altered as needed in preparation for this harshest of seasons by doing the following:
- Air seal your attic to keep heat in the home itself and to avoid uneven melting on the roof, which leads to dangerous ice dams.
- Insulate pipes and weather strip your windows and doors.
- Give your heating system a health checkup.
- Ensure your gutters are secured tightly and that nothing is blocking their flow.
- Add snow guards to control snow and ice if your roof is metal.
Since winter is usually the roughest time of the year for the top of your house, it's the prime time for inspection and repair. Besides protecting your home and all its contents, you're going to keep your family more comfortable with an effective and intact roof.
A Scourge of Spring
Although summer usually produces the most rain for much of the country, spring is the time when all that winter snow melts, and it's not the time of year to spring a leak. This is the time when your gutters must perform at peak, even though they've likely been battered by freezing temperatures. At the first sign of thawing, check out your gutters, watching for warping, breakage, and any accumulation of debris below them. See that the flow, from top to bottom, is unimpeded, and call for a repair if it's not.
This is also the time to check your roof and attic for the telltale signs that any animals sought safe harbor from the cold in your home. If so, they may have damaged important structures on the way in, which will now be in need of repair.
Watch for algae growth, too, as spring heats up, especially on the north side of your home. Algae can be professionally removed to stop it in its tracks before too much damage ensues; however, if left to grow, it may actually eat a hole right through the material it's on, making this spring cleaning task a high priority for homeowners. Roof algae is often Gloeocapsa magma, a nasty and destructive force you shouldn't let get out of hand.
The Sabotage of Summer
Summer heat can ravage shingles, but that's nothing compared to the storms that batter and tear them apart. Before this time of year hits your home, check on your insurance policy to make sure you're completely covered, then either have a pro inspect the roof, or if you're able to do so, get up there yourself, carefully looking out for problematic signs such as the following:
- Any imperfection in the shingle profile.
- Rusted, cracked, or worn-out hardware, such as pipes, flashing, and even the nails that hold the shingles down.
- Indoor indications, like brown spots on the ceilings or mold growth, accompanied by a musty odor.
If it's not practical for you to climb up on the top of your house, use a pair of binoculars to get a closer look. Even if your roof looks good, you may need tie-downs for further security, especially if you're in an area prone to storms that pack a high-wind punch. Also, don't forget to trim (or have someone else trim) the trees around your house, so they won't smash into it during serious storms.
The Follies of Fall
With the autumn winds come falling leaves, which may look pretty but can be very damaging to your roof. A bed of leaves harbors moisture underneath, and for tiles and shingles that may mean rotting, leaving you with a hole or two just in time for winter. Once most of the leaves have departed their branches, give your roofer a call. They'll clear your rooftop, in addition to taking care of other needs that may arise this time of year.
Fortunately, when you have your roof cleared of leaves, you can also have the roofer take care of other maintenance issues, along with prepping the roof for the winter season. Autumn offers the most comfortable temperatures for a roofer to take care of business, and by then, the stormy season has usually passed.
Although Mother Nature bears many beautiful sights to behold, when she visits your roof, be it winter, spring, summer, or fall, you could be in trouble. Don't wait for that hole to appear, when you can preemptively protect your roof with professional oversight and intervention. As annoying as a hole in your shoe might be, one in your roof is far more costly and damaging. Contact a residential roofing service today for more information.