The hottest months of the year are on the way. With the heat you can also expect high winds, and heavy rain that can potentially damage your roof. As the heat continues to rise, there are a few things you can do to prepare your home for the rest of this season. Make sure you stay on top of your roof maintenance with these top 7 summer roof maintenance tips.
Check for mold, moss, and algae.
Unfortunately, summer can bring rain and humidity – two conditions that encourage algae growth. Over time, algae can eat away your shingles and lead to roof decay. Algae can be found not only on roofs but also gutters due to the water buildup. Algae is especially evident during the summer months and can damage your roof and gutters if not appropriately addressed.
Over time, moss left on roofs can cause shingles to curl and crack. Heavy moss can block water, create buildup under the shingles, and eventually damage the roof deck. If you see moss or algae on your roof, remove it ASAP to prevent these problems. Mold damage can happen fast, so it’s essential to check your roof often.
Check your attic
Did you know your attic can heat up to 150 degrees during the summer? Your roof absorbs a lot of heat from the sun’s rays during the day, and it radiates into your attic air. A poorly ventilated attic with heat buildup can shorten the lifespan of your roof. The heat can cause your shingles to crack and curl, resulting in roof leaks. This is why attic insulation is critical in keeping the heat and moisture out during the summer.
It’s also important to look for any signs of moisture and mold in the rafters and attic during your summer roof maintenance since it can point to water leakage from your roof.
Here are some signs of roof mold damage you can see from your attic:
- If you discover watermarks along the ceiling or walls of your attic, your roof may have a hole.
- If your attic smells musty and you spot mildew across your ceiling, you have a roof leak.
- Discolored rafters mean the wood has absorbed the water from a leak above on your roof.
Replace missing shingles
Replacing shingles may seem like a simple job, but placing new shingles over old ones or using the wrong nails can lead to further damage. The wrong shingle could fade, crack, or even grow algae! For example, while inspecting a roof, walking on damaged shingles could cause more damage and lead to roof leaks in the future. Even small patchwork repairs may impact the overall health and safety of your roof. It’s because of these problems that many homeowners hire professionals to inspect and replace missing shingles.
It’s critical that you regularly trim trees that hang over your roof to prevent them from breaking after a storm. Even if the tree seems strong and healthy, the harsh summer storms can cause it to break and land on your roof. Low-hanging branches can easily scrape your shingles and strip layers of asphalt. The fallen leaves and twigs from these branches can also clog your gutters. Be extra diligent with trimming overhanging branches if you have a cedar shake roof since they are prone to moisture buildup and need to breathe.
Remove any debris
Clean up any debris on your roof that has collected over the summer. That includes twigs and branches that can poke holes and cause roof leaks. Did you know that a clean roof without debris can adequately reflect the sun’s rays and keep your home from overheating in the summer?
If you plan on removing debris from your roof on your own, safety should be your top priority. Make sure to wear slip-resistant shoes and consider using a leaf blower to clear parts of the roof that you cannot reach. And remember, never power wash your roof! Power washing can lift shingles and expose your roof to further damage by winds.
Clean up & replace loose gutters
Spending your afternoon cleaning out your gutters is not an activity most homeowners typically look forward to, but it’s critical in preventing severe damage to your house.
It’s important to clean your gutters regularly in the summer since many things can clog up your gutters and drains, including leaves, dirt, birds’ nests, and more. If you see insects crawling around in your gutters, there is a chance they are clogged. Animals like mice and squirrels use the debris in clogged gutters to make their nests.
If your gutters are clogged, water will accumulate on your roof and sit underneath your shingles – a perfect breeding ground for mold and decay. It’s a good idea to check on your gutters after a severe storm since debris might have found its way into your gutters.
Have you noticed your gutters sagging? If the gutters have not been cleaned for a long time, the debris can collect and eventually cause your gutter to bend and sag. They may even begin to pull away from your house. Lastly, check to see if any granules are in your downspouts. If you see large amounts, it is more likely that you have shingle damage.