Your roof protects your house – but who protects your roof?
Roofs are, of course, designed to be self-protecting to a certain extent – clad in moisture and damage resistant shingles or tiles, angled just so to allow water to run into your eavestroughs, vulnerable points guarded by metal flashing. They are, to some extent, self-sustaining, but if you really want to get the most out of your roof, you need to take action to maintain it. These 5 tips will help:
#1: Perform a bi-annual inspection
You should inspect your roof a minimum of twice a year – once in the spring, and once in the fall. That’s to ensure that your roof isn’t damaged before winter, and to inspect for damage after winter.
This inspection doesn’t need to involve you getting up on the roof. You can inspect from the ground for:
- Missing or damaged shingles
- Loose or missing flashing
- Debris or growth on the roof
- Sagging spots
- Damaged gutters/eavestroughs
These on-the-ground inspections are certainly helpful, but you may miss details you’d be able to see if you were on the roof. We highly recommend calling us for a roof inspection every couple of years or after a violent storm, especially if you have an older roof. If you are going to get on the roof yourself, remember to keep safe.
Check your surroundings before climbing up, be sure to use flat, heavy-soled shoes, and test your ladder before climbing up. Never go up if your roof is slippery.
Seriously, don’t climb onto your roof if you can avoid it. Use binoculars and check around in your attic for potential damage. Your roof can be replaced – you can’t. Even home inspectors rarely climb on roofs.
#2 Keep an eye on gutters and trees
The things that surround your roof are as important to maintain as the roof itself if you want to keep your home safe. Clogged gutters can become too heavy and rip away from the roof, damaging it and your home’s siding – clean your gutters regularly.
Tree branches will often snap under the weight of snow in the winter – and if they’re dangling above your roof, the impact can cause serious damage. Trim your trees, and ask your neighbours to do the same (if necessary).
#3 Clean off debris and growth
An accumulation of debris or plant growth (like algae or moss) can compromise the integrity of your roof. Debris can often be washed off, but be very wary about using power washers – they can damage your roof. If you can’t clean it off with a hose or a long-bristled brush, call the pros!
Plant growth is often a sign of improper ventilation – a situation you’ll want to address, since it can cause other problems in your home.
#4 Prevent ice dams
In wintery cities like Calgary, ice dams are one of the biggest sources of damage to roofs. Your eavestroughs can become weighted down by the ice and rip away from your roof.
To prevent ice dams, you’ll want to clean your eavestroughs in the winter. You’ll also need to ensure your roof is well-insulated – a lack of insulation causes snow on the roof to melt and then freeze in your gutters.
#5 Stay alert!
If you hear a loud bang coming from your roof, check it out! When there’s a hailstorm, be sure to look for any damage afterward. When wind is blowing the branches off of trees, look for debris when things have calmed down. In other words, if something happens that could mean damage to your roof, be vigilant and inspect. If you find there’s damage, and you need Calgary roofing, give us a call.