After the harsh winter weather much of the northern United States has experienced, chances are great your roof may be in need of a good cleaning and inspection for any potential repairs. Here are some tips to help you get your roof ready for the upcoming spring, summer and any wet weather that may be on its way.
Clean Your Roof
Wear work gloves to protect your hands and shoes with rubber soles to give you good traction while you are on your roof. One slip or misstep while on your roof could send you falling down its slope and onto the ground below.
Before you can begin to make any roof repairs, it is important to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris left on your roof from winter. Debris left to sit on your roof will hold water onto your roofing materials and cause them to deteriorate. Pick up and toss over the side of your roof any branches and large pieces of debris so you can collect them when you are safely off your roof.
Next, with the use of a hose and a nozzle sprayer attachment, spray your roof clean from leaves and other small debris. Be careful to spray downward on your roof, so you don't spray directly under the crevices of the shingles, which can cause them to lift up, damaging them. Also do not use a pressure washer on your shingles, as the force of the spray can loosen shingles and even remove the granules from the surface of your shingles, causing them to be damaged.
After you have cleared off all debris from the roof you should be able to clearly see the condition of your roofing shingles. First, look for any shingles that may be lifted or loose. Winter winds can loosen shingles, and growing ice dams on the edge of your roof can work their way beneath the shingles, causing them to pull upward and become loose. If an edge of a shingle is loose, you can apply some roofing cement to the underside of the shingle and press it down onto the roofing deck to make an easy repair.
It is also important to replace any missing shingles on your roof. If left unreplaced, missing shingles will allow moisture to seep into your roofing deck, causing interior home leaks and moisture damage and rot to the roofing deck and your home's attic. If you don't have a stash of extra shingles left by the roofing company from the home's last shingle replacement, buy a new packet of shingles at a local home improvement store, matching the new to your existing shingles as best you can.
Cracked and broken shingles need to be replaced so they don't continue to break and expose your roofing materials to the elements. Use a pry bar and lift up the shingle immediately above the damaged shingle. Each shingle has approximately eight roofing nails attaching it onto your roof. Four of these nails are inserted through the top center of the broken shingle and the other four go through the broken shingle via the shingle above it. Be sure to carefully lift to remove all the nails without damaging any nearby shingles.
It can be helpful to complete this repair during warm weather or on a sunny day when the heat of the sun has softened the shingles. Otherwise, completing this project on a cold day will leave the shingles hard and brittle and likely to break when you bend and lift them.
Once your roof has been cleaned and repaired, make sure you follow the recommended protocol to inspect, clean, and repair your roof's gutters and downspouts. Completing this will ensure your roof and gutters help protect your home from any wet weather over the next few months. Talk to a company that specializes in roof repair, such as Stevens Roofing Corporation, for more information.