The roof provides a crucial barrier between your home’s living environment and the elements outside. It also protects the beams, rafters, and walls of the house.
A little bit of preventive roofing maintenance can keep minor problems from becoming costly repair bills down the road. Here are some tips at Roofing Columbus GA to help you maintain your roofing system:
While it may seem like a simple task, gutter cleaning is one of the most important roof maintenance items. Regularly clearing the gutters ensures that water can flow properly off the roof and away from the home. This prevents water from pooling in the gutter, which can lead to a variety of issues.
Standing water can seep under the fascia and shingle and cause wood rot, damaging your home’s structure. In addition, clogged gutters force rainwater to spill over the sides of the gutters and down the walls, which can damage the siding over time.
Keeping the gutters clean can also help to prevent pests and rodents from nesting in them, and it can make your house look much nicer. To clean the gutters, first remove any large debris from the inside. Then, use a hose to flush out the remaining dirt and debris. You can also purchase a flexible rod with a brush on the end, which is used for cleaning dryer vents, to clear out the gutter. This method can be dangerous, so be sure to wear eye and ear protection and a face mask.
A ladder is needed for cleaning the gutters, so be sure it is in good condition and that you have a spotter to hold the bottom of the ladder. It is also recommended that you use a ladder stabilizer, which adds stability and helps to prevent the ladder from tipping over.
If you are not comfortable working on a ladder or do not have the necessary equipment, hiring a roofing company for this task is highly recommended. A professional will be able to safely clean your gutters and can even inspect the roof while they are at it.
It is also recommended that you have a roofing contractor install gutter guards. These are metal mesh coverings that sit in the gutter and catch larger debris (leaves, twigs, etc). These can be very effective for preventing clogged gutters. However, it is essential to regularly check and maintain the guards for any holes or cracks. If you find any, the roofing company will be able to repair them before they cause further problems.
Inspect the Flashing
Flashing is the metal that connects the roof to your house at all of the seams, including where the roof meets walls, dormers, chimneys, etc. It prevents rainwater from seeping under shingles and into your home. It is typically made of aluminum and is one of the most important parts of a residential roof system.
Experienced inspectors and builders will tell you that most leaky roofs can be traced back to old or damaged flashing. It’s a very important element of a roofing system that requires inspection and regular maintenance to prevent leaks.
A professional roofing contractor will check all of the flashing on your roof. They will look for flashing that is corroded, missing, or poorly installed. They will also check that there are no gaps or open seams. They will also inspect the chimney flashing for rust, cracks, or other problems.
Chimney flashing is very important because it prevents water infiltration around the chimney. This can cause serious rot and structural damage to your home.
In addition, your contractor will inspect the counter flashing, which is the metal that sits against wall surfaces and keeps rainwater from entering through these areas. There are a few different types of counter flashing, including pan, valley, and kick out flashing. Your inspector will make sure that the proper type of counter flashing is in place and correctly sized to avoid water intrusion.
It is also important to check the flashing where two parts of your roof intersect, such as the chimney, skylights, and vents. Many leaks are caused by incorrect flashing installation, which can lead to rot and moisture infiltration into your home.
To test the flashing for leaks, you can send someone up into your attic with a hose to spray down over any spots that may be leaking. If they can see any water infiltration through the shingle, then the flashing is the problem and should be repaired. During this time, it is a good idea to also check the caulking for wear. If the caulking is deteriorating, then you should remove it and replace it with new caulking.
Trim Tree Branches
Trees are a lovely addition to any landscape, but they can pose a problem when their branches reach the roofline and start rubbing against the surface. Whether this happens from normal growth or due to damage during a storm, this is a situation that requires prompt attention. Left unattended, these overhanging branches can cause significant damage, including to the roof itself and other parts of the home. Trimming these limbs is an important maintenance task that should be completed at least once a year.
However, since this is a dangerous job and requires climbing up on a ladder, it’s generally best to hire an expert to handle the pruning work. A professional will be able to do the job quickly and safely without causing any damage to your home or the tree itself.
When trimming a tree branch, you need to be careful to cut just outside the collar (the swelled-up area underneath the branch where it joins the trunk or a thicker branch). If you make your cuts too close to this area, the branch may fall, which could damage the roof and the rest of the home.
It’s also important to remove any damaged or dead limbs from the tree. These can serve as an invitation for pests and other harmful organisms to enter your home and impede the ability of the living branches to grow properly. Additionally, broken or weakened tree branches are more likely to fall during a storm, which poses a major safety risk.
If a damaged or dying limb falls on your roof, it should be removed immediately to limit the damage and prevent it from spreading. Depending on how much damage is caused, it might be best to evacuate the home and call a professional to assess and perform any necessary repairs.
It’s not uncommon for a tree to have multiple branches that extend over or touch your roofline. While some of these can be trimmed to prevent them from reaching the roof, other branches may need to be removed entirely to prevent a potential future disaster.
Inspect the Roof
A roof inspection is an important part of preventive maintenance. A thorough inspection may reveal damage that isn’t obvious from the ground or a quick walk around the house. It’s also a good time to check the gutters and downspouts for any blockages. If water can’t flow off of the roof, it will be forced into soffits and interior walls, which can cause serious problems.
Whether or not you’re a homeowner, it is possible to perform a basic visual inspection of your roof from the safety of your ladder. A little bit of common sense and a pair of binoculars can go a long way to spot the most obvious signs of damage or missing shingles. Start from the ground and work your way up to the peak of the roof, taking note of anything you find.
If you’re able to safely climb a ladder, it is also helpful to inspect the areas where the roof meets other features of your home such as vent pipes and chimneys. Look for any cracks or rust spots in the flashing or at the base of any pipes. It’s a good idea to clean these areas regularly, especially if they are located near drains and gutters, as debris can easily get caught in those spaces.
It is not recommended that you step onto the actual roof unless you have experience and the proper safety equipment, which can be dangerous. If you must go on the roof, be sure to use a sturdy ladder and avoid walking directly on the shingles, as this can damage them and lead to leaks.
A professional roofing inspector will have the proper safety equipment and know how to perform a full, visual inspection of your roof. Some inspectors even use thermal imaging to identify problem areas that aren’t always apparent with just a visual assessment. This technology works by allowing the inspector to see the difference between hot and cold areas of the roof. The hotter areas are often indicative of moisture buildup, and the colder areas can indicate areas where air is escaping the home.