Many homeowners think they’re off the hook for worrying about roofing issues this time of year. After all, aren’t repairs and inspections typically done during the spring? Not exactly.
With the severe weather Alabamians have experienced this hurricane season, it’s a critical time to have the roof of your home inspected and make any repairs or replacements before the cold season arrives.
Why is it important to think about my roof right now?
It is true that many contractors recommend roof maintenance in the spring. After all, strong winds and storms are bound to pop up from time to time. Our state also experiences its fair share of tornadoes and straight-line winds throughout the year.
In 2020, however, we’ve had an incredibly active hurricane season (traditionally lasting from May 15 through November 30). Storms such as Zeta have left a mark on many homes – and their roofs – this year.
Now that temperatures are mild enough, and not too cold yet, it is recommended that homeowners take time to have their roofs fully inspected for damage, debris, or any other issues. When January and February roll around, you’ll be glad you did!
Here’s what you should consider when it comes to roof maintenance this fall and winter:
Clean your gutters.
Pine needles, leaves, moisture, debris – gutters get clogged this time of year, due to the typical weather patterns and its toll on area trees. Clogged gutters can ultimately lead to leaks in your roof if left unchecked.
In that sense, roof maintenance often begins with your gutters. Hire a professional to do a full cleaning and inspection to ensure all gutters are debris-free and working properly.
Cut away too-low limbs.
While cleaning gutters are important, you should also evaluate the trees and branches around your roof. Did any trees get damaged due to recent hurricanes or other storms? Are those limbs hanging a bit too low or touching your roof?
They must be cut down to ensure there’s no damage to your roof or shingles. When dealing with large trees or limbs, it’s always best to call a professional to ensure the removal of such is done properly from the start and that you don’t have any other issues later on.
Remove moisture-packed leaves and pine straw from your rooftop.
Just as you would for your gutters, leaves and debris should also be removed from your roof. Leaves, pine needles, and other debris can harbor moisture and damage your roof, so it is important to address as often as you can.
A roofing company or home services contractor can help!
Schedule a professional roof inspection.
While you’re evaluating your roof, you might realize that it’s been a while since you’ve had it inspected. Take this time to schedule an appointment to have a professional roofer come out.
Many times, professionals find things that you might initially overlook, which could lead to problems down the road. Professional roofers are also experienced at fielding questions about homeowners insurance in regards to what’s eligible for coverage and what typically isn’t.
Inspect for moss or algae.
Typically fall is a dry time for Alabama, but when rainy weather stays around for a while (as it tends to do), moisture fills the air. It can be the perfect environment for moss or algae to grow on rooftops.
Just as you would remove moistened leaves or pine straw from your roof and gutters, you should inspect for moss or algae to remove, as well. Moss or algae, as well as wettened leaves, can slowly deteriorate the integrity of the roof, causing leaks.
Take a look at the condition of your attic.
Perhaps you’ve recently been in the attic, getting out Christmas or seasonal decorations. Did you notice anything peculiar in the ceiling of your attic?
The underside of your roof, right in the top of your attic, can indicate if a leak or other problem is lurking below the surface of the roof. While your roofing inspector is checking the outside of the roof, allow them into your attic to ensure the underside of your roof is intact.
Remove debris from the exhaust or ventilation systems.
While cleaning your roof, it’s essential to make sure your exhaust and ventilation systems aren’t clogged with leaves or other debris.
Clogs here could potentially interfere with the heating and cooling elements inside your home. All of your home’s systems must work together to keep your family comfortable. Checking for debris stuck in outdoor exhaust pipes could benefit (and protect) other areas of your home.
An HVAC technician is experienced in cleaning out ventilation systems and can guide you with a thorough inspection.
Repair damage to your roof or have a new one installed
When making the rounds and inspecting your roof, you may decide it’s time to purchase a new one or make much-needed repairs. Your homeowner’s insurance should tell you what it will cover in terms of repairing or overall replacement.
You can also use this time to determine if you need to renew or buy a warranty for your roof or shingles. This may help prevent significant costs coming out of your pocket later on.
Roofing financing options are available.
If you determine that your roof needs a replacement, you may have some questions about how you plan to finance your new roof. You might also need help taking care of some of the preventative maintenance that’s good to do this time of year.
No matter which part of the state you live, click here to locate a roofing specialist near you. They can help with any questions you may have about springtime roof maintenance.
Just remember – a little roof prep today can mean the difference between a toasty-warm winter and a season of dealing with roof damage (or making it worse), leaks, and cold winter drafts.