As we begin to look towards dry, warmer weather, it’s almost time to start planning your annual spring cleaning and home maintenance routine. Since your roof is one of the most important components of your home, it’s a good idea to make sure it receives some attention during your annual process.
It’s easy to forget about your roof unless there is a serious problem, but regular care, maintenance, and cleaning are the best ways to ensure your roof reaches its maximum lifespan. Failing to clean and maintain your roof may ultimately lead to a premature roof replacement or damage to your home. In Central Florida, it’s especially important to make sure you clean, inspect, and repair your roof well before stormy weather or hurricane season is in full swing.
As you kick off your spring cleaning and home maintenance regime this year, make sure your roof is at the top of your list. Below are some tips to help you get started:
1. Start With Your Gutters
One of the most important roofing-related cleaning tasks you can do is a thorough cleaning of your gutters. Even if you cleaned them in the fall, it’s still a good idea to do so again in the spring. Dead leaves, branches, twigs, debris, insects can build-up in your gutters over time and lead to serious problems. When your gutters are clogged, water isn’t properly dispersed, which can cause it to pool around your house. Gutters that remain clogged over a long period of time can lead to mold growth, sagging, a damp basement, and even damage to the foundation.
Not only is good gutter maintenance essential for protecting your yard and property, your gutters can also serve as a sign of your roof’s overall condition. If you notice granules in your gutters, it could be a sign that your shingles are damaged or eroding.
To clean your gutters, you’ll need a ladder, rubber gloves, gutter tools, a power washer, and safety glasses in order to clear out the debris. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing on a ladder, you can always hire a local contractor to take care of your gutters for you. After cleaning your gutters, use a garden trowel to remove any debris from your downspouts. Then be sure to give your whole system a good rinse.
2. Trim Your Tree Branches
Did you know tree branches are actually one of the leading causes of roofing damage? When a windy thunderstorm rolls through, debris from trees can easily be blown onto your roof, which can lead to dents, punctures, and other problems. In order to protect your roof, tree trimming should be part of your annual spring cleaning plan. If there are any tree branches directly positioned over your roof, make sure to have them removed or trimmed back as soon as possible.
3. Check For Unwanted Plant Growth
When left untreated, unwanted plant growth can cause major issues that can damage the structural integrity of your roofing system. Regular maintenance is the key to preventing dangerous plant growth, so you can catch it early before there is any serious damage. Below are some common examples of dangerous plants that can grow on and around your roof:
- Moss – Moss is easy to spot because it is a lighter shade of green and has a fuzzy texture. As moss spreads, it carries a significant amount of moisture which can ultimately cause your shingles to rot.
- Algae – If you notice darker spots on your roof, it may be a sign of algae. Algae grows in areas where there is a significant amount of moisture, so algae growth can be a real problem for Central Florida roofs. Because it requires moisture to grow, you may find algae in your gutters before you spot it on your roof.
- Mold – More dangerous and harder to spot, mold typically grows on wood or drywall surfaces. Mold can grow on your sheathing or in your attic if a roofing leak is left untreated for a long period of time. You can identify mold by its dark, slimy appearance and terrible smell.
- Mildew – Similar to mold, mildew has a slimy look, but it’s usually lighter gray or pink in color. Mildew grows in warm, wet environments and is commonly found on roofs with inadequate drainage and ventilation.
To check for moss or algae, you can walk around your yard and visibly inspect your roof from the ground. If you feel comfortable on a ladder, climb-up to get a closer look (though we don’t recommend actually climbing on to your roof). Mold and mildew may be harder to find, so it’s best to have a professional take a look during an annual inspection.
4. Check For Shingle Damage
Florida weather can be harsh on roofing materials, especially asphalt shingles. During your annual roofing inspection, make sure to visibly inspect your roofing materials, either from a ladder or the ground. Check to see if any shingles are bent, buckled, curling, or missing. If you notice large sections of damaged shingles, you’ll want to call a roofer right away. Damaged shingles that are left untreated can lead to mold growth or damage to your sheathing or attic.
5. Check The Attic
After inspecting your roof and cleaning your gutters, make it a point to check out the overall condition of your attic. Look for any obvious signs of water stains on the walls and ceiling or even puddles on the floor. Also check carefully for signs of mold or mildew and examine your flashing for signs of deterioration. Also take note of the air quality in your attic – if it’s too hot or humid, you may have ventilation problems that could ultimately damage your roof. Signs of light coming through the top of your attic are also obvious signs that roofing repairs are needed.
6. Schedule An Annual Inspection
Many roofing problems can easily go undetected, which is why it’s important to have your roof inspected annually by a professional contractor. When it comes to roofing, small issues can turn into expensive problems, so it’s always best to try to catch them early. Making a regular roofing inspection part of your spring home maintenance routine is the best way to maximize the longevity of your roof.
If you’re looking for a roofing contractor in the Central Florida area to help maintain your roofing system, contact us at Native Building Services & Roofing LLC today. Our team of residential and commercial roofing experts would be more than happy to help with your roofing project.