Roof maintenance should be added to your Spring cleaning checklist every year. Throughout the colder season, your roof kept you protected from elements like snow and freezing rain. Snow and ice, both fresh and melting, put stress on your roof and gutter systems. It’s imperative that you perform roof maintenance, or schedule an expert to assist you with doing so, to avoid any roof leaks or other roofing issues throughout the Spring season. The experts here at Signature Exteriors have put together a few tips and tricks to help you.
How Does Winter Affect My Roof?
Winter poses a serious concern for roofing systems of all ages. Although Charlotte, NC typically experiences mild winters compared to other parts of the US, the harsh weather can still affect your roof in serious ways. Below are the most common forms of roof damage that can occur during the season.
Snow and Ice Damage
Although Charlotte may not get as much snow as other areas, even a few inches has the potential to cause problems. As snow and ice melt from your roof, there is a risk that the water can seep underneath shingles, or into cracks and small holes, and give you a roof leak. For the future, be sure to keep your gutters clean throughout the winter too! Gutters are vital to the proper drainage of your roofing system – if they’re clogged, it greatly increases your chance of a roof leak as the melting snow and water can back up underneath the shingles.
Snow is especially risky for flat or low-sloped roofing because the snow can’t fall off as easily. If you have a low-sloped, flat, or commercial roof we highly recommend scheduling a local roofing contractor to assist with your roof inspection.
Wind damage during the winter isn’t uncommon. Old shingles, loose shingles, or even improperly installed new shingles can be blown off during winter storms. Additionally, freezing rain like hail or sleet can weaken and damage the shingles.
Ice dams are created when the snow and ice from your roof accumulate and begin to melt, but re-freeze along the edges and eaves of a roof. These ice dams then keep any additional water from properly running off your roof which causes water to back up underneath the shingles. The ice dams themselves also pose a concern for your eaves, flashing, and gutter system. Due to their weight, ice dams have the potential to tear these items right off of your roof.
Charlotte, NC does not typically experience extreme winters but that doesn’t mean our roofs aren’t susceptible to the damage that winter weather conditions can cause. As Winter comes to an end, it’s important to perform quick maintenance to avoid larger problems during the Spring.
Take a look at our other article that talks about the 5 most common signs your roof needs replacing:
Roofing Maintenance Tips for Spring 2019
Although most homeowners don’t include roof inspections as a part of their yearly Spring cleaning, the roofing experts here at Signature Exteriors urge you to change your mind. Winter is tough on your roof and there is no harm in performing a quick inspection or hiring a professional to do so. Not only will Spring roof maintenance make your home look better, but it will also help to extend the life of your roof.
Winter storms can leave debris on your roof such as tree limbs, leaves, and pine needles. These items can knock the protective granules off of your shingles and clog your gutters. The buildup of these items can result in damming where water is forced back up your roof and underneath your shingles. If your house is underneath large trees, we recommend installing gutter guards onto your home to help reduce any clogs.
Moss and Algae
Moss and Algae are commonly seen on older roofs that don’t receive a lot of sunlight, which allows moisture to sit and become the perfect growing space for those spores. If your house is positioned underneath a lot of trees, see if you can cut those limbs back to allow more sunlight onto your roofing system. Make sure that debris are cleared and your gutters are clean to prevent extra moisture from collecting around your roof.
There are treatments available, composed of chlorine bleach, that you can spray onto your roof to help address the moss and algae, but be aware that the runoff may impact your surrounding shrubbery. There are also a few algae-resistant shingles on the market (we recommend GAF) that have special granules that inhibit algae growth. Another option is to install a zinc or copper strip to the ridgeline of your roof. As rain washes across these strips and down your roofing system, it creates an environment where moss cannot grow.
Note: Do NOT pressure wash your roof. This can cause shingle granule loss and, likely, premature failure of your roofing system.
Heavy snow and ice commonly result in damaged or loosened gutters. As part of your Spring cleaning, clean your gutters and check to make sure that water can flow easily through them. Fix any loose nails that prevent your gutters from sitting tightly along the roof line.
Missing Shingles and Flashing
Scheduling a complete inspection by your local roofing contractor can help you uncover any issues with missing shingles or flashing around your chimneys, vents, or other bends in the roof.
We hope this roofing maintenance guide helps you as you start your Spring cleaning for 2019. Your roof is one of, if not the most, important pieces of your home. Add roofing maintenance to your yearly Spring cleaning checklist and it will help your roof stand strong through the next Winter – and, hopefully, for many more years to come!