Whether you live in Iowa or Indiana, you know it takes work to maintain a healthy and sturdy roof. Your roof is one of the most crucial systems in your home. It keeps you and your family safe and protected from outdoor conditions. Taking the time to properly maintain your roof can keep it in good condition and protect you from expensive repairs.
The function of your roof is to protect the structural integrity of your home, direct runoff water, and keep your home insulated. When your roof is in bad shape, it affects many other crucial home factors. It’s important to consider your roof as a system to understand the importance of each of its functions.
With the winter snows beginning to melt, homeowners will need to start making their outdoor maintenance lists for spring. Your roof maintenance should be at the top of your spring chores list. If your roof has been damaged over the winter, you will want to call the best roofing contractor Indiana or Iowa has to offer. Most capable homeowners can handle regular roof maintenance on their own. Let’s take a closer look at a few essential spring roof maintenance chores.
During a hard winter, your shingles will take a beating. Between frigid winds and ice buildup, your shingles can become damaged over the winter. Getting out and doing a full inspection as soon as the snow has melted off your roof is essential. Look for shingles that have been torn loose, have curled edges, or are missing altogether.
In most cases, individual shingle issues can be tackled by the homeowner. Ensuring that a new shingle is placed or a patch is attached to the damaged area is critical in preventing future leaks. Shingles that are damaged and not replaced can allow water to enter the under roofing and cause damage, including rot and mold.
Clean Your Gutters
One of the most dreaded yet necessary spring chores is cleaning the gutters. Your eaves trough system is one of the most crucial systems of your home. As your roof is designed to direct water off your roof, your gutters help that runoff be directed away from your home. A clogged gutter system can damage your roof, wall structure, and home foundation.
If possible, homeowners need to clean their gutters out every spring. Over the long winter and melt, your gutters can become clogged with leaves and debris. Using gloves, a ladder, and a scoop, you can clean out your gutters and keep your eaves system running smoothly.
If your roof was damaged during the winter, you must take documentation. Your insurance company will want to see proof of the damages. Take a few photos from different angles, ensuring that a date is visible on each photo. You can submit this proof of damage as part of your insurance claim.
Check for Mold
Mold can be devastating to your roof and home. In the spring, after the melt, you must inspect your roof, eaves, and over pinning for signs of moisture and mold. Any areas that have mold are especially dangerous to your roof. While it’s possible to wash and disinfect the areas of your roof where you find mold, it’s always best to consult a professional roofing contractor.
Remove All Debris
Once you get up on your roof in the spring, you must remove all visible debris. Over the long winter, it’s possible for tree branches and other debris to land on your roof. Removing this debris is crucial to keep your roof functioning properly. Debris on your roof contributes to leak development, so it is crucial that you clear off your entire roof.
Before climbing on your roof for your spring inspection, it’s important to consider safety. Climbing a ladder and walking up on a roof as high as twenty or more feet can be extremely dangerous without taking the right precautions. You should keep these safety tips in mind whenever you are up on a ladder or working on a roof.
- The surface of a roof can be slippery when standing. To ensure that you have the best foot grip on your roof, wear non-slip shoes. You should also wear a shoe or boot that gives you superior ankle support when working on an incline.
- The first thing you should do as you get on your roof is to blow off any debris. Loose leaves can be a slip hazard, and downed branches can result in dangerous trips.
Tie Off Harness
- If you are cleaning your gutters, you are likely working from your ladder. It is essential that you have a safety tie-off to prevent devastating falls. At the very least, you should have some sort of rope or cord attached to your body for safety. If you are working on the roof, you should have a full safety harness to keep you safe.
- When working on roofs and ladders, it’s preferable to work as a team. You must secure or tie off your ladder for added security if you work alone. Having a second person holding the ladder from the ground is always best.
Stay Off Edges
- When working on your roof, it’s best to stay away from the edges. If you need to move towards your eaves, you must lower your center of gravity or sit on the roof itself. You can then move slowly out to the edge with less risk of falling.
- Never head up to your roof when there is a poor weather forecast. If you are planning on conducting a roof inspection, it’s always best to wait for a clear day. Being on your roof during rain or high winds can be extremely dangerous.
3 Point Contact
- A general safety rule when using ladders or being on a roof is to always keep three points of contact. That means that your two hands and two feet, at a minimum combination of those three, should always be grounded.
- Never lean when using a ladder or walking on a roof. Leaning and reaching to the side whilst on a ladder can be deadly. You may think you can reach something, but it only takes one shift too far to put you off balance and start your ladder sliding. On a roof, you may think you have secure footing to lean over the edge. However, it takes less lean than you think to affect your center of gravity and cause a serious fall.
Spring is a time of renewal and growth. It’s also a time that involves a lot of chores and maintenance. Follow these tips to help you stay safe and keep your roof in great shape.