The roof over your head protects you, your family, and everything else that is important to you 365 days a year. While it might seem more crucial to get the roof ready for winter, summer can bring its own challenges. If you haven’t inspected the roofing system in a while, take advantage of the summertime to get your roof ready to take on the season.
Cleaning the Roof is Important
A few leaves, bits of twigs, or blossom residue sitting on the surface of the roof might not seem it’s something that needs your attention. But mix a little summer rain and then some sunshine with debris covering the roofing shingles and you’ve got the perfect recipe for mold or moss growth. In addition to potential mold or moss problems, damp debris sticking to roof tiles can damage the protective granules that make the shingles UV and water resistant. To clean a roof safely, lightly use a rake or broom to remove surface debris.
If there is moss or mold on the roof, roofing shingles should be thoroughly cleaned with an earth-friendly solution or a solution of bleach/water/liquid detergent. Depending on the extent of the moss or mold growth, the cleaning solution needs to sit anywhere from six to 24 hours before rinsing. While mold is a type of fungus and moss is a plant, both, particularly moss, retain moisture, which can add weight to the roof and encourage wood rot and shingle deterioration.
Inspect and Repair Flashing
If your home has a chimney, roof valleys, vents, a skylight/roof window, or any combination of these and other structures or systems that are embedded into the surface of the roof, they typically include flashing to seal off places water can penetrate. Generally manufactured from strips of metal, one roof may contain different types of flashing. However, regardless of the type, flashing should be rust-free, show no other signs of damage, and be securely fastened. Refasten any loose flashing and repair or replace any damaged ones.
If You have a Skylight
A skylight can greatly improve the amount of light a room receives. And just like the other windows of your home, it needs regular maintenance. Check the skylight at least two times during the summer months, especially after any active summer storms. Look for hairline cracks on the window glass and places where sealant or flashing has been compromised.
Gutters are part of the Roofing System
It’s important to remember that gutters are part of the roofing system too. It’s easy to think of the gutters as something separate, but gutters and downspouts that don’t work properly can seriously impact a roof’s functionality and structure.
If you regularly clean the gutters once in the spring and then again in the fall check them for any debris buildup that has occurred since the gutters and downspouts were last cleaned. If the gutters haven’t been maintained for a year or more, take advantage of the nice summer weather to play catch-up. Repair leaking seams and replace damaged hardware or missing nails/fasteners.