As the weather starts to get warmer and the trees spring into bloom, families begin migrating outside to take advantage of the season. With more time spent outside than in, spring cleaning checklists start developing and the projects begin. Most people start their lists by cleaning the garage, giving the landscape a makeover or planting a beautiful garden to enjoy all summer. Rarely do people think about spring cleaning the roof. However, it’s important to remember that your roof needs some tender love and care too, especially after the harsh winter months. That’s why we’ve put together our comprehensive spring cleaning checklist for your roof. While it is another thing to add to your to-do list, crossing it off will leave you feeling satisfied and ready to tackle the summer.
1. Tackle Your Gutters
The first step to a flawless spring cleaning for your roof is to get to work on your gutters. After the winter months have passed, chances are they’re clogged full of debris and withering leaves. Even if you did an immaculate job cleaning them out in the fall, time takes its toll. However frustrating it may be, it’s important to do. If your gutters are clogged they won’t be able to do their job. It can feel a never-ending job, but it’s something you need to do in order to maintain the integrity of your roof. If the draining system isn’t working properly then it’s likely that your shingles, siding, soffits and more will be vulnerable to damages. The more vulnerable things are to damage, the more likely it will happen. Unfortunately, damages can happen fast and if they do it’s possible that your roof will be compromised. Take action now, you’ll thank yourself later.
The first step is cleaning out all of the visible debris from your gutters. Get a sturdy ladder, follow any safety recommendations and get to work. Once you’ve cleaned all of the visible areas, move to your downspout. While this can be a bit more complicated to clean, it’s one of the most important parts of your gutter system. It’s what actually drains water off and away from your home and needs to be unclogged in order for everything to work properly. Try using a hose or a plumbers snake for hard to reach areas. If all else fails, take it apart, find the source and put it back together again.
Once you’ve successfully cleaned your gutters, check for any damage. Make sure nothing is sagging, there are no holes and you’re not missing any fasteners.
2. Inspect The Roof
Shingles are the first line of defense on your roof. They’re the small, overlapping rectangular pieces that layer together to cover your roof. While not all buildings utilize shingles, most residential homes do. When you’re working through your spring cleaning checklist, make sure to pay special attention to them. There are a number of things to watch out for, but try to do an examination as best as you can from the ground. Getting on your roof can be dangerous and should be avoided as much as possible.
If you notice any missing shingles make sure to get them replaced immediately. A missing shingle causes a weak spot in your roof and exposes your infrastructure to damage such as flooding, molding and rot.
Curling shingles often result from improper installation or poor ventilation. If you see any shingles that have edges that are starting to curl, get them fixed to avoid further damage.
Blistered shingles occur when an excessive amount of moisture becomes trapped in a shingle. The “blistered” area is the moisture on the inside and if no action is taken, the shingle will burst and cause an array of more serious damages. Unfortunately, spotting blistered shingles can be extremely difficult, so it’s best to have a professional inspection once a year to catch any that have developed.
This type of damage needs to be addressed quickly because buckling shingles have the potential to crack and tear the infrastructure of your roof. A buckling shingle is a moisture problem where the underneath framing has shifted. Get them fixed when you spot them or you could find yourself needing to replace your roof completely.
Finally, the last way to inspect your shingles is to look for any stains or signs of streaking. Both of these indicate that there is a leak somewhere or your roof’s ventilation system is damaged. This is another problem where you’ll need to contact a professional so that the underlying source of the problem can be properly addressed.
3. Keep An Eye Out for Mold
While examining your roof, actively look for any signs of mold or mildew. If it’s caught early enough, it’s usually easy enough to fix without any major problems. As mold and mildew progress they seep into the foundation and cause more problems. Try at home remedies like lead control strips or use zinc on the affected areas. If you notice that the mold has covered a large area and suspect that it’s already begun to spread past the point of no return, call your roofing professionals for a more thorough inspection. It’s important not to take any chances, because if the mold has spread to the interior of your home it can be dangerous for you and your family.
4. Trim Branches
Some of the biggest threats to your roof, believe it or not, are trees. Hanging branches and over grown vegetation can threaten the integrity of your roof. The best way to avoid damage from your yard’s trees is to trim the branches. Again, this can be a dangerous job if you don’t have the proper equipment or if you have hard to reach areas – so consider calling a professional arborist.
The added benefit of trimming the branches of nearby trees is that you’ll spend less time raking out leaves from your gutters in the future. Taking care of this step during the spring is also much easier than waiting until everything is in full bloom.
5. Check From the Inside Out
An often-overlooked step for spring cleaning your roof is checking inside for any damages. Go into your attic and take a look from the inside out. If you see any sources of light, it’s likely that you have a hole somewhere in the your roof. You should also look for any water damage and mold/mildew growth. If you don’t see anything but you do smell something, don’t ignore it. This indicates that there is something somewhere that you can’t see. Call the professionals so they can come and give you a more thorough inspection and pinpoint the source of your problem.
6. General Wear and Tear
Keep an eye out for large, general wear and tear that occurs naturally over time. Whether it’s big areas of rust on the gutters or parts of your roof that seem like their sagging, general wear and tear is usually easy to spot.
Keep in mind that while you may think that you’ve covered all of your bases, there is the possibility that your roof has incurred damage that can’t be seen. Small details are hard to notice if you’re not sure what to look for. In fact, most people won’t be able to pinpoint small holes, rusting and any blistering that has occurred. Regardless of how close you are to the damage, sometimes you just need to call the pros.
While some people may attempt to work through this spring cleaning checklist on their own, untrained eyes often overlook things and getting on your roof can be dangerous. When you hire a professional not only will the entire process move more quickly, but you’ll be sure that nothing was missed during the inspection. Roofing professionals like the ones at Advocate Roofing have the experience and expertise to provide you with a comprehensive inspection both inside and out. Once you’ve cleaned your gutters and trimmed your branches, give us a call so that you can tackle any underlying issues immediately and avoid further damage. Remember, if you’re not trained to see specific problems, it’s easy to miss them. Don’t pass on your yearly inspection; spring is the perfect time for repairs and preparation for the warm summer months.
When you hire an experienced Milwaukee roofing contractor from Advocate Roofing, we can guarantee that the job will be done efficiently and with no hidden costs. We pride ourselves on our integrity and honesty in customer service. We aim to repair only what’s needed and preserve all areas of your roof that are in good condition.
To contact an experienced roofing contractor for your Milwaukee home, please call (414) 386-3900. You can also reach us at our customer service hotline, 888-777-ROOF (7663).