Spring is the perfect time to check up on your roof and make sure everything is in good condition. Roof inspection can be hard if not impossible to perform when the wind and snow are prevalent factors. But when the temperature rises and the sun is out, you should inspect your roof to ensure nothing needs to be repaired or replaced.
From the ground, your roof probably looks just fine. But a proper and thorough roof inspection could reveal underlying issues and wear and tear you didn’t see before.
To help you know what to look for, this is a complete springtime roof maintenance checklist to follow. Keep reading to learn the six aspects of your roof to check when performing a routine inspection. Keep in mind that performing a roof inspection on your own can be dangerous, so try to do it with someone else present if possible. Better yet, call professionals to inspect your roof and use their expertise to evaluate any potential hazards.
But if you’re determined to inspect your roof yourself, use the springtime roof maintenance checklist detailed below so you know what to look for.
Gutters and Downspouts
Most people know that you should clean your gutters frequently, and springtime is an excellent moment to clear out all the muck and guck left from fall and winter.
Typically, leaves are the biggest culprit of a clogged gutter or downspout. When you allow your gutters to become clogged and filthy, it affects how water moves off your roof. A clogged and overflowing gutter may cause water to flow back onto the roof, leading to mold and water damage.
If you’ve never cleaned out your gutters before, follow these simple steps:
How to Clean Your Gutters
- The first step is to get on your roof safely. If you aren’t comfortable using a ladder or being on your roof, you should call a team of professionals to do this task for you.
- Once on the roof, use thick workman’s gloves to clear any debris or gunk from the gutters by hand. It’s important not to try and flush larger objects, like leaves and clumps of dirt, off the gutter with water. Doing this can result in clogged downspouts that can be difficult to remedy.
- Work your way around the roof until you have cleared all visible debris and dirt from your gutters. Now it’s time to clean the downspouts. Using a hose or buckets of water, wash out excess dirt and debris from your gutters and the downspouts. If something is blocking a downspout, you can use a plumber’s snake or hose to try and clear the blockage. Be gentle, as you don’t want to damage the downspout. If this fails, you can take the downspout apart and remove the blockage that way.
- Now your gutters are squeaky clean! Climb off your roof with care.
Once you clean your gutters, check for any damage. Damage can include sagging gutters, missing fasteners, holes in the gutter, or downspout holes or cracks.
While on the roof dealing with your gutters, you should also inspect any vents. Vents located on your roof play a crucial role in maintaining proper airflow in your home.
Make sure none of the vents are blocked by leaves or debris. Proper roof ventilation can also help maintain your roof and cause less wear and tear.
Again, while you’re up on the roof, inspect your chimney for any damage or blockage. Ensure that the masonry is still intact and there are no loose or damaged bricks.
Look for a large buildup of white stains. These are calcium building up on the stones or bricks. These stains could indicate that your chimney is absorbing water and may need replacing.
Cleaning your gutters, unblocking vents, and inspecting your chimney are all parts of the exterior inspection. The rest of the inspection will focus on checking the condition of your shingles.
Your shingles are your roof’s first and toughest line of defense against the elements. Look for the following signs of water absorption or excessive wear and tear that may call for new shingles or even a new roof.
If any shingles have fallen off your roof, you should have these replaced as soon as possible. You can attempt to replace them yourself, or you can call professionals.
If several shingles are missing or damaged, consider replacing your roof altogether. While many people think this is a major expense, a new roof is a sound investment, whether you plan to live in the house forever or sell it eventually.
Curling shingles refer to when the edges of individual shingles do not lay flat against the roof but turn upward. This problem is often due to improper roof ventilation or poor installation. Many curling shingles on a roof is one reason to replace your roof altogether, to ensure the second installation is done right and you can enjoy the protection shingles offer.
Blistering shingles often signal water damage to your roof. A blistered shingle is a shingle retaining water, which could burst out at any moment and cause damage to both the exterior and interior of your roof. It can also lead to water leaking into your home.
Blistering shingles should be removed and replaced as quickly as possible. However, Identifying a blistered shingle can be difficult. It’s best to have a professional assess your roof if you suspect you have blistered shingles.
A buckled shingle means that moisture has seeped into the infrastructure of your roof, causing the shingle frames to shift out of place. This issue can cause cracks and leaks in your roof, so it’s best to address it immediately.
Buckling shingles are a major hazard. If buckled shingles are not dealt with, it often results in the entire roof being compromised and needing a complete replacement.
Lastly, check your shingles for any signs of staining or streaking. Once again, this means there is a leak somewhere on your roof. But it can also be caused by a poor ventilation system or blocked vent.
When you notice staining or streaking, you’ll need to call a professional roofing expert to find the source of the problem and fix it directly.
Once you complete a thorough exterior inspection, you should inspect the interior of your roof through your attic or the top floor of your home. This inspection is an essential part of diligent roof maintenance. Bring a flashlight with you and look for the signs of damage detailed below.
When performing an interior inspection, you should look for any light coming through from the outside. This means you have a hole in your roof that will need to be repaired.
Look for any signs of water damage, such as wet areas or water stains on the walls or ceiling. Make sure there are no cracks or damaged areas of your ceiling that could compromise the strength of your roof.
Look for areas where the plaster tape pulls away from the wall or any discoloration in the paint or wall material. These are all signs of water damage.
As you did with the vents on the exterior of the roof, check the vents inside your home near the ceiling or in the attic. Make sure they are not wet or blocked by anything. If necessary, give the vents a quick cleaning or dusting to keep them in good working condition.
The last and most important aspect of an interior roof inspection is checking for signs of mold. Mold can cause your roof to rot and deteriorate, leading to worse water damage, roof holes, or possible ceiling collapse over time. Green, pink, red, black, or sometimes white spots can signal a mold infestation that damages your roof.
Also, take note of the smell in your attic. If there is an unpleasant odor, like an old wet dish sponge, there is likely mold you cannot see. If you smell mold, you’ll need to call a professional to locate the source and perform the necessary roof maintenance to dispel the mold.
If you want to deal with the mold yourself, you can spray your roof and clean the interior with one part water and one part bleach. But it’s best to call an expert to handle it, as they’ll have more targeted solutions depending on the mold.
Also Read: Best Roofing Materials for Winter Season
The last part of this springtime roof maintenance checklist is to assess any trees near your roof. Trim any overhanging branches and vegetation that could damage the shingles. Doing this can also help keep your gutters clean, as there will be fewer leaves falling directly onto your roof.
What do nearby trees have to do with your roof maintenance? Falling branches can destroy a roof in one go, and shady or damp spots under trees can lead to mold growth or roof leaks.
Spring is the best time to perform a roof maintenance inspection. The trees aren’t in full bloom yet, and you don’t have to deal with cold temperatures or precipitation. But you should never wait to inspect your roof, as years of neglect result in damage.
If all of this sounds like too much for you, don’t worry. Call the roofing experts to check out your roof and fix any issues right away!