Spring Cleaning: Your 5 Step Roof Checklist
After a wild and unpredictable winter of heavy rainstorms, high winds, hail and flooding, spring can’t arrive too soon in the San Francisco Bay Area. Your roof, that is protecting you from all the elements, could probably use some maintenance at this point. If you are a Marin or Sonoma County homeowner wondering what steps to take, we’ve prepared a simple roof checklist.
Wherever You Live, These Steps Are Essential to Keep Your Home Safe
- Remove Any Debris
You’d be surprised at what some homeowners find on their roofs. Twigs, leaves, and small tree branches are common. Occasionally, you might even find an old bird’s nest blown out of a nearby tall tree.
When debris accumulates, especially in damp weather, mold and mildew can grow under it. If left untouched, the mold can damage your roofing material. You can remove the debris by hand, lightly raking it off, or with a leaf blower. Staying safe in the process is very important.
- Clean the Gutters
Just as leaves and twigs may build up on your roof, they can do the same in your gutters. If you’ve seen rain overflowing your gutters and hitting the ground close to your foundation, it’s time to remove whatever is blocking the flow.
Keeping gutters free of debris lets the rainwater flow down the spouts and away from your foundation.
- Do a Visual Scan of Your Roof
Once any debris is removed, examine your roof. Look for mold, or torn, cracked, or missing shingles. Discoloration and darker streaks could be signs of developing mold. Shingles can also develop bald spots where the grit is missing in large patches. This might be due to a low hanging tree branch rubbing against your roof. Age and regular wear and tear over decades can also cause the loss of that layer of protective grit.
Mold can usually be washed off and damaged shingles can be replaced. However, if large areas of your roof appear damaged, you will want to get a professional opinion on whether a roof repair or a roof replacement is warranted.
- Inspect the Flashing and Chimney Areas
Areas that are often taken for granted are where flashing is used. Those areas are around a chimney, and where two roof slopes meet or around the edges of a roof. You’ll also find flashing along the side and front walls and around vents and skylights. You’ll want to look for signs like flashing that is missing in sections, or is rusted through, bent or separated from the roof surface. Another sign is flashing covered in roofing tar.
- Check Your Attic or Crawl Space
Not all California homes have attics, but there will be at least a crawl space. Once you’ve inspected your roof from above, you’ll want to inspect it from below. Look for any areas of discoloration, dark spots or streaks. One thing about leaks. You can’t always tell at a glance where a leak originated. You should, however, be able to see if your roof has suffered water or mold damage due to a leak.
If all this sounds a bit overwhelming and climbing onto a ladder to inspect your roof is especially unappealing, one of our roofing professionals would be happy to discuss your options. Regular maintenance of your roof can help to prolong its life and ultimately save you money and hassles along the way. Contact us today!