Rochester’s unique location on the shore of Lake Ontario in far northwestern New York gives the area four distinctive seasons. The winter months are known for heavy snowfall and hard freezes for long stretches of time. When the winter finally subsides and the temperatures warm up, many homeowners step out to assess the damage that Mother Nature has inflicted on their home over the last few months.
Your roof is vital to your home’s overall condition. It protects your home from weather-related damage, pest infestation, and more. However, as protective and durable as it is, extreme winter conditions can take a heavy toll on the roof. Now is the time to show your roof some love so that it can continue to protect your home well in the months and years ahead. These steps will help you to clean and maintain your roof properly each spring.
Clean Debris from the Roof and Gutters
After the snow and ice melt, you should take a closer look at your roof and gutters. Debris may be matted to the shingles or accumulated in the gutters. This may be debris from the fall that got covered over by snow and ice, or it may be debris that has blown in more recently. When cleaning the roof and gutters, be careful standing on a ladder. Avoid walking on the roof as the steep incline and elevated height make this a dangerous area to be on. You can try to remove debris from the roof with an extension device or a long broom. Debris must be removed so that the condition of the roof is not impacted and so that spring rains can flow through the gutter system as necessary. Be careful as you try to dislodge debris because you may accidentally dislodge the shingles as well. Any loose, missing, or dislocated shingles should be repaired as soon as possible.
Check the Roof’s Condition
Strong winds can easily blow shingles off in the winter months. Ice and snow can weigh down tree branches, causing them to dislodge shingles. Ice dams caused by uneven heating of the roof can also cause serious roof damage. As you spend time cleaning your gutters and roof, pay attention to the condition of shingles across the entire surface. Look for any missing shingles as well as shingles that are angled, curled, bowing, or otherwise damaged. If you notice even a small area of damage, the roof may require professional repair work. Remember that your untrained eye may not notice all signs of damage. It is always wise to request a professional inspection after a hard winter season.
Use a Cleaning Solution
After removing debris and ensuring that your roof is fully intact, it may be necessary to clean the roof. You should not attempt to clean a roof that is not in good condition as your efforts may cause additional damage or even result in a water leak inside your attic. Mold and algae are common substances that grow on shingles, and these substances can unfortunately weaken the shingles over time. Special steps must be taken to clean mold and algae from the roof. You can spray a special bleach cleanser that is specifically designed for use on roofs. A power washer can damage your roof, so attach a sprayer nozzle to your regular garden hose to apply the bleach product. Ensure that you rinse this product off after it has soaked the shingles for a few minutes. If you have stubborn growth areas that require scrubbing, hire a professional roofer to do the work for you. This will ensure that the roof is not damaged in the process.
Check the Flashing and Seals
The unique construction of your roof ensures that water flows downward and does not penetrate your home when the roof is well-maintained. However, the joints of the roof are particularly vulnerable to leaks and damage. Flashing is used to seal some of these joints so that they remain impermeable to water. This is a metal material that may rust or become damaged in some cases. You should carefully review the flashing and all other seals on the roof to ensure that they are in good condition. Any repair issues should be addressed by a professional.
All seasons in Rochester can bring different types of extreme weather conditions, but winter weather can be particularly brutal. It is wise for homeowners to regularly check their roof each season for damage. In the spring, these important steps can help you to prepare your roof for the seasons ahead and to repair damage from the previous winter. Working on your roof can be dangerous, and there is always a risk that your efforts would unintentionally damage this critical feature on your home. For all your roofing needs, our experienced team at JJ Construction is available to help.