As the old saying goes, all we need to survive is a roof over our heads and food on the table. There is true wisdom in this, since your home’s roof and gutter system make a huge difference in keeping your home dry, protected, energy efficient, and structurally stable. Proper maintenance of the roof and gutters can prevent costly repairs in the future, so make sure yours are properly maintained. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your gutters or inspected your roof, then it’s best to take steps to do it now. Below, we’ve compiled several helpful tips for roof and gutter maintenance.
- Inspect Your Roof Once a Year – If you can comfortably and safely climb to your roof on a ladder, do so. If not, you can inspect it from the ground using binoculars. If you are on the roof, however, for your own safety and for the sake of the roof itself, minimize the amount of actual walking you do on the roof. During your roof inspection, look for the following: shingles that are missing, broken, curled or buckled; the growth of moss or lichen, which may indicate roof decay beneath the shingles; and rust, cracked caulk, or cracked rubber on flashing and vent pipes.
- Maintain Your Roof – Loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced as soon as possible. If flashing has separated from the roof, reseal it with caulk. If flashing or vent pipes show signs of rust or deterioration, replace them. Keep leaves off the roof, if the slope of the roof doesn’t work to keep them off already. Allowing too many leaves to accumulate on the roof will encourage them to decompose, which creates conditions favorable for trapping moisture and weed growth, both of which are undesirable. If you found moss on your roof, use a moss killer designed specifically for roof use. Do not use a pressure washer to remove moss, as this will also remove the granules on the shingles, and thus drastically reduce the lifespan of your roof. A roof which was installed poorly or not properly maintained may last as few as 7 to 10 years. But, by using modern products, and with diligent maintenance, professionals believe a roof can last 15 to 25 years.
- Clean Your Gutters Twice A Year – Clogged or non-functional gutters can cause water damage to your home, and the resulting runoff can weaken your foundation. The simple way to prevent this is to keep your gutters clean. It is recommended that you clean your gutters in the spring and fall, but if you live in a wooded area, you may need to perform additional gutter checks, especially after big storms. If you are comfortable working on a ladder, you can do the job yourself. Clear out all the debris and sludge, and then run water from a hose through the gutter system, to be sure it flows and drains properly.
- Maintain Your Gutters – After cleaning the gutters, check for holes or leaks in the gutter system. Use gutter sealant to fix leaky joints or small holes. For larger holes, use a gutter patch kit. If the gutters sag, check the hardware they hang from and repair or replace as needed. Water should not be able to stand in the gutter; if it does, the gutter may be pitched incorrectly. For every 10 feet of gutter, the slope should go down ¼”, with the downspout being the lowest point. You may be able to fix the pitch of the gutter by bending the hangers, but if this doesn’t work, you may need to rehang the troublesome section. Finally, make sure the downspout extends at least 4 to 5 feet away from the house at ground level, to direct the runoff as far away from the foundation as possible.
If your home has received water damage from a clogged gutter or loose shingles, or you have water damage in your basement due to poor drainage at the foundation, call Warren Cleaning and Restoration. Our two family-owned and operated offices are located in Big Stone Gap, VA, and Hendersonville, NC, and we serve an approximate 2-hour radius from each. We can handle any water damage or water leak issue, and thoroughly dry and clean the damage area to restore your home to its pre-water-damage condition.
To reach the most comfortable temperature in your house do not forget to follow our HVAC maintenance checklist.