Falling Limbs and More: 10 Ways to Protect Your Roof from Damage
Your roof acts as an umbrella, protecting you and your family, so it’s important to keep it in top shape year-round. Falling tree limbs, old damage, and improperly maintained roofs create a danger for you during storm season.
Here are ten ways to prepare your roof for anything Mother Nature can throw at it.
1. Check Trees Close to Your House
Trees are a beautiful feature in the yard, but if they are too close to the house, they pose several risks to your roof. Ice, winds, and disease make tree limbs weak. Broken limbs are one of the leading causes of shingle damage.
Trees give squirrels and other small critters access to your roof. Although some of these animals are cute in nature, they can also cause damage to your shingles.
Leaves falling on your home are inevitable, but excess leaves can create small dams on your roof and clog the gutters. The closer the trees are to your home, the more problems you’ll have.
2. Clean and Repair Your Gutters
Gutters not only protect your roof — they protect your home’s foundation, as well. Their purpose is to reroute water off the roof and away from the home. If the gutters are damaged or clogged, then the water could pool under the shingles. Pooled water can cause damage under the protected shingles and cause rot, mold, and structural damage to the roof.
3. Remove Roof Debris
Fallen limbs, leaves, and other miscellaneous debris all pose various hazards to your roof. Not only can they harm shingles, create pools of water, and clog gutters, but they can also remove the granules from the shingles, reducing their lifespan.
The asphalt granules resist water and protect your roof from harmful UV and infrared rays caused by the sun. When they’re damaged, they can’t do their jobs properly!
4. Remove Moss and Algae
The black and green discoloration on your roof is most likely caused by moss, mildew, mold, or some other lichen. These plants block the natural protection gained from the roof. If left long enough, they can cause rotting damage to the shingle and underlayment.
Since moss is constantly wet, it attracts insects. Gnats and other small insects will lay their eggs in moss and continue to grow in numbers so it’s best to remove the moss before the insects get carried away.
5. Biannual Inspections
It’s a good idea to have a professional look at your roof during the spring and fall months. You need to make sure your roof is ready to handle the icy winters and check for damage after they occur.
The change from cold to hot should not be a problem for a well-maintained roof, but consider the possible costs if damage does occur.
Expect a professional to inspect the following:
- Critter infestations
- Signs of wear and tear
- Shingle damage
- Gutter damage
Professionals will also look for weakened areas caused by poor installation. Not all roof inspectors are up to the task. Some sacrifice quality in the name of getting the job finished quicker.
It’s always good to have a second contractor look at the previous work to verify that it’s holding up as it should.
6. Have Ice Dams Removed Immediately
The heat you use to keep the internal temperature of your home comfortable rises and exits out the roof. Depending on how well ventilated your attic space is, where your heating ducts lie, and how your home is insulated, the heat exiting through the roof may be substantial.
When cold weather hits, the heat turns frozen particles into water. The water doesn’t get very far before it freezes again. This off-and-on process can cause ice dams. As more water builds up, the dams can become quite large.
Ice dams have the potential to fall and damage something or someone. They also allow water particles to pool and get under the shingles.
Remember, water follows the path of least resistance and tries to locate weakened areas into the home.
7. Repair Damaged Shingles
The little white granules in your gutters or on the ground are from your shingles. The more prevalent the granules are, the more damage there is to the shingles. If the gutters are clogged with granules, then it may be time to replace your roof.
Excessive missing granules, missing or broken shingles, nails popping up from the roof, and sags in the roof are all areas of concern.
Talk to a professional about repairs as soon as they are noticed. Waiting on repairs could cause further damage to the roof (and to your bank account!) and require replacing the roof instead.
8. Reseal Flashing and Problem Areas
Flashing is a thin metal material installed around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys. It is designed to direct water toward the gutter system. Winds, debris, and time can reduce the effectiveness of your flashing. These areas may need to be resealed or nailed to keep them working properly.
Chimneys, exhaust vents, and skylights are particularly susceptible to loose flashing. However, depending on the shape of your roof, valleys can also pose an issue.
9. Consider Pest Control
Pests are some of the largest problems for roofs. Squirrels, mice, bats, rats, birds, raccoons, and other critters are looking for a safe place to live. The warmth of your home makes it ideal for these pests. They will do whatever is necessary to get inside.
These animals come in a variety of sizes and can often squeeze into areas smaller than their bodies, so the smallest hole or damaged area is susceptible to mice. Once one critter gets inside, it will begin to chew its way through the roof to get into the attic and walls.
Rats will chew a larger hole so that they can fit into the space. In Michigan, there are three specific types of roof rats that are common: the black rat, the Alexandrine, and the fruit rat.
Areas under the roof overhang are a common home for bird and bee nests, both of which can cause varying amounts of damage to your roof and home.
After you speak with a pest control specialist, talk to a roofing contractor for repairs. Pest control specialists are great at removing the critters, and they may offer to seal up the access point, but they are not professionals in roofing. Talk to someone who knows the true extent of the damage and who’ll fix it right.
10. Inspect the Attic
The attic is the under part of the roof. It is an easy area to spot small holes and major structural damage to your roof. A roofing contractor will look for water stains, which could indicate a leak. Leaks can travel down beams and into your walls.
Professionals know what to look for. One of the key issues is pests. Pests will leave droppings and rip apart insulation.
While in your attic, the roofing contractor may also discuss insulation upgrades, such as radiant barrier insulation. Insulation upgrades will help make your heating and cooling system more efficient and aid in the reduction of ice dams on your roof.
Protect Your Home By Protecting Your Roof
No matter what it is, Four Seasons Kanga Roof can handle all of your roofing needs. We are experts in roofing repair, gutter installations, insulation installation, and more. We have over 70 years of combined experience. There is no one better to handle any roofing issues you run into.
Call the experts at Kanga Roof today to make sure your roof is ready for the weather coming tomorrow.