Most homeowners only think about roof maintenance in the Winter, or perhaps when a storm hits in the Fall or Spring. Sipping a cold one after a relaxing barbecue on the deck, your roof is probably the last thing on your mind.
Mother Nature can be just as brutal during those hot summer days. Windstorms, heavy rain, intense heat, and hail, can take a serious toll on your home’s first line of defence against the elements.
Regular year-round maintenance is the best way to extend the service life of your roof and preserve your home’s resale value. A few simple maintenance tasks, performed regularly, will bring you peace of mind and can potentially save you a lot of money.
Check for granule loss or perforations
Uniform loss of granules on asphalt shingles is the normal result of weathering. Extended periods of extreme heat however, or a hail storm, can loosen an abnormal amount of the granular surface, leading to noticeable thin spots, bald patches and sometimes holes. If you see any of these, you’ll want to contact a roofing professional immediately.
Inspect your roof in the morning. The sweltering temperatures of summer can make the roof surface very fragile once it heats up. You can prevent serious degranulation and damage to the underlayment by walking on it as little as possible, and by doing so only in the cool hours early in the morning.
Inspect gutters and downspouts
Make sure they are free of debris. Thunderstorms are common during the summer months and heavy rainfall can quickly exceed the drainage system’s ability to direct storm water from the roof. Prevent leaks and water damage by maintaining your gutters and downspouts year round.
Keep your roof valleys clear of debris
Twigs, leaves and flower blossoms just love to accumulate in the roof valleys. These valleys are an important part of your roof’s drainage system, allowing heavy rainfall to flow quickly and easily from the roof. Damp organic matter can promote decay, mould and mildew. Clogged valleys can hold moisture that can damage shingles or torch on membranes, underlayment and decking.
Check for storm damage
Summer storms can come up quickly and do a lot of damage. A brief thunder shower, a few minutes of hail, or gusts of wind may seem like nothing, but the roof should be inspected afterward. Have any shingles come loose? Do you see any hail damage, holes or tears? Tiles broken by tree limbs? Any noticeable gaps around flashings, skylights and vents?
Take it inside
Check for any signs of water discolouration in the attic, or on the ceilings of each room.
Summer temperatures can turn your attic into a hot box. This heat is absorbed by the roofing material. With proper ventilation, your roof should be able to handle our BC summers. Most of today’s roofing materials are very robust. But if any of the vents have been blocked, the attic fan(s) no longer work, there are insulation problems or the venting was inadequate at construction, the temperatures may exceed the manufacturers’ expectations. If you have any questions or concerns, you may want to consult with a professional.
Inspecting your roof can be dangerous. Please make sure you are familiar with ladder safety and how and where you should step on your roof. The use of fall protection equipment is recommended.