The 2022-2023 winter in Maryland was fairly mild and mostly uneventful, weather-wise. And now, it\’s time to look forward to the renewal of spring. For some, spring is a time of cleaning to make their homes look and function their best – inside and out. If you’re this type of person, read on for more information on spring cleaning your roof!
Spring is a great season to make sure your roof is in good condition following the dampness and cold of winter, which often affects outdoor materials and systems like shingles, flashing, adhesive, and gutters.
This complete roofing spring cleaning checklist will keep you on track and help ready your roof for upcoming seasons.
Inspect Your Roof
Check for any missing or damaged shingles, cracked or curled tiles, or other signs of damage or wear.
- Missing shingles can occur as a result of strong winds, heavy rain, or other weather events.
- Over time, shingles can become brittle and crack, allowing water to penetrate the roof and cause damage.
- If the edges of shingles are curling up, it\’s a sign that they are past their useful life and need to be replaced.
- If the shingles are visibly warped, they may have become distorted and are no longer providing adequate protection to the roof.
- Algae and moss growth on shingles can indicate moisture retention and can cause the shingles to deteriorate more quickly.
Clean Your Gutters
Quick note: if you’re unable to clean your gutters, contact us today for a referral to a local contractor.
- Always work from a stable ladder and make sure someone is holding the ladder. Wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp metal edges and debris.
- You’ll need a bucket, gloves, a ladder, a hose, and a gutter scoop or a trowel.
- Scoop out the leaves, sticks, and other debris that have accumulated in the gutters. Place the debris in the bucket.
- Use a hose to flush out any remaining debris. Make sure to check the downspouts to ensure they’re clear.
- Inspect the gutters for leaks and make repairs as needed. Use a sealant to fix small holes or cracks.
- If the gutters are loose, tighten the screws or brackets that hold them in place.
- Dispose of the debris and wash your tools.
Trim Your Trees and Bushes
Look for branches that are touching or hanging over your roof to prevent damage from falling branches or leaves. Quick note: if you’re unable to trim your trees and bushes, contact us today for a referral to a local contractor.
- Spot any dead or damaged branches, and trim branches that are crossing over or touching each other. Consider the overall shape and size of the tree or bush, and trim accordingly.
- Wear protective gear, such as gloves and eye protection, and be mindful of power lines and other obstacles that could pose a hazard.
- You will need pruning shears, loppers, a pruning saw, and a ladder (if necessary).
- Begin by trimming the lower branches, and work your way up the tree or bush.
- Make cuts at a slight angle, about 1/4 inch above a lateral bud or branch. Avoid leaving stubs, which can be an entry point for disease.
- If you need to remove larger branches, make three cuts to prevent tearing. The first cut should be on the underside of the branch, about a foot from the trunk. The second cut should be from the top of the branch, about 6 inches from the first cut. The third cut should be at the base of the branch, near the trunk.
- Dispose of the trimmed branches and debris, and clean up any tools you used.
Check Your Flashing
Inspect the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights to make sure it’s securely in place and undamaged.
- Always work from a stable ladder and make sure someone is holding the ladder steady.
- Look for any signs of damage, such as dents, cracks, or missing pieces. Also look for any signs of rust or corrosion.
- Make sure the flashing is securely in place around chimneys and vents and that there are no gaps or holes that could allow water to enter.
- Check the areas surrounding the flashing for any signs of water damage, such as water stains or discoloration on the walls or ceiling.
- During the next rainstorm, go inside and look for any signs of water leaks, such as water spots on the ceiling or walls.
Check Your Ventilation
Ensure that your roof has proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup and extend the life of your roof.
- Look for the vents on your roof, which are typically located near the ridge or near the eaves.
- Check the vents for any signs of damage, such as cracks, rust, or missing parts. Also make sure they’re not clogged with debris.
- Go into the attic and look for any signs of moisture or mold, which can indicate poor ventilation. Also look for any signs of overheating, such as discoloration or warping of the roof decking.
- To determine if you have enough ventilation, measure the total area of the vents in square inches and make sure that it is equal to at least 1/150 of the attic floor area.
Schedule Your Inspection
Contact Diligent Exterior Remodeling for a roof inspection to identify any potential issues. By regularly checking and maintaining your roof, you can protect your family and potentially avoid costly repairs down the line.