Summer is a good time for home maintenance projects, but it's easy for homeowners to overlook one of the biggest parts of their home – the roof. However, including some summer roof maintenance in your list of home improvement projects over the summer will help extend the life of your roof, saving you damage that could result in expensive repairs or even the need to replace your roof before its time. Take a look at some summer maintenance tips that can help you keep your roof in top shape this summer.
Prune Trees Growing Near the Roof
Pruning your trees may sound like more of a landscaping issue than a roof maintenance issue, but a tree that's growing too close to your house can do some serious damage to the protective coating of the roof. What's more, leaves dropping into your gutters can clog them, which can lead to roof damage. And during a summer storm, a weak branch could drop onto your roof, damaging shingles or punching a hole in the roof.
It's a common belief that trees should only be pruned during the winter months when they're dormant, but this is incorrect. Really, the only season when you should never prune your trees is in the fall. It's fine to prune during the summer when you want to get rid of a defective or damaged branch or when you want to slow the growth of a branch that's getting too close to your house.
Clean the Algae
During a hot, humid summer, you may look up at your roof and realize that it's grown a coating of something that looks like mold. The good news is that it probably isn't mold – it's blue-green algae. The bad news is that it still makes your roof look terrible.
If your shingles are worn and need to be replaced, this is a good time to look into getting either a dark colored roof that won't show algae growth in the summer or shingles that are embedded with copper granules, which will kill any algae growth. But if your shingles are still in good shape, you're better off just cleaning the algae off the roof. You can use a solution that's 50% bleach and 50% water to get rid of the algae. Just cover any grass or plants below the roof (the bleach will kill them) and use a hose to spray the algae-covered sections. Don't use a pressure washer on your roof, as it could damage your shingles.
Prevent Gutter Overflows
A clogged gutter can cause more damage than you might realize. When your gutters are clogged, the rain has nowhere to go and can build up on your roof. Your roof is designed to shed water as quickly as it can – if standing water is allowed to accumulate on your roof, it can cause the wood and shingles to rot, resulting in both roof damage and water damage inside your home as the water begins to seep under the shingles and into your home.
Clogged gutters can also attract pests and insects, which can be an annoyance or even lead to an infestation inside the house. One more thing to worry about is the weight of a gutter blockage. Heavy debris weigh down the gutters, causing them to bend or even break. Your gutters are attached to the roof, so if they begin to sag or break off the roof entirely, they'll take roofing material with them.
Cleaning your gutters is important, but you can prevent gutters from getting clogged in the first place by installing a gutter shield. This is a type of barrier that prevents large debris from falling into the gutters in the first place, allowing your gutter system to handle only the water from storms and not branches, leaves, and twigs. Summer is a good time to install a gutter shield, especially if you live in an area that has a lot of summer storms.
You should also consider having a roofing contractor inspect your roof for any signs of wear or damage this summer. A timely roof inspection can ensure that problems get fixed while they're small, saving you the expense of major repairs. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.rainydayexteriors.com.