You’ve spent the majority of your summer picnicking, barbecuing, swimming, and just hanging out. As the summer comes to an end, it is time to get back to normal life — and this may include home maintenance tasks. Before fall, winter, and inclement weather come around, make sure your roof is in tip-top condition.
Gutters are an important component of your roofing system, as they direct water off of the roof and onto the ground below — away from the foundation of your home. Unfortunately, the gutters can collect an assortment of debris, including leaves, twigs, seedpods, pine needles, and more.
If the accumulated debris is not removed from the gutters regularly, it can put a stop to the water flow, leading to a host of problems. Some of these problems can include rotted fascia boards and soffits, interior leakage, foundation damage, siding damage, peeling paint, and more.
To perform a DIY gutter cleaning, you will need a sturdy ladder, gutter brush or trowel, bucket, gloves, a garden hose, and lots of patience. Gather as much of the debris out of the gutters by hand and empty it into the bucket, then use the brush or trowel to remove any residual sludge. Finally, use the garden hose to spritz the inside of the gutters so they’re as clean as possible.
Gutter and Roof Inspection
Since you are already cleaning out your gutters, take the opportunity to take a good look at your gutters and make sure they are in proper working order. Gutters are designed to last somewhere between 20 and 30 years, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t fall victim to regular wear and tear or become damaged between the time they’re installed and the end of their life.
During the inspection of the gutters, look for split seams, loose bolts, and damaged support brackets. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, perform the repairs or get in touch with a professional, especially if you aren’t sure whether a replacement may be the better option.
Once you’ve completed the inspection of the gutters, it is time to inspect the roof. Similar to your gutters, roofs are designed to last for 20 to 50+ years, depending on the type of roof that you have, though weather conditions and climate can cut those years short.
During the roof inspection, look for worn, curled, loose, or missing shingles, corroded or cracked flashing, and any dark spots on the surface of the roof. If you notice any of these issues, it may be an indication that you have a current roof leak or a leak in the making.
Also, take a look inside the bucket of gunk that you removed from the gutters and see if you notice any pieces of broken shingles or granules. Take the time to look inside the home for indications of roof leaks, such as bubbling paint, stains on the ceiling, or physical drips. Any of these are indications that you need professional roof repair—sooner rather than later.
After rain comes through, moss may begin to sprout between the spaces of your shingles, continuing to soak up water. As this moisture accumulates, it will penetrate the shingles and then the underlayment of the roof, eventually damaging the sheathing beneath and the structural integrity of the roofing system as a whole.
For that reason, moss needs to be removed immediately. First, the roof needs to be broomed, or brushed, immediately after the moss appears. As you brush, do so in a downward fashion to avoid unnecessary damage to the roof. To clean the roof and kill any residual moss, use a nontoxic bleach product — one without chlorine, since chlorine will discolor or damage your roof.
Also keep in mind that you should prune any overhanging trees, as this may be one reason that you have moss growing on the roof in the first place. By pruning the trees, the roof will be able to dry more quickly. To prevent the moss from reappearing in the future, install zinc or copper strips under shingles that have been affected.
If you have noticed damage to your roof, contact us at Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc.