4 Roof Tune Ups You Should Perform This Spring

Spring is a great time to take a closer look at your home and make an inventory of things that need to be done. When you are compiling your list of to-do's, don't forget to look up. Your roof is one of the most critical components of your home, and a roof that is in bad shape can cause significant trouble. Following are a list of four roof "tune ups" that will keep your roof in great shape and enable it to adequately protect the rest of your home for the year ahead.

Inspect Your Roof for Overall Integrity

If your roof is covered by asphalt shingles, you can expect it to last a couple of decades in most instances, if there are no damaging events in the interim. Hail, high winds, and foreign objects such as tree limbs can cause sudden destruction and shorten the lifespan of your roof.  However, all asphalt shingled roofs will eventually break down due to the ravages of sun and time.

That is why you should take a few moments each year to inspect your roof for signs that it needs replacing. Here are a few warning signs that indicate the shingles are wearing down:

  • Curling Shingles—Look along the edges of shingles, and if they curling or bubbling, that is a sign of aging and an indicator replacement is needed.
  • Missing Shingles—An obvious sign of trouble is the presence of missing shingles; this may indicate shingles are breaking down and tearing away from the roofing nails.
  • Gravel Particles— If your roof loses too much loss tiny gravel or sand-like particles, your shingles won't be able to deflect ultraviolet rays and will need replacing.

Keep in mind there may be other more subtle signs that indicate your roof needs replacing, so obtain help from a qualified roofing installer or contractor.

Install a Drip Edge

A drip edge protects the edge of your roof and fascia boards from water damage. Not all roofs contain drip edges, so it pays to check for a drip edge on your roof. Look along the top of the fascia where the shingles meet the roofline for a thin metallic or vinyl strip, which is the drip edge.

The drip edge is probably molded or painted the same color as the fascia, so you may need a ladder to get a closer look. Also, you can gently pry up the edge of shingles above the fascia to look for a drip edge installed beneath them.

If you determine your roof doesn't have a drip edge, you will want to contact a roofing contractor for help. In addition, if you are handy with tools and working on a ladder, then you may be able to install a drip edge yourself.

Fix Damaged or Missing Flashing

Flashing consists of metal strips that line the joints where chimneys, vents, skylights and other objects enter the roof. Flashing can be blown loose from these objects or simply fall off due to expansion and contraction caused by the heating and cooling cycle.

You want to be sure to promptly address any loose or missing flashing, as leaks are sure to follow at some point. Flashing can often be reattached or shored up using roofing cement, at times, but worn out flashing will need to be completely removed and replaced.

Clear the Gutters

When taking time to inspect your roof, also provide attention to your gutters. While gutters may not seem like they are directly related to the health of your roof, keeping them clean and flowing definitely can prolong the life of your shingled roof.

For example, if your gutters are unable to drain freely due to blockages, then water from melting snow and ice can actually back up onto the roof itself and form ice dams. Ice dams permit water to pond on top of your roof and back up underneath the shingles, thus resulting in expensive damage.

Whether you need roof repair orroof replacement, contact local contractors and roofers to get a better idea of your options.