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Fall Roof Maintenance Tips
Dated: November 27 2022
We’re nearing the end of Fall, which means it’s the ideal time to maintain your roof. As a REALTOR® I can tell you that deferred roof maintenance is a leading cause of major home repair issues. Simple roof maintenance can increase your roof’s lifespan and help you avoid costly water damage repairs or mold remediation. These tips should not be considered an alternative to expert advice.
Safety First! Roof work is best done with an experienced partner. Certain roof types require extra precautions. You may only be able to step on certain areas of tile roofs. Sticky-soled footwear is preferable for metal roofs. You never want to step directly on the bend of a shingle such as those on the peak of your roof. Extra steep roofs may require a safety harness. It would be a good idea to review some roof safety videos before tackling roof maintenance if you’ve never gotten on your roof before.
Wash Your Roof:
Gently spray off your roof and remove debris. Piles of debris tend to hold water and cause leaks. Use a scrub brush and soap to scrub the bases of “through the roof” items such as skylights, vents, and chimneys. Keep an eye out for missing or cracked shingles, missing or broken tiles in tile roofs, or loose or missing screws in metal roofs.
The object of gutters is to gather water from the roof and transport it away from your home’s soffits and foundation. Water penetration into the foundation can lead to foundation settling or microbial growth, which are both extremely expensive to repair. If you don’t have gutters, you can skip this part of the article (I highly recommend getting them though).
The buildup of dirt, leaves, and debris in gutters can lead to clogging and overflow. I personally use a leaf blower to blow out my gutters, but a pressure washer or hose with a high-pressure attachment can do the job. Spray or blow out all gutters and downspouts, and make sure downspouts are effectively dispensing water away from your foundation.
Time to trim those branches. Trim tree or bush branches 6’ from your roof’s edge. Trees or bushes blowing in the wind can rub on your roof, causing premature wear and tear. Falling sticks and leaves can clog gutters or pile up in roof valleys. Remember, piles of debris tend to hold water and cause leaks.
Seal “Through The Roof” Items:
The bases of items that protrude through your roof need annual maintenance. These are the most common leak points. After washing and drying the areas at the base vents, skylights, and chimneys, scrape old loose sealant off. Apply new sealant (buy a gallon of sealant at a hardware store) using a very firm paintbrush. Consider wearing disposable gloves and using a throwaway paintbrush, as tar and silicone-based sealants are not washable (also wear clothes you don’t mind ruining).
Repair Your Roof:
You don’t need to be a roofing expert to make small roof repairs. Instructional videos are available for your education. With a shingled roof you are looking to replace any missing, cracked, broken, lifted, or loose shingles before water penetrates your roof. With a tile roof, you are looking to replace any missing, displaced, or broken tiles. With a metal roof, you are looking to replace missing or lifted screws. Call in an expert for more difficult repairs.
Paint Your Soffits:
Inspect your soffits (the area at the edge of your roof) for peeling paint. Scraping loose paint, sealing cracks with caulk, and repainting can extend the life of your roof and can help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Consider installing drip edges and gutters if your roof doesn’t have them. These items will save your soffits and will help you avoid costly foundation and microbial-growth issues.
Maintain Your Chimney:
Clean away creosote with a chimney brush. Consider installing a chimney cap and spark arrestor if your home doesn’t have one in order to avoid animal intrusion and spark-initiated fires. You should also inspect the chimney for cracked bricks, missing bricks, cracked mortar, and any other signs of irregularity. Chimneys should be sealed with water-repellant products annually in order to increase their lifespan.
Consider paying a roofer to inspect your roof on occasion, or if you feel like this job is too big for you. The advice above is from a REALTOR® and home-owner, not a roofing expert. Consider deferring to an expert before making repairs. Feel free to call us if you have any questions, or if you’d like a referral to a roofing expert:
Allen Elmore + AE Properties
eXp Realty ICON Agent
NM Lic 53691
(505) 686-3831 + (505) 554-3873
NOW SERVING NW NEW MEXICO AND SW COLORADO!After 25 years in the advertising and marketing industry, Allen Elmore founded AE Properties Team, and has focused his efforts on helping people buy and sell ....