With its lengthening days and warmer weather, spring is often associated with tidying up your home, both inside and out. Among the projects on your to-do list, don’t forget to include your roof.
Winter tends to do a number on residential roofs, even in Delaware, with its relatively milder season. As you transition from the freezing temperatures, ice and snow of winter to spring’s increased precipitation, you want to make sure your roofing system is in good shape.
How Do You Maintain a Roof in Delaware?
Your personal roof maintenance checklist may look a bit unique, depending on when you first installed the roof, its current condition and the last time you replaced shingles or conducted any repairs. However, there are several tasks that tend to be universal. As you prepare for spring cleaning and upkeep at your home in Delaware, here are a few roofing maintenance tips to help you along the way:
1. Check Your Missing or Damaged Shingles
During the winter, your shingles can blow off. They also might just be suffering normal wear and tear, which can lead to curling and cracking. Replace any missing or damaged shingles, as well as loose nails. If there are only a few trouble spots, replacing roof shingles in those areas should suffice. However, if there are large patches with damaged shingles, consider a roof repair or replacement.
A standard asphalt shingle roof lasts about 20 to 25 years, but if your roof was installed over an existing layer of shingles, it is unlikely to last more than 15 to 20 years. At that point, you can’t do another overlay; you should plan to replace the entire roofing system.
2. Inspect for Mold, Algae and Pests
Mold and algae growth are also common during the winter, when moisture is apt to collect on your roof. While checking for shingle damage, keep an eye out for these others problems. You can try to apply a home treatment to eliminate the mold or algae, but it’s better to schedule an inspection with a Delaware roofing company and have it professionally removed.
3. Clean Your Rain Gutters
Another part of regular maintenance is cleaning out your gutters, which tend to collect leaves, twigs and other debris during the winter. You can scoop out the gunk with a special shovel or by hand. Spread a tarp on the lawn to collect the debris. Next, hose down your gutters and make sure the water is flowing down and away from your foundation of your home as it should. If you need help with gutter-cleaning or other maintenance tasks, many Delaware roofing companies offer these services.
4. Investigate Your Whole Roofing System
Your shingles are only part of the roofing system that protects the interior of your home in Delaware—as well as your family and your belongings. As part of your annual maintenance, inspect the soffits (the wood or metal panels between the roofline and the wall of the house) and fascia (the wood or metal boards along the roofline or behind the eavestrough). Soft spots, holes and other damage indicate the need for immediate repairs and replacing the material. Also, look for flashing damage. Flashing is the material used to prevent water from entering the openings and cracks where two elements come together—such as two slopes of the roof, windows and skylights. You may need to re-caulk the flashing or replace rusting material to prevent future water damage.
5. Go into the Attic
Don’t forget to check for leaks and other problems from the inside. Large water stains, a sagging ceiling, discoloration, stale water and the smell of mildew can all be indicators of a leak in your roof. Both water and air leaks tend to occur around elements that penetrate your roof sheathing, such as attic vents, chimneys, plumbing vents, and holes for wires, HVAC ducting and cable installations.
6. Set Up a Professional Inspection
Although you can easily give your roof some attention and check for obvious issues, consider scheduling a professional inspection with a Delaware roofing contractor. If your roof is damaged, a licensed and professional roofing contractor can help you determine the nature of the problem and explore potential solutions. They’ll know the right techniques and materials to use for your specific issue.
7. Document Your Roof Maintenance
As with other aspects of your Delaware home, it’s a good idea to keep a record of the work you’ve done on your roof for future reference. This helps you stick to a regular or seasonal maintenance schedule. Additionally, if there is significant damage or major roof problems following a storm or other event, you can potentially get your insurance company to cover repairs. But you’ll need the photos and documentation of the damage to file a claim.
Roof Repair and Maintenance in Delaware
Your roof plays a crucial role in ensuring the interior of your home in Delaware is safe, comfortable and secure. Taking the time this spring to give your roof the care and attention it needs can prevent larger disasters from occurring in the future. If you’d feel more confident using a professional for your roof maintenance and repair, our team at Bromwell Construction Company can help. With plenty of background dealing with both asphalt shingle and flat roofs, we can gauge the nature and extent of your roof damage and guide you through potential solutions to sustain the lifespan of your whole system.