How To: Give Your Roof a Spring Checkup
Your roof could be suffering from the Up North winter blues. Here's how to find out -- and keep it healthy.
May 2, 2008 Elizabeth Edwards
ust because you don't see its maladies, doesn't mean your roof isn't suffering after our Up North winter. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends preforming these simple steps in the spring, fall and after severe winter storms, to help prevent costly maintenance bills. Safety First
What to Look For
- Make sure your ladder is on solid, level ground.
- Secure the ladder at the top to prevent if from slipping.
- Extend the ladder at least 3 feet above the gutter, angled 1 foot back from the house for every 4 feet in eave height.
Clean the Gutters
- Buckled, curling or blistering shingles -- signs that they need to be replaced.
- Loose material and wear around chimneys, pipes and other penetrations.
- Excessive amounts of shingle granules in your gutters -- a sign that your shingles are wearing. Shingles need the granules for weight and to protect them from ultraviolet rays.
Take a Look Around Inside
- Using work gloves, clean leaves, twigs, pine needles and other debris out of gutters and downspouts -- rain that doesn't drain properly can cause serious structural damage to your foundation overtime. In addition, a heavy gutter full of water can damage your roof fascia.
- Don't forget to clean out the goo from shingle granules that have mixed with dirt and water.
- Flush residual matter with a garden house.
- Clean downspouts by threading a hose into the drain opening and turning on the water full blast.
- Check gutters after flushing for pools that indicate low spots. Gutters should be sloped about 1 vertical inch for every 15 to 20 horizontal feet so they drain properly. Adjust gutters as necessary.
See A problem?
- Check interior walls and ceiling for water damage.
- Hire a professional roofing contractor. Be sure your contractor has a permanent place of business, telephone number and tax identification number. Check references and ask for proof of insurance (liability and workers' compensation). Ask the contractor to explain material and workmanship warranties.
What Else to Ask the Roofer
- Could your roof use more insulation?
- What other energy-efficient products are available, such as reflective shingle granules?
To receive a free Roof Checkup Guide or for more information about how to find a professional roofing contractor in your area, check out NRCA's Web site