Because of the cold temperatures, snow and storms that we experience over the winter months in Ontario, many of our home maintenance tasks are left to the summer. Roof maintenance is no different.
There are many ways in which you can maximize the life of your roof by staying on top of roof maintenance this summer.
1. Inspect your roof to ensure that it hasn’t suffered any damage over the winter months and that it is up to the task of protecting your home from summer heat and storms. You are looking for: damaged shingles; damage to flashing or sealant around chimneys, vents and skylights; moss or algae growth; and dirt or debris that may have collected in the valleys of your roof.
If you have an asphalt shingle roof, make sure not to walk on your roof during the hottest part of the day, as the shingles can be more susceptible to damage when they are hot.
2. Clean your gutters. Even in the spring, gutters can quickly become plugged with dirt, leaves, grass and other debris. Make sure that gutters are functioning at peak efficiency before the next summer storm. Installing gutter guards may make this task easier, or even unnecessary, in the future.
3. As you clean your gutters, make sure that none of them have come loose. Screws and fastenings often become loose over time. You don’t want your gutter system to fail in the middle of a storm.
4. Check for debris around the eaves of your home. Stinging insects such as wasps love to make nests under the eaves of a house. Birds or other small animals may make nests in alcoves under the eaves. Be sure to block off any openings into your attic to prevent animals from moving their homes indoors.
5. If you have a metal roof, the extreme temperature fluctuations that we experience during the summer will cause the panels of your roof to expand and contract. In some cases, this can result in the exposure of sealants used for weatherproofing metal roofs. Keep a look out for exposed sealant as this may be problematic. When inspecting your roof or executing maintenance or repairs, remember that safety comes first. Never go up on your roof unless you have both the physical ability and the equipment to do so safely. When in doubt, hire a professional to help with your summer roof maintenance.