When is the best time to check the roof of your home for potential maintenance items? If you said winter, you’re half right.
Wintertime roof maintenance in Portland, Oregon, means clearing the gutters of leaves and needles that fell from the trees during the fall. It means ensuring puddling water doesn’t build up on your roof and accumulate where it shouldn’t. And that’s important to watch for during the rainy season.
But it’s equally as important to keep an eye on your roof in the hot, dry summer months. Where do you begin?
Perform an Inspection
In order to determine if you have problems with your home’s roof, you have to do a visual inspection of your property on a regular basis so you know if and when things go wrong. You can start by doing this yourself and then call in a pro if you determine something doesn’t look right. Or if you have any questions that may impact the safety of your home.
First, take a look at your home’s gutters and eaves. This is where debris often accumulates. Left over time, it turns into a gunky mess of leaves, dirt, and other debris that can solidify and block water’s path. These blockages are a common place for rodents or other pests to build nests and make their homes.
Next, take a look at your roof’s flashing. These are the metal strips used around chimneys, vents, and other protruding elements coming out of your roof. Over time, these metal pieces can pry loose and move, allowing water to seep through. This is often where leaks start.
Finally, assess the shingles on your roof. Are any loose? Are any missing? If any of your shingles appear to be damaged, there’s a good chance a problem exists beneath the surface too. That’s the first indication a leak might be developing. And if you notice it during the dry summer months, you’re less likely to receive extensive damage inside your home.
Maintain Your Gutters
Now that you’ve looked inside your gutters, it’s time to make cleaning them a regular part of your routine. That’s the best roof maintenance item you can add to your to-do list to keep your Portland, Oregon, home operating at its best.
Have you ever sat inside and watched heavy rain pour beyond your roof, over the top of your gutters, and puddle alongside your home? That’s what happens when your gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. That means there’s a blockage somewhere in the system. And it’s your job to ensure it’s removed and the puddling stops.
Many things can impact the flow of water through your gutters throughout the year. A severe thunderstorm can loosen gutters and create tiny cracks throughout the gutter system. If a tree branch breaks off, it can crash into your gutters and knock them loose. Even age can wear on the building materials, breaking down wood, metal, and connections over time.
If you own a home, your gutters are the key to maintaining a safe, dry environment throughout. And one of the most common problem areas is the gutters. Watch them. Check them. Inspect them. And if you think you have a problem, even if you aren’t sure, check with a professional, such as Interstate Roofing, before the problem grows.
Maintain Your Trees
Let’s talk about another common problem with Portland, Oregon, homes: big trees. We love our trees. They’re a part of our culture. We protect them with laws and regulations. But when they’re near your homes, they can also be a bit of a problem.
It doesn’t take much of a storm to wreak havoc on a large tree. Broken limbs can sail across your yard. Large limbs can break away and come crashing down. And, of course, there’s just the day-to-day living with your trees, as they drop leaves, needles, flower petals, fruit, seeds, sap … you get the picture. As much as we love our trees, it also can be a bit of a challenge keeping up with daily care.
It can be difficult to assess the health of a tree, especially when it towers over your home. Even if a tree seems healthy, one quick change in the weather can impact your home and create large amounts of damage. If you have a question about a tree’s health, fix the problem before it becomes a bigger issue and causes extensive damage to your roofing system.
Maintain Your Skylights
Many Portland homeowners use skylights to bring light into their homes. And while they are a perfect addition to any home wanting a little more natural light, they can be a major contributor to home maintenance issues.
Check the flashing that runs around your skylights on a regular basis to ensure it hasn’t loosened. You should check it after every major storm too, as small leaks can quickly become big problems.
While the Pacific Northwest doesn’t see hail storms at the same frequency as the Midwest, there are occasional blasts in the summer. If a small, pebble-sized hail hits the right way, it can damage glass. Small divots and cracks can allow water to flow in a way not designed. And that means the water can move throughout your home in a way you might not expect. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye to the sky, especially if there’s been a severe storm.
Check for Mold
Some of your roof maintenance projects don’t occur outside; instead, they require a steadfast eye as you move throughout your home. As you enter each room in your home, look up to the ceiling. Have you noticed discoloration anywhere on your ceiling? Is there a spot that won’t go away? Does it appear darker in a thunderstorm?
This is a telltale sign something could be wrong up in your attic. Your attic can be a breeding ground for mold if not properly cared for. While you should never touch insulation, especially if it’s fiberglass, you may have noticed problem areas if you’ve ever popped up and taken a look around.
Specifically, check for different colors on wooden beams. Look for peaks and valleys in the insulation batting. Look for movement in metal joists and flashing. Notice unusual smells. All can be a sign of a problem with your roof and water seeping in and impacting the rest of your home.
Mold is a dangerous issue. It’s important to deal with it as quickly as possible so it doesn’t impact your home or your family’s health.
If you spot or suspect any problems during your summer roof maintenance of your Portland, Oregon, home, it might be time to schedule a roof repair appointment. At Interstate Roofing, we’ll happily take a look and provide you with a free estimate of any work that needs to be done.