What To Put on Your Summer Roofing Maintenance Checklist

Commercial Roofing | Installation | Repairs | Roofing | Services
July 7, 2023

Take a moment to imagine what the average roof in Portland, Oregon, has to deal with over the course of a year: rain and sometimes snow and ice during the winter, which eventually gives way to punishing solar radiation during the long, hot summer days. And let’s just say a little about that rain: Portland usually gets around 36 inches or more of rain per year, and every one of those raindrops that hits your roof contributes to wear and tear. It’s for this reason that the Portland roofing experts at Interstate Roofing recommend performing maintenance at least twice a year.

Your roof maintenance should be performed when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. This is why it’s a good idea to pick one of the more temperate days of the summer to begin working your way through a roofing maintenance checklist.

Here are a few things every summer roof maintenance checklist should have:

Start With the Insulation

One of your roof’s most important jobs is to provide insulation for your home. This is especially true in the summer. Since warm air rises, your roof will likely have to contend with hot temperatures both from the sunlight above and the air below. Of course, you’ll likely also be running the air conditioner a lot during the summertime, and poor insulation will force your AC unit to work harder and drive your energy bill up.

As part of a regular roof maintenance checklist, inspect the insulation in the attic beneath your roof. Over the course of the year, moisture may sneak in and gradually degrade the foam or other insulation material, ultimately weakening your roof’s ability to keep you cool during the summertime. A professional roofer can repair or replace any damaged or missing insulation.

Look for Missing Shingles

Throughout the year, it’s likely your roof will be subjected to at least a few days of especially heavy wind. The Portland climate is windier due to its proximity to the ocean and the Columbia River Gorge, which create weather patterns such as sea breezes that move inland. This means that Portland roofing often gets a fair amount more wind than the roofs in many other parts of the country.

On occasion, these windy conditions can become strong enough to rip the shingles right off the roof. This is a problem because those shingles provide your roof with its first line of defense against moisture, and any compromised areas can allow moisture to seep in. Left unchecked, what starts as a small drip can eventually develop into a full-blown leak, which can encourage the growth of toxic mold or cause property damage inside the house. For this reason, you should always look for damaged or missing shingles as part of your summer roofing checklist.

Keep an Eye Out for Rusted Flashing

The flashing on your roof is the thin metal material that is used to direct water away from some of the more vulnerable areas. By the nature of its job, the metal flashing comes in contact with more water than nearly any other part of the roof. And while well-made flashing can handle quite a bit, water always wins in the end, and eventually even the best flashing material will corrode.

Corroded flashing is another way that moisture can find its way through the protective layers of your roof and into the house. This moisture can also become trapped underneath the shingles or underlayment, where it can contribute to the weakening of the support structure that holds your roof together. The good news is that flashing is relatively easy for an experienced professional roofer to repair: often, just a few drops of roofing cement will do the trick.

However, before it can be fixed, the problem must be identified, which can be done by going through your summer roofing maintenance checklist.

Check for Clogged Gutters and Storm Drains

Summer is also a good time to make sure the gutters, downspouts, and storm drains on your roof aren’t becoming clogged. Autumn, winter, and even spring can be tumultuous times for these critical elements of your roof, as the wind and rain will transport fallen leaves. These will eventually build up inside the areas that are meant to drain away water. If they become fully clogged, water will begin to pool on the roof itself. These areas of stagnant water can do a great deal of damage if they’re not allowed to drain quickly.

It’s fairly easy to clean a clogged gutter or storm drain if you have the right tools, but once again, you can only do so if you are aware of the problem. It’s highly recommended that you or your roofing professional check the gutters and drains a few times each year, especially in the summer after a long season of falling debris.

Get Any Leaks Fixed Immediately

While most of what we’ve mentioned should always be a part of a regular maintenance program, having it repaired quickly isn’t necessarily critical. While you’ll need to address any of the problems above as soon as you can, you do not usually need to consider them emergencies. When it comes to a leaky roof, however, you’ll need to contact a professional from Interstate Roofing as soon as you can and ask them to make repairs. Failure to do so can often compromise the entire roof, leading to a very expensive and time-consuming roof replacement and damage to the interior of your home.

Detecting leaks usually starts when you are inspecting the attic. You may notice black areas where water that has seeped in has encouraged mold growth. You may feel that certain areas are wet to the touch. In more severe cases, the wood itself of your roof’s support structure may have become weak and spongy. This is a Portland roofing emergency—contact a professional roofer as soon as possible to perform repairs for you.

Regular roof maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your Portland roofing in tip-top shape. It’ll be protecting your home from the Oregon weather for many years to come.