Maintaining your roof and gutters is an important part of home maintenance. Properly cared for, your roof and gutters will last for years longer and cost less to repair. Some homeowners wait until it’s too late to prevent an expensive repair bill. So what are ways you can properly take care of your roof and gutters?
Here are seven tips to help you keep up with your outdoor home maintenance:
1. Remove Debris From Your Gutters
With the changing of seasons in Portland, trees shed hundreds of leaves that end up in or on your roof and gutters. Trees lose decaying and lifeless leaves to make way for new, more vibrant ones. Over time, leaves build up in your gutters and will clog them if left unchecked.
You may also find nuts and seeds in addition to leaves, depending on which trees you have. If a bad rainstorm hits, this can lead to water building up with nowhere to drain. An easy fix is to grab a ladder and some gloves and pull out the offending debris safely.
If you have a hose with a long enough extension, a well-aimed blast of water can dislodge stubborn blocks of leaves, dirt, and other material to clear up your gutter. Be careful of the water pressure you use, as it can damage the roof.
2. Check the Downspouts of Your Gutters
Downspouts are where water drains out of your gutters. Downspouts can’t generally be inspected or cleared without removing them. Take a look out the window though during the next rain storm. If you see water overflowing, you may have a clogged downspout.
Make sure the downspout is clear of debris and directed away from the foundation of your home so that your gutters can drain properly. Be careful of any nests of insects or other animals that may have decided to make a home, however. Your gutters will thank you for doing this.
3. Keep Your Trees in Tip-Top Shape
Trees are a big source of debris that can fill up your gutters as well as your roof. Branches can be knocked off your trees from storms or fall as your trees get older. Some may even drop from high enough to damage shingles or dent your gutters.
If you have tree limbs covering your roof, it can do more than just clutter your roof. Varied species of birds and squirrels can see it as a means to make a home for themselves as pests. This can be an annoyance and lead to potential damage to your home. Keep an eye on your trees, and if any branches or limbs are encroaching near your roof, trim them up to remove potential problems.
4. Be Proactive About the Portland Winters
Every season has its ups and downs. Unfortunately, winter isn’t the easiest time for roofs and gutters. Portland winters are known for their continuous rain. This wet weather can put a lot of wear on your shingles and flashing. If either weakens or becomes loose, it may be enough to cause damage or even leaks.
Inspecting your roof before the rainy season and fixing any trouble spots can save you heavier damage during the winter. You should also inspect your roof in the spring to catch any damage and repair it before it becomes a larger problem. It’s also a good idea to check for damage after the rare snow or ice storm.
5. Catch Leaks Before They Happen
Has it been some time since you looked at your roof? Over time, the weather will wear away even the best-made shingles. Watch for any damage done: water and other weather can infiltrate through cracks and missing shingles.
If water has managed to get through this outer roof protection, it can lead to mold and harmful bacteria building up and causing problems inside your home. Mold and bacteria can spread out far and wide if left unchecked.
6. Check Your Insulation and Inner Roof
With the diverse types of weather in Portland, your roof and gutters will be thrown a barrage of shifting temperatures. If you haven’t checked your attic in a while, take a moment to take a look. Insulation in an attic keeps the temperature inside your house stable.
You may need to replace it with new material as it gets worn. You can use this as an opportunity to see if there is any water leaking into your home. Check the ceilings of your other rooms as well for any signs of leaking.
The earlier you detect leaks, the better chance you have to minimize damage and save money on more invasive repairs. Rotted wood is a perfect environment for mold and bacteria and is unsafe for keeping your attic and roof stable.
7. Don’t be fooled by a gutter guard
Leaf guards or gutter guards are put over the top of your gutters in an attempt to catch debris that would fall inside. They are meant to make cleaning your gutters easier to do. Talk to your roofing contractor about whether this is a viable option for your home. Most roofers will steer you clear, as debris can build up on top, which can allow water to seep into your home.
Are Your Gutters and Roof in Portland Ready for a Tune-Up?
Interstate Roofing has been helping Portland residents for years to keep their roofs and gutters in great shape for decades. We can inspect for damage and give you a fair quote for any repairs that need to be done. We can also perform regular maintenance and keep your roof looking and working its best all year. Let professionals help you care for your home. Visit our residential services page for more information.