Our roofs are arguably the most important parts of our homes, but we don’t often think about them until something goes wrong. As winter approaches in the midwest, consider these roof maintenance and safety tips to make sure your family can comfortably hunker down inside.
- Frequently remove any loose debris from your roof
Don’t let leaves or branches accumulate on your roof. If left unchecked, debris can prevent your roof from properly draining water, leading to troublesome leaks and ice dams.
- Clean your gutters at least twice a year
If leaves and branches are able to work their way down your roof and into your gutters, they can cause additional blockages that prevent water from draining. At least twice a year, get out your ladder and a set of helping hands to clear debris from your gutters.
- Keep nearby trees trimmed
One of the best ways to prevent leaves and branches from causing trouble on your roof is to keep them away from your house in the first place. Make sure your trees are kept healthy and regularly trimmed. If your neighbors have large trees near your property, talk to them about regular pruning as well.
- Check for signs of shingle damage or wear
Routinely take a look at your roof to examine any loose, missing, or otherwise damaged shingles. The earlier you catch a problem, the easier — and cheaper — it is to fix.
- Wash your roof to prevent algae and moss
Pay attention to your roof’s color. Does it have any light streaks? Algae, moss, mold, and other fungi can accumulate on your shingles over time, and they can eventually cause your roof to deteriorate. You can prevent this problem by periodically spray washing your roof with a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent bleach.
- Invest in a professional roof inspection
It’s a good idea to have your roof professionally inspected every two years. An experienced inspector will be able to catch any potential problems before they have a chance to get worse, and he or she can provide you with roof maintenance tips customized to your unique situation. These appraisals typically range between $200 to $700 dollars — well worth it for the problems they can save down the road!
Stay safe if you get on your roof to perform any maintenance yourself
If you think you can handle some of your roof’s mild maintenance on your own, follow a few safety precautions to minimize your risk of injury.
- Wear weather-appropriate attire
Make sure you’re protected from the elements up on your roof. Wind can feel much stronger when you’re exposed on a high surface, so take care to wear any necessary jackets, hats, mittens, and goggles to stay safe.
- Evaluate whether your roof is safe to access
Before getting out the ladder and climbing up, consider whether your roof is actually safe to access. Ice and snow can make it tough even for professionals to keep their footing — there’s no shame in getting help from an experienced restoration company. The best days for roof maintenance are sunny and dry.
- Get a helping hand to watch your back
Avoid accessing your roof when home alone. Have a friend hold the ladder for you and watch your back as you climb up. If anything does go wrong, they’ll be on-site to get help quickly.
- Use appropriate safety gear
Always use an appropriate safety harness when accessing your roof, even if it’s just for a quick project. If you have any doubts about your equipment, reach out to a professional to do the job for you. No missing shingle or pile of debris is worth jeopardizing your safety!