19
Feb

Spring cleaning gutters

spring cleaning gutters

Leaves and other debris in a gutter

Spring cleaning checklists must include cleaning gutters.

Run a ladder up the side for you to precariously balance upon OR do you climb onto the roof itself?

Answer: Climbing on the roof is a better way to go about cleaning gutters.  Assuming that is, your roof isn’t too steep.  The work will go much faster and you can more easily see what you are doing when on the roof.

Take care not to needlessly drag yourself across the roof as you’ll scrape granules off your shingles.  Once in position, use a trowel or a gloved hands to scoop leaves and other debris into a bucket.  Be very careful not to lean on your gutter which will likely bend or break off sending you tumbling over the edge.

Prepare your Super Soaker

On second thought, don’t use a water gun, instead grab a water hose.  After clearing out the bulk of the debris by hand, crank up the hose to run water as forcefully as you can through the gutter.  It will go much faster if you use a nozzle to amp up the pressure.  The water should clear out small debris, dirt, and other junk.

After blasting out the debris, watch the water carefully to make sure the water is flowing down the downspout.  Why?  First, to make sure you do not have leaks or cracks in the gutter itself or where they are joined (i.e. seams).  Second, poor water flow indicates a clogged downspout.  A good suggestion is to come down off the roof and take a quick break so you can check the water from below.  From ground level it is easier to see if the gutter is leaking and if the water is flowing easily through the downspout.  If water is overflowing or if only a small amount of water is coming out the downspout then it is clogged.  You should be able to clear it with water and a broomstick or plumber’s drain snake.

Take advantage of time on the roof.

Sure you could fiddle on the roof; but try to focus on cleaning gutters and looking for problems you cannot easily see from the ground.  What type of problems?

  • Fascia cracks or flashing that is damaged.
  • Missing nails or screws, loose gutters or downspouts, weak joints between gutters, or rust.
  • Branches which are dropping leaves into the gutters or hitting your roof.
  • Missing shingles, wear and tear which needs to be carefully watched, or other necessary roof repairs.

Remember that leaking or broken gutters can not only damage the fascia board but debris can rip the edges of your shingle.  Also, take time to make sure water is not entering your home or pooling somewhere that later will cause major damage.  Finally, walk around your home while looking at the gutters all the time telling yourself, “I won’t wait so long next time.”


Want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

12
Feb

Top 5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips for Valentine’s Day Week

Top 5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips

Spring Cleaning for Roofs

Top 5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips

Happy Valentine’s Day week!

Seriously?  What could be more boring when love and Spring is in the air than thinking about maintaining your roof?

But as the weather warms up in the South it is critical to start the clearing and cleaning process.

Focus first on cleaning winter debris from the roof, eves, and gutters. Garbage in, garbage out.  Failing to remove the garbage from your roof and gutters is almost a guaranteed way to damage your roof.  Then begin a cursory examination of your roof.

What are the Top 5 Spring maintenance tips?

  1. Look for missing, damaged or curling shingles or any other signs of wear and tear.  It’s easy and inexpensive to replace one or two shingles.  Failure to keep up your roof will make it harder to get your insurance company to pay for a full roof replacement – unless you use a lawyer to help.
  2. Check for signs of fungus or algae. If your roof is starting to collect moss or algae, jump into action.  You can also install zinc or lead control strips.
  3. Inspect metal areas for rust.  If it’s present, wire brush the rust, then prime and paint the metal.  Pay attention to the edges of the roof where water often runs.
  4. Examine the flashing to make sure it’s solid. If not, remove all the old caulk and scrub the area clean before re-sealing.  This is a more laborious job and may need to be handled by a roofer or other contractor.
  5. Seal any cracked mortar or caulking around joints and chimneys.

Bottom line is to be proactive

If you see any signs of leaking, like dark spots on the ceiling, or mold or dampness in your attic, act immediately. Roof leaks get worse, not better, and it’s better to spend a few dollars on roof maintenance rather than a lot on a big repair.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

 

14
Jan

Common Roof Problems in the Winter – part 1

Common Roof Problems with snow and man

Man on roof with snow shovel

What are some of the most common roof problems in the winter? – Part 1

Most people immediately think about ice dams.  But there are other issues which can be quite common.

Falling.  Serious fall injuries and even death occurs as people climb on their roof and attempt to clear the snow off.   Secondary damage can be caused by people chopping or hitting their roof to try to get rid of ice.  While the ice might break free, there is a real chance that the shingles or gutters will take damage.  Frequent hacking at the roof or yanking ice off the gutters can lead to water penetration into the roof where the gutters pull away.

Blocked Vents.  Snow-blocked plumbing vents will create drainage problems and even sewer gas backups into the home.  Sewer gas is not only smelly and unsanitary but an explosion risk.  Make sure all vents are tall enough to stay out of the snow.

Cracked or Broken Shingles.  Even when someone does not fall off the roof, when they climb around on frozen shingles they can snap “like a pine needle in the wintertime”.  Walking on older roofs when it is cold or they are frozen almost assures damage.

Snow. Plain and simple, it gets heavy and gets heavy fast!   Accumulated snow, particularly in the early spring when heavy snow coverings absorb rain can quickly become very heavy and cause major damage.  A roof’s core components such as rafters or trusses can break under the strain.  Newer homes with “up to date” or code conforming structures are less likely to break under the weight of snow; but older homes or those where the builder or roofer took shortcuts can easily crack under the strain.

Next up part 2 of Common Roof Problems in the the Winter….


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

25
Nov

Roof Maintenance Tips for Winter

roof maintenance needed for snow on roof

Snow laden roof

Winter Time – Tip for Preventive Roof Maintenance

Fall has quickly passed and we’re moving into Winter, although in the South it stills feels like Fall.  Yesterday, I had a Christmas light installer put lights on my home.  He pointed out that several sections of the roof had “slippery” shingles – meaning the granules easily came off.   I assured him that I knew and asked him to use a ladder instead of running around on my roof.

Preventive roof maintenance is an absolute necessity.  The heat of the summer is behind us, but it’s possible that you have buckled shingles, dried out caulking, or leaking roof areas which are unidentified.  Strong winds over the past several months may have lifted shingles or blown debris such as tree limbs onto your roof.  Take a good look at your drains which easily become clogged which then results in improper drainage which can set up a water penetration situation in the future.

Cold weather issues

Winter brings cold weather, higher winds, and blowing dead or loose debris, which will damage your roof.   As your roof continues to be exposed to nature’s elements, your roof integrity will degrade resulting in damage that can go undetected until it becomes a serious problem.  It is good to remember that your roof is the skin protecting your home or commercial building.  If you have a lot of snow then you should consider snow guards such as those designed by Rock Mountain Snow Guards like this:

Roof maintenance instrument snow guard

Snow Guard from Rocky Mountain

Roof maintenance is as important as auto maintenance

Preventive roof maintenance should be viewed as important as preventive maintenance on a car and truck.  Skipping oil changes or mileage service points will slowly degrade your vehicle – roof maintenance is no different.  I encourage you to have your roof inspected by a professional every three years, or more frequently if you do no engage in preventive maintenance or have moved into a new home and have no idea if the seller did any type of roof maintenance.

Remember though to not jump to conclusions about your roof needing to be replaced simply because a single roofer says you need one.  A quality roofing company will present ideas on how to patch or otherwise mediate your damage.  When you are ready to replace your roof get multiple bids from quality roofing contractors.

Maintenance conclusions

If you are able to get up on your roof, even if only partially via a ladder, do it.  Do your own inspection looking for problems that need to be addressed.  You will save a lot of money by proactively maintaining your roof and heading off issues before they become big problems.

Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

2
Sep

Hail Damage – What to Look For!

Hail Storm

After any hail producing storm, it is very important to check your roof to determine whether or not any damage has occurred. Here are a few things to look for:

•    If safe and easy roof access is possible, check the vents as well as shingles for any damage.

•    Inspect all your gutters and rain spouts for damage or any roof debris. If you do find damage to your gutters, usually there is also damage to the roof.

•    Check inside for any damage to your ceilings and attic. Look for any leaks that could be caused by hail damage.

Still confused or want more information?   Call or email us at RoofBidders.com    We love to provide FREE education to property owners. We will talk with you at no cost.  If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue. 

26
Aug

Are there a large amount of granules in your gutters?

Roof Granules

Commonly, when shingles age and begin to deteriorate at a quicker rate, a large amount of the small granules will begin to pile up in your gutters. If this is the, take a closer look at the actual shingles. The granules may have been knocked off by hail or normal wear. It may be time to have a professional roofer come look at your roof.

Still confused or want more information?   Call or email us at RoofBidders.com    We love to provide FREE education to property owners. We will talk with you at no cost.  If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.