Do you live in an area where you experience protracted rainy seasons? If you live in the Northwest, Northeast, or Southeast, then you almost certainly do. Millions of people in the United States face not so much crippling heat in the summer, but torrential downpours. While places like Seattle or Gainesville are most infamous for this sort of weather, a solid half of the country experiences this.
Some people love rain; some people hate it. Either way, it’s crucial and life-giving. Crops will die, and eventually so will we, if we don’t have our yearly rainy seasons throughout this beautiful country. However, while rain can be helpful to your roofing by cleaning it and keeping it cooler, it can also be your arch nemesis if you don’t take the right preparations.
Have you ever thought about exactly what water damage does to your house? When you think about a damaged roof and rain, you generally imagine the buckets you have to put in place to catch those annoying leaks. The truth is, those leaks are just harbingers of far nastier doom awaiting you if you’ve got a lot of water damage happening.
Water damage will start to eat away at your ceiling, walls, and structure, causing what will eventually become a collapse in time. In the short term, nasty black molds will begin to grow. These can be toxic or even lethal in significant amounts.
Eventually, your roof’s decking will begin to be eaten away by this ongoing damage, and that’s when the danger of collapse becomes real. If all of this damage becomes advanced enough, your house will be condemned by code enforcement, as it’s no longer deemed safe, nor fit, for human habitation. All of this because you didn’t take the time to prepare your house for the rainy season.
Today, we’d like to talk about some simple preparations you can do to get your roof ready for the rainy season. These are all simple, common sense things, things that cost very little to do, aside from a bit of time and effort, and can save you a fortune.
What kind of gutters do you have? Do you already have gutters? If you do, get up there and take a good look at them, and make sure they’re cleaned out. A continuing buildup of debris in your gutters will cause them to overflow, which will mean that your roof isn’t shedding water in a way that it should.
If you don’t have gutters, or you have old, shabby gutters, it’s time to think about something new made of zinc, or perhaps vinyl.
When cleaning your gutters, go ahead and pay close attention to what kind of debris is lurking therein. If you see lots of granules that look like bits of blacktop, then your shingles are starting to degrade too, and you might need to do some replacement of your roof itself before the rainy season arrives.
You should do a roof inspection at the beginning of every season regardless, and this isn’t just to get you to give more roofing contractors business – it’s a way to spot problems before they become serious.
We want first to say that you probably shouldn’t do this inspection yourself, not because we don’t have faith in your ability to perform it, but because getting up on your roof is a tremendously dangerous thing which should only be done by professionals who are used to walking on a pitched roof. That said, let’s talk about some things to inspect on your roof if you really feel up to doing this yourself.
Chief among these is your flashing, which is the seal against second floors, chimneys, vents, skylights, etc. Over time, this can begin to come away, crack, or disintegrate, leaving large sections of your roof without the proper seal that it needs. Damage to flashing will let water in, and you don’t want that to happen.
Next, look for discoloration of shingles, as this is a sign that perhaps they’ve lost their granularity, or that water damage is already happening. These signs could be indicative of pinholes and other problems that you can’t immediately spot. Beware of missing shingles, worn shingles, or exposed surfaces on your roof as well.
Tree branches can be a real menace. As the rains go on, branches will become weighted down with water, and these can snap and break. The strong winds and lightning that come with a lot of rain and thunderstorms can also break these free, causing severe damage to your roof, sometimes significant enough to need emergency roofing repair as soon as the storm subsides.
Even if they don’t break, these branches can get blown up along your roof, tearing away shingles, and causing other untold problems. To address these branches, trim them away from your roof and your electrical lines. Don’t let your trees tear up your property.
Is your roof over two decades old? If you have composite, cedar shake or asphalt shingle, you’re probably due for a roof replacement. No roof lasts forever, and repairs can only do so much before the whole thing requires replacement. If you’re within the warranty, or within the expected lifespan of your roof, your homeowner’s insurance probably covers at least part of the cost of replacing your roof, and with us, you’ve got the best roofers in the business to do it for you.
Don’t wait for the rains to arrive and show that your roof is full of invisible holes and other problems. Fill out our contact form today, and be prepared for the worst, before it arrives. We’ve seen entirely too many homeowners deal with nasty surprises and painful lessons due to the rainy season revealing problems that they didn’t know they had.
Contact us today to inspect your roof for damage before it becomes an emergency.