Spring is another great time for roof and gutter maintenance, whether for your house or your commercial building. During the Winter, heavy snowfall might have caused branches and leaves to fall off of overhanging trees and onto your roof. Wind might have blown leaves or other debris onto your roof or into your gutters. What's more, some trees don't loose their leaves until Winter or early Spring, so when you performed your Fall roof and gutter maintenance, they may not have fallen yet. Or maybe you didn't perform any roof and gutter maintenance last Fall at all. Either way, below are 4 things to look for to make sure your roof and gutters are ready for our Spring rain and snow.
1. Check for roof and gutter damage
a. Minor roof damage
An example of minor roof damage is evidence of wear, such as from tree branches rubbing on your roofing shingles. Although this is not an emergency, you should contact your roofing contractor to get on their schedule so they can inspect the damage and get those shingles replaced before it turns into a serious problem. At that same time, you should trim the tree branches that were rubbing on the roof back so they don't continue to cause damage.
b. Major roof damage
Major roof damage is, for example, a hole in your roof or severe tree branch rubbing or exposed shingle fibers. If you have a hole in your roof, from woodpeckers or a fallen tree branch, your attic is now exposed and open to rain, birds, insects, etc. If rain and hail get into your attic, you now run the risk of a leaking ceiling and mold growing in your attic. If wasps or other inspects get into your attic, now you have a pest problem. Repair major roof damages right away. Contact your roofing contractor immediately to schedule an inspection.
c. Minor gutter damage
Minor gutter damage, if ignored, can lead to more serious problems later. Minor gutter damage includes your gutter pulling away from your house. If you ignore this, the entire gutter might fall off when we get one of our heavy and wet Colorado snow storms. If your gutter falls off, more than likely it will get damaged beyond repair and need to be completely replaced.
d. Major gutter damage
Examples of major gutter damage are if a gutter has been ignored for a long time and has rusted through, or if the gutter has been struck by a tree and it's past the point of repair. Also look for rotting fascia and soffit. (the fascia is the part your gutter is secured to. The soffit is the part that's under your roof) Rotten fascia and/or soffits can not support your gutter and they will eventually fall, and possibly hurt someone.
2. Clean your gutters
If you don't clean your gutters, or have them cleaned, this can lead to a blockage. To help prevent clogged gutters, check out GutteRx, the gutter guard system. A blocked gutter isn't functioning properly, which can lead to more problems. A blocked gutter isn't flowing rainwater through them and into your downspouts. Leaves, branches, nests often block gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters cause rainwater to flow over the edge and pool around your foundation or onto sidewalks. Around your foundation is not where you want rainwater to go. You want rainwater to flow away from your house and its foundation. Otherwise, it can cause problems to your foundation.
3. Check for gutter leaks
A leaking gutter means it's not functioning properly and directing rainwater away from your house and foundation. Spring time in Colorado means it can still freeze, at night or during the day. If you've lived in Colorado for any length of time, you know the weather can change quickly. It might be 65º one day, and 32º the next. If your gutters are leaking, and it freezes at night, you might wake-up the next morning to patch of ice on your walkway or sidewalk.
4. Prune overhanging tree branches
Often, snowfall in the Spring in Colorado is wet and heavy. If you have tree branches hanging over your roof, and we get one of those common Spring snow storms, that snow might weigh those overhanging tree branches down. This might cause them to break and fall onto your roof, or rub on your roofing material, such as asphalt shingles. Either way, this will cause damage to your roof or gutters. Therefore, it's important to make sure there aren't any trees or tree branches too close to your roof or gutters.
Keep an eye open for the above roof and gutter maintenance issues, and your roof and gutter will last longer. Whether you checked your roof and gutters in the Fall or not, have another look in the Spring, or contact your roofing contractor for an inspection, to make sure there's no damage. It's better to catch a minor problem sooner before it turns into a major and more costly problem later. Most roofing contractors, including us, will inspect your residential or commercial roof, or gutters, free of charge. Contact us for a free roof and/or gutter inspection.
Homeowner tip: Pick-up an inexpensive drone to fly over your roof and gutters to check for damage, while you stay safe on the ground. You can pick-up a new one for just over $300, or possibly a used one for less at B&H or Amazon.