Fall gutter cleaning is the perfect time to give your roof a quick maintenance inspection. You are already on a ladder and getting a good view of the roof, so look for problem areas and get them fixed before they require a full roof replacement.
Safety always comes first if you will be doing anything that involves ladders. The following tips are important to follow when inspecting your roof:
Get a buddy. Never work on ladders without someone on the ground to keep an eye on you or to call for help if an accident does occur.
Use a sturdy ladder that extends at least 3 feet above the roof eaves. Make sure it is in good repair and opens properly so it supports your weight without collapsing.
Prop the ladder correctly if you use an extension ladder. In general, an extension ladder should set 1 foot from the house walls for every 4 feet it's bridging in height. So a 12 foot high eave means the ladder should be propped 3 feet from the house.
Test the ladder before climbing it to ensure it's anchored correctly. A shaky ladder or a ladder on an uneven surface is a recipe for disaster.
Don't use the top step of the ladder, or any rung that is labeled that it's not a step. Use both hands when climbing the ladder in case you slip.
Look for Trouble Spots
Once you are up the ladder, take a few minutes to inspect the roof before you begin cleaning out the gutters. Damaged shingles are usually obvious. Look for buckling, lifted shingles, or for areas with missing shingles. Loose shingles that are hanging unevenly are another trouble spot.
Flashing, especially around chimneys and vents, may also be in need of repair. If it's bent, damaged, rusty or missing, it's time for new flashing. Peeling caulk around the flashing can also indicate a leak that is about to happen. Flashing sometimes becomes damaged before the roof is at the end of its lifespan, so it's important to keep an eye on it.
Mold, moss and algae is unattractive and can also lead to roof problems. Moss is an especially big issue, since it can work its way under shingles and damage them. If you have a moss or algae problem, you will need to have the roof cleaned. Your roofer can also install a zinc or copper strip near the top of the roof, which will kill off the fungus and moss.
Finally, check the debris you clean out of the gutters. If you find lots of gravel or other detritus from decaying shingles, it may be time to replace your roof.
Catching a roof problem early gives your roofer time to make repairs before your house develops a major leak. You can have the roof repaired in the relatively mild weather of fall, before winter storms arrive and cause more problems. For more questions, contact companies such as Gulfside Roofing Inc for help