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The Essential Guide to Roof Maintenance

Whether you own a home with an aging roof or have just gotten it replaced, the fact is, it’s crucial that you know how to maintain your roof. That said, with everything that needs to be done inside your home—such as cleaning, repairing, and replacing the various components that make up your home’s interior—it’s all too easy to forget about roof care. Or perhaps you’ve thought about how to maintain your roof, but you’re just not sure how, or you feel too overwhelmed at the mere thought of maintaining the vast expanse that caps your home. Not to worry! Our season-by-season guide to roof maintenance makes it easy to stay on top of things. 

Fall Roof Care

While the recent weather may have tricked you into thinking winter has already arrived, we’re nevertheless still firmly entrenched in the fall season and all that comes with it. Tops in our guide roof maintenance is gutter cleaning, and it’s particularly important that you take on this task before the autumn season ends (and preferably before the next big storm!).

Why is gutter cleaning so critical? Sticks, leaves, and other debris accumulate on your roof and, eventually, are washed down to the gutters by the rain. There, they can form a clog or dam that prevents your gutters from doing their all-important job: diverting all water that lands on and flows down your roof. Left unchecked, clogged gutters can allow all that water to spill right over the sides of your home and seep into the ground next to your house, which can easily cause your basement to flood. Because the water can’t escape your roof, it can also pool up at your roofline and cause leaks there. Your gutters can clog so quickly during the fall that, depending on how many trees surround your home, you may need even need to tackle this task twice or more this season.

While you’re up on the ladder cleaning your gutters, you’ll want to inspect the roof for signs of damage or decay. If you spot anything concerning, give us a call.

Winter Roof Care

Up next is winter, and this season is all about proper preparation. As you and your family are bundling up, consider that your home may need some extra layers, too! Head on up to your attic and check out the underside of roof to ensure it has enough insulation. This not only keeps precious heat inside your home, but it also prevents ice and snow from melting too quickly. Why is this a concern? Because as melting snow flows down your roof into your gutters, it will likely refreeze, creating ice dams in your gutters and huge icicles dangling from your home. The former will create the same problem too many leaves do (so you may end up with a flooded basement or leaky roof). But what’s the big deal about the latter? While icicles may look pretty, they can actually be deadly if they accidentally fall on a person, so it’s important to prevent them from forming. Let’s tackle these issues one at time:

Ice dams: if you’re concerned that an ice dam has formed, the best thing to do is call a professional. Getting up on a roof in any weather is dangerous, but doing so in cold, snowy weather can easily cause serious injury or death!

Icicles: if your home already has large icicles on your roof, the best thing Is to do is avoid them completely. Don’t walk beneath them and use alternate entrances to your home if needed. Pulling them off yourself could cause the gutters to come off, too, so you’re better off calling the professionals at George J Keller & Sons to help with removal.

No matter what, NEVER try to get up on an icy or snowy roof, as doing so could result in serious injury or death. If you need help addressing roof problems this winter, give us a call!  

Spring Roof Care

Spring is easier on your roof than the previous season, to be sure, but this doesn’t mean you’re off the hook in terms of roof care. After surviving another blustery winter, your roof will likely need some attention. Take this time to carefully inspect your roof, looking for holes, cracks, damaged gutters or flashing, mold growth, and other forms of damage or decay. If you note any areas of concern, the best thing to do is call GJ Keller & Sons. At this time, you should also clean out your gutters again to ensure all those spring rains wash cleanly down your roof and through your gutter system.

Summer Roof Care

Yes, we know, summer is a busy time, and you probably have plenty of other home-improvement tasks to check off your list. However, it’s also an ideal time to perform roof-care steps that will make the rest of the year easier and less stressful for you and your roof.

So, just like you did in the spring, perform another inspection of your roof to ensure that all those spring rains didn’t cause any damage. Because spring can be a very wet season, it’s very important to check for mold or algae growth during this time of year as well.

Also, during the course of the year, the trees that surround your home have grown taller, and their canopies have leafed out and extended a bit farther than in previous years. So, take this time to trim any overhanging tree branches (which will mean fewer leaves accumulate in your gutters come fall!).

This guide to roof maintenance gives homeowners the basics of how to maintain a roof and should go a long way to helping you ensure your roof looks good and functions optimally and your home stays warm and dry for years to come. If you have any concerns or are experiencing problems with your roof, give us a call at 973-927-0963! The professionals at George J. Keller & Sons can inspect your roof and diagnose and address any issues that may be affecting your roof’s performance. Contact us today!

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