Winter is coming! That can mean snow, ice, wind, even freeze-and-thaw days that can wreck havoc with everything from your driveway to your roof. And while some wear and tear can’t be avoided, there are certainly red flags that mean you may be in for more than you anticipated sooner or later – whether that means a leaky roof, drafts or even mold.
Here are a couple of things to look out for as a homeowner that may mean it’s time to upgrade, repair or protect your roof before small things become big headaches.
Overhanging Trees And Limbs
Whether they’re arching over your roof or scraping against it, tree branches can definitely become a problem, especially in winter. Branches that are dislodged or broken in the wind and can crash into your roof causing damage.
Plus trees are heavier when covered in snow or ice, so branches that were nowhere near your roof on a summer day may suddenly be scratching against it during a snow storm.
Scratching, rubbing branches cause wear and tear that will run your roof down over time, shortening its life and leaving it prone to problems. The best protection? Trim branches and cut limbs away if they overhang your roof. And if you’re thinking of planting that sapling beside your walkway, consider how it might grow into a roof-nightmare in ten years.
Algae Or Staining
Algae or staining – those less-than-lovely patches you can typically see from the street – result from fungus and can typically be removed with a soft wash.
The good news is that these ugly patches won’t harm the roof but they certainly won’t help your curb appeal. Ultimately that leads to decreased property value so whether the stains are bugging you or you want to sell your home, try washing them off.
Stubborn stains that can’t be removed may mean it’s time to replace the roof.
If you take only one preventative measure to save your roof, make sure that you don’t have any missing or broken shingles.
Not only does this look unappealing but it creates a good (or bad!) possibility of a leak. Exposed nails leave plenty of space where water can seep in and once that happens, you’re wide open to water damage and mold.
If you’ve ever tried to remove mold from within walls you know that it’s neither fun nor inexpensive. It’s also harmful to your health, so avoid the possibility with a roof that is secured and sealed.
But missing shingles aren’t the only problem. Look for any that have curled or warped due to age. Even if they’re still in place, the gaps created by aged shingles can have just as detrimental an effect.
If you’re thinking of replacing or repairing shingles yourself, be sure to inspect the plywood underneath before you do. And if you’re hiring a contractor, make sure you ask questions about how the job is done so you can be assured of the most effective result.
Never place new plywood over damaged plywood. Always replace it instead. Be sure to use a water shield or no number of new shingles will keep a persistent trickle of water out.
Use shingles with an appropriately high wind rating and use six nails per shingle, which is optimal for protecting them during high wind. Good preparation is key to a roof that lasts, so whether you’re thinking of DIY-ing or planning to hire a contractor, arm yourself with this information so you can ask the right questions and make better decisions.
Wondering if your roof can withstand another New Jersey winter? Or have you noticed problems that need fixing? Contact us and we’ll come take a look and let you know how to protect or enhance your investment. We provide a free consultation and estimate and always wipe our feet at the door!