Are you a homeowner? At one point in time, every homeowner has worried about how their roof will fair during a severe storm. Regardless of where you are in the United States, every homeowner will experience extreme weather at some point in their life. Here in Minnesota, you’re most likely to deal with hail, lightning, flooding, high winds, and tornadoes. All of which can lead to disaster when it comes to your roof.
Mother nature and the elements may be uncontrollable, but the maintenance of your roof isn’t. These simple tips in this article from the experts at Ashton McGee Restoration Group will help you stay prepared and safe for whatever life may throw at your home.
Roof Maintenance: Prepare your Roof for Severe Weather
Minnesota is known for its harsh winters. There are a few maintenance goals for your roof that you’ll want to achieve come springtime. Follow these simple steps to help prevent and minimize some of the most common problems homeowners deal with during severe weather.
Annual inspections by a roofing professional are perhaps the most important thing you could do as a homeowner. There are two major reasons why you’ll want to do this in the springtime. Firstly, it’s always good to ensure your roof is undamaged after long winters. A thorough inspection will keep you up-to-date with how the home fared during snowfall and storms. It’ll also help you plan for the next winter season.
Second, if your roof is damaged, it will help you stay on top of any repairs that you need to make. This way, you’ll be able to catch a minor repair before it transforms into a major financial repair.
Your gutters are perfect for collecting all types of debris in all seasons. However, winter seasons, in particular, are known for causing a build-up of sticks and twigs, which can prevent proper drainage as the snow melts. In turn, this will lead to mold and algae build-up as the warmer months start to roll around.
Mold, Algae, and Moss
As mentioned earlier, mold and moss can begin to grow in your gutters and on your roof shingles. This is due to the consistent moisture accumulation from the snow during the winter. It has the potential to diminish the protective qualities of your shingles and could potentially lead to leaks in the future. It’s worth noting that professional roofers can apply a coating to your roof that not only kills algae and mold but prevents it from growing back over time.
An often-overlooked roof maintenance chore during spring is the trimming of low-hanging tree branches. You’ll want to trim down any tree branches that are reaching too close to your roof. Otherwise, those branches will eventually bloom and fall, causing blockages in the gutters and moisture traps on your shingles.
Doing so has less to do with roof maintenance and more so with preventive measures. Large tree branches break all the time during winter due to snow accumulation. It’s imperative to get rid of any large tree branches that expand over the roof now before they potentially break and fall into your roof, resulting in thousands of dollars in roof repair.
Chimneys, Skylights, and Vents
There are a few tips you’ll want to follow when it comes to skylights, vents, and chimneys. All three of these are especially susceptible to water damage and leakage into your roof because they are essentially potential openings. Ideally, you’ll want to get these inspected by a roofing specialist. However, there are a few things you can do yourself to ensure they are structurally sound as well.
Vents, skylights, and chimneys all share a common flaw. They’re all prone to leaks over time. All have a type of sealant placed around the base of the structure. It’s important to ensure that this seal is not cracked, chipped, or peeling away.
Dry-rot with skylights is an especially common issue with silicone/rubber type sealants after prolonged exposure to the sun and water. In addition, chimneys are prone to cracked flashings, damaged crowns, and water-damaged masonry. Finally, vent openings commonly degrade over time by natural elements. Wind, water, and sun exposure all play a role in deteriorating the seal and leading to leaks.
Thankfully, if repaired correctly, you won’t need to worry about any leaks for years to come.
Window Preparation for Severe Weather
Severe weather takes a toll on all aspects of your home, not just the roof. Here are some tips to help prevent catastrophic damage to your home windows during a severe storm.
Window shutters are a great way to protect your windows during severe weather such as hail or strong winds. They come in different materials such as aluminum, hard plastic, and wood. They’re also easy to install, which can help save money for those who prefer a DIY approach.
If shutters are not ideal, you can also get storm-rated windows installed instead. These impact-resistant windows can get pricey depending on the brand, but they’re rated to hold up against the toughest of winds. A benefit is that they function like any ordinary home window as well.
Maintain Your Roof for Years To Come
Every homeowner will deal with a form of extreme weather. This can be hail, extreme heat, blistering winters, tornadoes, and everything in between. Roof storm damage from a severe storm can be stressful and costly, but you can avoid it!
We at Ashton McGee Restoration Group hope the following guide serves you well in helping you maintain your home. Following these simple and practical tips can help prepare you for whatever elements mother nature throws at your doorstep.
And if you’re here because a storm has already damaged your roof and you’re in need of an extra hand restoring it? Don’t worry – call us if you’re in Minnesota or Wisconsin area!