How To Prepare Your Residential Roof For Storms

How To Prepare Your Residential Roof For Storms

Gale force winds. Pouring rain. Golf ball-sized hail. When a storm blows in over Puget Sound, we all know our homes better be ready for it. One of the keys to always keeping your home prepared is preventative maintenance. Here’s how you can stay ahead of the next storm with a well-maintained roof.

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

Routine maintenance is the most effective way to extend the lifespan of your roof, and help it get through major storms unscathed. This is especially true in a region known for drastic temperature fluctuations, ample rainfall, and abundant tree coverage.

Storms often come with high winds and even hail. They can send leaves, twigs, and tree limbs crashing onto your roof. If it happens, you’ll sleep more soundly knowing your roof has been properly maintained and looked after. It’s also a good idea to have your roof looked at by a professional after a big storm to make sure it didn’t receive any hard to spot damage. 

What is Included in Roof Maintenance

When you contact a roofing professional for a maintenance visit, don’t forget to ask them what their services include. A good company will perform a thorough inspection and will be upfront about exactly what they will be looking for. Scheduling a roof inspection and maintenance visit from a trusted roofing contractor should include:

  • Checking for loose or damaged shingles – Shingles often get weakened by rain or lose their coating due to hail impacts. If you catch failing shingles early, it’s usually easy to replace just the affected shingles rather than needing a whole roof replacement
  • Inspecting ‘problem areas’ – The areas around skylights, chimneys, and vents are all locations where water can potentially get in, and should be checked regularly.
  • Removing moss, algae and lichen buildup – These are common afflictions in areas with a humid climate or lots of rain and can weaken your roof over time. 
  • Clearing away debris – This includes fallen leaves, twigs, branches and other debris which lands on the surface of your roof. Debris like this can build up over time, especially if you live around a lot of trees, and it can get washed into your gutters during a storm. 
  • Inspecting gutters and downspouts – If heavy rains hit and your gutters are too clogged to handle the runoff, water will most likely back up onto your roof, which can lead to potential leaks and serious damage. 
  • Looking for damaged flashing and worn-out sealants – A professional will look into these harder-to-see areas up close, which isn’t always possible from ground level. 
  • Making sure chimneys are stable – Although often overlooked, it’s important to make sure your chimney is safe and secure and the area around it is well-sealed and free of leaks. 

When to Schedule Maintenance

Roof maintenance can be done any time your roof needs it, and if your roof is over 5 years old and hasn’t been checked recently, then the sooner you schedule your roof for an inspection the better.

Otherwise, it is generally recommended homeowners have roof maintenance done at least once a year, although twice is preferable. Early spring and late fall are the ideal seasons for this, for a variety of reasons:

  • Spring maintenance – It’s important to make sure your roof is still in great shape as you leave winter behind and prepare for those big spring and summer storms. Spring is one of the most popular seasons for roof maintenance, especially if the previous winter has been a harsh one. 
  • Fall maintenance – Late fall is a great time for roof maintenance too. A maintenance check at this time of year can include clearing away all the fallen leaves from your gutters and roof surface, and making sure your roof is winter-ready. Even though we don’t typically get a lot of show in this area, there’s still a risk of ice dams forming during a cold snap, and a well-maintained roof is crucial to preventing them. 

Choosing the Right Contractors

One of the most important aspects of roof maintenance is working with a qualified, experienced roofing contractor who understands the challenges faced by homes in coastal Washington. Working with the same trusted contractor over and over again also allows them to get to know you and your roof, which helps them take better care of it.

Contact Guardian Home today to learn more about working with us. Our founders have 60 years’ combined roofing experience and our team is committed to providing the best craftsmanship and customer service in the greater Puget Sound area.