A Homeowner’s Guide to Summer Roof Maintenance

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Clay or concrete roofing systems can last for a whopping century or longer. Slate roofs also have a lifespan of at least 60 to 150 years. Asphalt, the most common roofing material in the US, can give you two to three decades of useful service. Those estimates depend on installation, weather conditions, and maintenance, though. While you can’t control the weather, roof upkeep is something you’re responsible for. That includes summer roof maintenance, which you only need to do at least once a year.

To that end, we created this guide listing the top summer roof maintenance tips you should abide by. Keep reading, as these strategies can help extend the lifespan of your roof.

 

Give Your Roof Some Sunscreen Too

According to environmental experts, ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels have increased over the years. The fact that the incidence rate of melanoma in the US has doubled from 1975 to 2000 proves this.

UV rays are always present, but their peak levels occur during spring and summer. So, if not for your roof, you’d constantly be under the mercy of the sun’s UV radiation.

The thing is, the sun’s UV rays can also affect the integrity and structure of roofing systems.

For example, UV radiation can cause chemical reactions in bitumen (asphalt). As a result, asphalt roofs can oxidize, leading to volatile (mass) loss. UV can also speed up the aging and deterioration of asphalt, making it brittle.

Roofing tiles, wooden components, and adhesive can also degrade under constant UV exposure. Over time, tiles can crack, wood can dry, and adhesives can lose their cohesiveness.

If you live somewhere with harsh summers or high UV indices, it may be a good idea to invest in extra roof coating.

Professional roofers can apply this substance to your roof to give it an extra layer of UV barrier. The coat will safeguard your roof and its components from excess UV exposure. It can also reduce solar thermal transfer, contributing to a heatproof roof.

Get Those Tree Branches Out of the Way

Ideally, you should have your trees pruned or trimmed by spring, as this is when they get their leaves back. However, you can always include it as part of your checklist for summer roof maintenance. It’s imperative to cut off low-lying branches come summertime.

Tree branches can scratch away at the outermost layer of your roof. The longer this goes on, the deeper the gouges can get, and they can get deep enough to allow water to seep in. Once this occurs, moisture can penetrate all the way to your attic and cause interior damage.

Thicker branches can also be heavy enough to push or snag roof shingles and tiles. Over time, that tug of war can loosen the adhesive that’s plastering your shingles or tiles to the roof. Summer winds can then completely blow them away.

Speaking of winds, they can be strong enough to break tree branches. If you have low-lying branches right above the roof, they can break and land on your roof. Depending on their size and weight, they can cause huge dents.

So, make it a habit to prune trees on or before the summer season. Their longest branches should be six feet away from your roof.

Don’t Miss the Moss

There are at least 12,000 known species of moss worldwide. Like molds, mosses are tough and hardy, capable of withstanding hot and dry conditions. At the same time, they love moisture, absorbing and holding lots of it.

It’s because of all those properties that moss can thrive on rooftops. Their resilience, coupled with their simple reproduction process, lets them spread quickly.

Those same characteristics make these spore-bearing plants a danger to your roof. If you don’t get them off right away, they’ll only need a few weeks to flourish and overtake your roofing system.

If it rains, the tiny plants can hold in the water for long periods, exposing your roof to constant moisture. This can contribute to or trigger rotting. Moreover, the persistent dampness can affect your roof’s adhesive materials.

As such, be sure to remove moss patches as soon as you notice them on your roof.

Start by hosing off the plants with plain water at a downward angle. This can help loosen their rhizoids, the hair-like structures they use as anchorage. You can then use a roof broom or brush to sweep away the moss.

Make Sure Your Gutters Gut It Out

Roof gutters are the long hollow devices attached to the edges of your roof. They’re there for water management, collecting rainwater that slides off of the roof. They then channel and divert the water away from your home.

Since gutters are empty except when it rains (or snows), they can collect stuff other than water. That includes debris like leaves, twigs, branches, trash, and sometimes, nests and pests. Whatever builds up in your gutters can block the flow of rainwater, making it overflow.

When that happens, your home’s exterior can sustain water damage. The undisposed water can also stagnate in the gutters. This can attract disease-causing bugs, such as mosquitoes.

Clog- and water-filled gutters can also corrode faster. Water can seep out of the rusted areas and pool up by your home’s foundation.

That’s why it’s essential to give your gutters a seasonal cleaning job. If you have plenty of trees near your house, it’s best to clean the gutters at least twice during fall.

Keep These Summer Roof Maintenance Tips in Mind

Remember: the roof is one of the largest immovable parts of your home. It’s also among the most expensive to replace, which is why it’s crucial to make it last for as long as possible.

So, as early as now, start carrying out the summer roof maintenance tips we discussed above.

Looking for other guides on house cleaning, maintenance, and DIY projects? Then please feel free to check out our other categories for more of our latest educational posts!

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