Fall is almost here and the rainy season in Tampa is coming to a close. Dryer weather makes roof maintenance easier, so many homeowners conduct their normal roof maintenance routines at this time of year. Cleaning your gutters, inspecting for problems and performing other normal maintenance tasks can help extend the life of your roof.
Some roof maintenance tasks, like gutter cleaning and shingle cleaning, can involve climbing up to a place that is near or on your roof. While some homeowners feel comfortable doing these things for themselves, others are understandably nervous about the idea.
While there is no cut and dry formula that can help you decide whether or not you’re up to the task of performing these basic roof maintenance tasks, keep these tips in mind:
- Have a spotter. Work with a partner or with someone on the ground who can be nearby in case you need assistance.
- Check your equipment beforehand. If you’re working with a ladder or scaffolding, inspect your equipment in advance. Never use a ladder or scaffolding that is broken or damaged.
- Know your limits. Most homeowners should leave tasks that require climbing on the roof to the professionals. Know your roofing maintenance limits and when in doubt, contact a professional.
For more information about roof safety, contact a professional roofing contractor.
Clean the Gutters
Most homeowners need to clean their gutters at least once a year. You’ll be able to tell if your gutters need cleaning just by inspecting the gutters for leaves and debris. You can also tell that your gutters need to be cleaned if they overflow during rain storms.
To clean your home’s gutters, start by gathering your materials. You’ll need a ladder, bucket, trowel and work gloves. Lean the ladder against the side of your home and climb up the ladder. Use the trowel to scoop leaves out of the gutter. Put the leaves in the bucket as you go, and empty the bucket as needed.
When the gutters are all clean, use a hose to spray down the gutters. Watch to ensure that the water is exiting the downspout. If the water fills the downspout but does not exit, this is a clear sign that the downspout is clogged. Use a plumber’s auger to clear the downspout. To use an auger, follow these instructions:
- Insert the tip of the auger into the downspout.
- Feed the cable farther and farther into the downspout until it hits the clog.
- Use the auger’s crank to twist the cable and pierce the clog.
- Continue to push the cable through the downspout until it comes through the other end.
- Pull the cable back up through the downspout.
- Flush the downspout with a strong jet of water from a hose.
You’ll know the gutters have all been cleaned if you can spray water into the gutters and it exits through the downspout.
Cut Down Overhanging Branches
One of the reasons that gutters get so full of debris is because of large trees near the home. Cutting down branches that hang over the house can help fix this problem. While some homeowners feel comfortable doing this on their own, others may prefer to contact a landscaper or arborist. Calling a professional can help ensure that the job is done right without damaging the house or the tree.
Clean Off Algae and Fungus
Algae and fungus can grow on homes in shady, humid locations, especially during the rainy season. This causes stains on the roof, impacting your home’s curb appeal. After a rainy summer, many homes in the Tampa area may have algae stains. Cleaning the roof on a yearly basis can help you maintain your home’s curb appeal.
To clean algae from your roof, do the following:
- Water the landscaping around the perimeter of your home, then cover the landscaping with a tarp.
- Mix together a solution of equal parts oxygen bleach and water.
- Spray the roof with the solution. Use a conventional garden sprayer, but do not use a power washer, as this can damage the roofing material.
Once the algae have been cleaned from the roof, take the tarp off your landscaping right away. To prevent the algae from returning, have a roofer insert zinc or copper strips near the ridge cap on the roof.
Know When to Get a Professional Inspection
While you’re taking care of these roof maintenance tasks, inspect your roof for signs of a problem. Look for:
- Missing shingles or tiles.
- Cracked or broken tiles.
- Sunken areas.
- Curling shingles.
- Piles of asphalt granules in your gutters or at the base of your downspouts.
These are all signs that your roof will soon need to be repaired or replaced. If you see signs of trouble, contact a roofer right away.
Have Questions? Know Who To Call!
At Acoma Roofing, we help homeowners in Tampa and the surrounding area to maintain their roofs. We’ll happily answer your questions about fall roof preparation. To find out more about how you can protect your roof this fall, give us a call.