Fall is a great time of year, the leaves begin to turn, as does the weather. Most residents are weary of long summer days and humid summer nights, the begin to find some relief in the much cooler weather of fall. Walk down any residential street in the city during the early to mid-fall months and you’ll see folks outdoors, catching up on the outdoor tasks nobody wanted to undertake over the heat of the summer.
Fall temperatures make outdoor work much more palatable. While fall is a great time to address multiple issues in your backyard, however, don’t forget that the exterior of your home is in need of fall maintenance as well. In fact, caring for your roof is one of the most important fall maintenance tasks.
Why Is Roof Maintenance So Important?
Fall is only the beginning of a span of much cooler months ahead. The relatively consistent snow and ice the area receives during those months can wreak havoc on a roof. Since your roof is charged with protecting you, your family, and your possessions from the worst Mother Nature has to offer, you’ll want to keep it in top working condition. In addition, ensuring your roof remains in good, well-insulated shape can help keep your energy bill as low as possible.
Regardless of whether a roof is metal, asphalt, wood shake, tile, or some other material, some fall roof maintenance tasks remain the same across roof types. Others are more specific to the fall season or to your roofing materials. Here are some fall maintenance tasks for metal roofing systems.
How Much Maintenance Is Required For a Metal Roof?
Don’t be intimidated by the idea of fall roof maintenance. Although it is important and an essential task to undertake to extend the beauty and the life of your roof, maintenance isn’t complicated. Remember, most people choose metal roofs because they are relatively low-maintenance; for the most part, this short list can be completed on a single weekend day.
1. Homeowners Should Schedule or Conduct Regular Inspections
Although your roof may appear sound from ground level, it is important to perform a close inspection at least once per year. Fall is a great time to schedule an inspection due to its cooler days and proximity to the winter season. Overall, inspections prevent issues like drain blockages and buildup, corrosion, and debris damage.
Keep an eye out for any changes to the surface of your roof and address any problems using the steps below. If you choose to hire a professional team to perform a thorough inspection of your roofing system, expect attention to the sealant, seams, fasteners, and panels to ensure a waterproof seal.
2. Clean Off Dirt, Mildew, and Other Elements
Dirt, dust, snow and ice are an unavoidable in winter months. Together, they can cause damage to your roof, including unwanted scratching and dulling of the finish. Remove excess dirt buildup with a soft broom or cloth, and sand, prime, and paint any rust spots.
Areas of mold or mildew should be addressed before winter as well. Apply a solution of one quart of bleach and three quarts of water to any mildewed areas. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, then agitate with a soft brush and wipe off with a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse the area thoroughly once the mildew is gone.
3. Clean Out Gutters and Drains
Inspect your gutters and drains for blockage or standing water, then address any cracks or leaks. If excess leaves, sticks, and other matter fill your gutters, water cannot drain properly and may begin to affect the edges of your metal roof, causing corrosion and other damage. Once malfunctioning or blocked gutters become too full, they can begin to sag and crack.
Excess stress from a full, sagging, or broken gutter can cause the edges of your roof to warp or weaken over time. In addition, broken gutters have the potential to scratch or puncture your roof during a windstorm. Thus, any sections of gutter that are damaged must be replaced to prevent further harm to your roof. Once your gutter is cleared of all environmental debris, water can follow the correct path down your roof, into your gutter, and away from your home.
4. Remove Leaves and Other Debris Trapped on Your Metal Roof
Once you’ve removed the debris buildup from your gutters, it’s time to address the debris on your roof. Fortunately, most debris washes away with regular rainfall, but fall is a great time to survey your roof for collections of leaves, sticks and other organic matter. Often, dead valleys – the point at which two planes of your roof meet – are prime spots for debris collection.
Without attention, clumps of leaves and sticks can begin to rot and collect water, causing corrosion, mold, and potential discoloration to your roof’s surface. To combat this, rinse with water from a position that is even with the edge of the roof so you can ensure no water becomes trapped under your roof’s surface. Sweep any stubborn debris away with a soft broom or cloth before performing a final rinse.
5. Make Sure No Other Metals Are Touching the Roof
One of the most damaging substances that can come into contact with your metal roof is, surprisingly, other metal. Elements such as iron and copper can react with the metal of the roof, forming corrosion and leaving rust spots on your roof. It is important to address this issue before winter snow arrives and traps any metal pieces against the surface of your roof.
Watch for stray metal left behind by tradesmen servicing your satellite dish, HVAC components, or solar panels. In addition, ensure that no parts of these components themselves make unnecessary contact with your roof’s surface. Smaller items like nails, other fasteners, and stray children’s toys may also contain metal.
Perform Fall Maintenance on Your Metal Roof Soon
Follow these five steps to protect your metal roof and consider contacting a professional roofing maintenance company or your metal roof installer to perform a more thorough inspection. Then, you can rest easy through the winter knowing that your metal roof is at its best.