How To Prep Your Roof For Fall

image of roof edge with leaves on top

What’s not to love about the fall season? With colourful leaves dotting the trees, pumpkin patches opening their gates, and the crisp, autumn air blowing through the city, fall in Vancouver is a sight to be seen. As you begin buttoning up your jacket and raking your yard, consider how well prepared your roof is for the colder weather.

Before Vancouver starts to freeze over – and it’s predicted to be a chilly winter in 2021 – there are a few ways you can get ahead of the cold.

1. Trim the Trees

While the leaves are beautiful, they’re not the ideal decorum for your rooftop. Trimming back your branches not only minimizes the amount of leaves and debris clogging up your gutters but prevents damage as well. Fallen branches could wreak havoc on your home. Whether it be twigs jamming between your shingles or heavy branches breaking through your windows and roofing materials, it’s a good idea to give your trees a little pre-season haircut.

2. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters play a crucial role in the health of your roofing system. From collecting leaves and debris to promoting proper drainage away from your rooftop, clean gutters are key. However, they’re rendered useless and potentially hazardous, if not regularly cleaned.

While you may not associate the summer with clogged gutters, Vancouver is a very lush city. Year round, Greater Vancouver is spoiled with excess greenery. As such, summer storms could have blown twigs, needles, plant debris, and trash into your gutters and downspouts. Combine this with fall leaves and you’ve got quite the predicament on your hands.

A quick clean out of your gutters and downspout will prepare your drainage system for fall. As the leaves start to fall even more, aim to remove gutter buildup every week or two. Once the trees fall completely bare, try to squeeze in a thorough cleaning before winter hits.

Here are a few ways you can clean your gutters:

  • By hand, using a plastic spatula to scoop out the leaves and scrape any grime sticking to the interior.
  • With a leaf blower, a quick and efficient way to blow out leaves and debris.
  • Using a garden hose with the correct attachment (rigid tube with a curved end) can work well if there’s no serious clogs. You can even clean them from the ground, rather than up on a ladder.
  • For your downspouts, using a plumber’s snake can break through any obstructions. Follow it up with a quick rinse with a hose and you should be good to go.

3. Clear Off Debris

Branches, twigs, leaves, pine needles, garbage, and any other type of material found on the surface of your roof should be cleared off. While you may think it’s for aesthetic, you’d be surprised the damage debris can cause to your roof. Since debris holds moisture, it can cause molding and rotting to your roof’s surface. With the amount of heavy rain Vancouver gets, you can see why it’s so important to clear off any potential culprits. If you’re comfortable walking on your roof, you can use a broom to brush off any debris.

4. Check for Damage

While you’re clearing your roof, you can take some time to check for signs of deterioration or damage. A damaged roof can quickly become a leaky one. Not only does this cause structural damage, but it also drives up energy costs when expensive heat escapes through your roof. Here are a few things you can look for:

  • Cracked or loose tiles
  • Curling or missing shingles
  • Damaged flashing around vent stacks, chimney, and skylights
  • Loose gutters

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for moss, algae, and mildew. These can shorten the lifespan of your roof by degrading the roofing materials. If you think you spot signs of these conditions, have a professional roofer inspect the areas to provide proper treatment.

5. Check the Attic Ventilation

If your attic shows signs of moisture build-up, you could be dealing with an insufficient roof. Dampness could mean you’re in need of leaky roof repair. When an attic is too hot, you could be experiencing poor ventilation, specifically regarding your ridges and soffits. Excess attic heat can also cause ice dams in the winter, causing built-up snow on your roof to leak into your building.

A good indicator of the state of your attic is to look at the insulation. The following signs mean a call to your roofing contractor is needed:

  • Lumps/ clumps
  • Damp, dark spots
  • Thinning
  • Shrinking
  • Material does not reach edges of the wall

Next Steps

If you notice signs of damage, excess moisture, moss growth, or any other cause for concern, our team is here to help. At Taves Roofing, we can ensure that your roof is prepared for the upcoming chilly seasons with our expert Vancouver roofing services. If you’re in need of repairs, installations, or a simple maintenance check, reach out today!

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