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The importance of spring maintenance for your roof

Extend the life expectancy of your shingles

The impact of climate change on weather patterns is reflected in more severe swings of hot and cold temperatures and periods of heavy rain and snow. That’s particularly concerning to people in the roofing industry, who understand how extreme weather can effect the life expectancy of your asphalt shingles.

Snow can look peaceful and harmless sitting on a roof, but it can cause a lot of damage to the shingles and underlay it’s sitting on throughout the winter. Heavy snow can undermine the integrity of the shingles causing them to crack. Heat from a poorly ventilated roof can melt the snow causing water to run until it freezes shingles close to the roof edge. This can cause shingles to warp and crack. The bottom line is, winter is tough on your roof.

To ensure your asphalt shingles live up to the length of their warranty, a proactive step would be arranging some preventative spring roof maintenance.

“The point of our Spring Maintenance Package is to repair any damage that may have occurred to your roof over the course of the winter,” said Bryce Ferris, Service Division Manager at Wm. Green Roofing, one of Guelph’s most established roofing companies. “You may be missing shingles that blew off from high winds and may not even realize it. Ice dams can form and cause extra damage.”

Another area where extreme winter precipitation and an endless cycle of freezing and thawing can have a negative effect is in your eavestrough. Assessing any damage that may have occurred in your eaves is a major focus of Wm. Green Roofing’s inspection process.

“There is a lot of damage that can occur from the cycle of freezing and thawing, expansion and contraction of your eavestrough you don’t even notice because it doesn’t run back into your house,” said Ferris. “It’s just doing damage to your plywood and underlay, especially if water gets underneath causing the shingles to lift and the wood to swell.”

Other areas of concern are around any chimney or skylight that may be part of the roof. Ferris said as much as 50 percent of roof leaks that occur in shingle roofs are the result of very easily maintained issues.

Various examples of minor roof issues that could be problematic if not properly maintained include the deterioration of minor caulking, nail heads that have lifted and become exposed, blockages from fallen leaves left in the eavestrough that freeze and cause ice build up, and random shingles that have partially or fully blown off during the winter. Unless they land right in your front yard, Ferris said that chances are you may not even know they’re missing.

According to Ferris, booking a preventative maintenance package in the spring is a smart way to mitigate any negative conditions existing in your roofing system.

“What we do is really a complete roof inspection,” he said. “We walk around the roof, caulk all the metal flashing and fix any exposed fasteners. We do a replacement of up to three shingles. We blow out your troughs to remove any loose or organic debris, and we give a visual assessment to see what’s going on and to determine how much life you have left in your shingles.”

Cost of the roof inspection package starts at $300 and can vary depending on the size, slope, and condition of your roof. However, Ferris says the investment now is simply a good way to ensure you’re not paying more later.

“Taking care of the minor stuff now is what keeps the major stuff from catching up to you,” he said.

Help extend the life of your asphalt shingle roof this spring. For more information, drop into Wm. Green Roofing at 45 Dawson Road, Guelph. Or visit them online.