Fall and spring are essential times to inspect your roofing system. As the bookends of the winter season, a thorough autumn roof inspection gives you an opportunity to identify any problem areas that could worsen due to freezing temperatures and moisture buildup.
Although we talk a lot about the importance of spring roof inspections, to help you prepare for the winter months ahead, it's vital to perform an inspection of your roof now. Remember, even a small compromise in your roof’s integrity could mean a large bill (and a huge headache) later.
During Your Fall Roof Inspection, Be Sure To:
- Address any repairs needed to make it through another winter and spring thaw
- Establish a baseline, so any changes discovered next spring can be clearly identified
As we're just coming off of a long, hot summer, there are plenty of issues that may have developed on your roof that you're on even aware of, such as:
- Seedlings that can sprout
- Undetected storm damage
- Firework debris, bullet holes, blown down branches, etc.
Wondering how much damage seedlings can cause?
The image to your right depicts a roof that was installed in November; and just one year later, it's playing host to maple saplings from the adjacent trees.
The roof is a building’s first line of defense against the elements, and it’s one of the most vulnerable parts of a building. If an inspection reveals a need for repair, rejoice! Routine inspections and repair are the best way to put off the significant expense of replacement.
Fall Roof Inspection Checklist
We get it! The thought of performing a roof inspection can be overwhelming. Take it in strides and with patience. To help you get started, here are some important steps to consider when inspecting your roof:
- Inspect the entire roof, including drains, scuppers, parapets and flashing— paying close attention to the perimeter
- Clean out drains and scuppers
- Remove all branches, leaves, pine needles and other debris
- Trim overhanging branches
- Look for signs of storm damage
- Look for signs of animal damage
One factor that can change quickly and have a big impact on your roof's integrity is the wild kingdom. Yup, you heard us right. Wildlife activity can be bad news for your roof. So, although you might be wondering just how much damage these little critters can really cause, the answer is simply A TON.
Not only is it beneficial to trim overhanging branches to cut down on the amount of leaves or pine needles in your gutters or debris from winter storms, but this practice also keeps critters off your roof. Overhanging branches are an open invitation for raccoons, squirrels and rodents to come up and enjoy the view—not to mention have access to your roofing materials!
DID YOU KNOW...that critters are known to eat PVC pipe and other protruding materials. It's true. These animals are very resourceful at building nests from just about anything they find.
Let's also not forget about Pigeon poop. Not only is it nasty, but on account of its high level of acidity, it can actually eat away at shingles, tar and building exteriors. It is also considered toxic and can transfer disease to humans.
Yikes, How Can I Remove Pigeon Poop?
If your roof needs a good pigeon-dropping clean up, mix 1 part bleach with 9 parts water and wear a mask and gloves when cleaning or hire a professional to eradicate the mess.
What Other Animals Should I Watch Out For?
We seek refuge from cold weather by spending more time indoors. Guess what...so do our furry friends, and they can be relentless in their pursuit of warmth—even at the expense of your home’s integrity.
Squirrels, mice and other furry things are equally destructive. With winter moving in, some animals are looking for a winter home and an unchecked roof can provide plenty of opportunity. Cracks in flashing, gaps in metal, and tears in membranes can be invitations for a winter tenant. We have even seen rodents chewing through the roof to follow a plumbing stack into the building.
Check out a few more images that help demonstrate how a cute, but destructive, culprit can damage a roof.
An overhanging tree has allowed a raccoon easy access to this commercial roof, where the critter destroyed several HVAC units by eating through the vents while trying to access the building. Clearly, the repair in this situation isn’t limited to roof repair or even HVAC repair: that tree needs trimming to discourage access.
Similarly, bird’s nests can compromise a roof’s integrity. Both bird and rodent nests hold standing moisture, which is the universal enemy of roof longevity. Excess standing water is heavy, too—if nests and debris interfere with drainage, the problem is compounded.
The Truth About Rodent Damage
When an inspection reveals any presence of, or damage from, birds, rodents, raccoons, insects or other animals, it’s imperative to take firm action to remove and discourage the creatures.
Depending on the pitch and access, homeowners or commercial building managers may be able to perform an adequate roof inspection, or they may need to contact a professional roofing company to take care of it. Either way, make sure winter doesn’t arrive without a thorough assessment of your roof’s integrity.
Find Roof Inspection Near You
At All Elements, Inc., we offer a comprehensive roof inspection program to help preserve your roof for the long haul. Twice a year, our technicians will document and assess the condition of your roof.
We'll clean drains or scuppers and perform light maintenance tasks to ensure your roof keeps you dry. In the event we find something that needs attention, we will provide a written estimate for you and discuss your options. This program is a reasonably priced solution that will help ensure your roof gets the necessary attention it deserves every fall and spring season.
Want to learn more about our roof inspection program or ready to sign up today? Contact us to get details and pricing.