lightning strike from a distance

Heavy Rain, Hail & High Winds: Roof Damage from Weather

When it comes to safety and security, few things are more important than the integrity of the roof over your head. Yet last year alone, severe weather—including heavy rain, hail, and high-speed winds—caused close to $15 billion in damages to homes in the United States alone, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all homeowners’ insurance claims.

Unlike some parts of the country, the Mid-Atlantic region doesn’t often have to deal with the most severe types of weather, like hurricanes and tornadoes. That said, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding states are not immune to heavy rains, hail, and high winds, which can be extremely damaging to roofs. 

Heavy Rain

An intense downpour or a series of moderate rainstorms can cause severe roof damage. Heavy rain can cause shingles to buckle or curl, especially if they are already showing signs of wear and tear. When shingles are worn down, they begin to deteriorate, making them more likely to break in a rainstorm. And once there is even a small area of your roof exposed, your interior is very likely to incur water damage. Addressing minor issues immediately keeps damage from spreading and ultimately saves you from the cost of more extensive repairs. 

Hail

The type and severity of hail roof damage differs according to the type, age, and slope of your roofing material, the size of the hail stone, and the speed and direction of the wind. It may not be a foolproof method for evaluating the likelihood of storm damage to your roof, but knowing the size of the hailstone involved is a good place to start. 

¾ inch: Property owners often discount possible roof damage after storms with smaller caliber hail because they underestimate its impact. Depending on the wind speed of the storm, hail as small as ¾ of an inch can cause serious damage to your home’s roof, metal fascia, vinyl siding, gutters and downspouts, and window screens. It can also dislodge granules from asphalt shingles.

1 inch: In addition to damage caused by smaller hail, stones that measure 1 inch can also cause significant bruising to shingle underlayment. Again, wind speeds will determine the severity of damage.

1¼ inch: It’s hard to believe, but just a quarter of an inch more in size makes the potential for hail damage much more significant. Even with minimal wind speed, hail of this size is potentially very damaging to your roof. 

1½ inch: Depending on the duration of the storm, the amount of hail, and the speed of the wind, this size hail is almost certain to cause severe damage to your roof.  

1¾ – 2 Inch: Hail of this size can actually penetrate plastic vents, ridge caps and other softer roof components. In combination with high winds, hail in this range can wreak havoc on your roof, causing both cosmetic and less obvious but still serious damage.

2” Inch: If your area suffers a storm that brings hail of this size with it, it’s not a matter of whether you will have damage but rather where the damage is. Because it’s difficult to see all the damage your roof may have sustained with the untrained eye, arrange for a professional roof inspection as soon as possible. 

Some hail damage is immediately noticeable. For example, it’s easy to spot the broken edges on your shingles or shakes. However, be sure to look carefully near your gutters for less obvious signs of high-impact hail damage. Chances are that if hail was heavy enough to dent your gutters or downspouts, it may have caused damage to the surrounding roof. 

When combined with high winds, hail can also cause roofing shakes or shingles to crack, leaving the roof with bare spots. The impact of hail on a roof can shatter the shingle’s surface, causing it to pull away from the underlying mat and exposing the fiberglass. Hail can also fracture the fiberglass mat. Less visible but even more serious, a fractured fiberglass mat seriously compromises the integrity of your roof.

High Winds

High winds can weaken your shingles’ self-seal strip, causing the shingles to blow completely off. Wind damage will often affect the edges of the roof or areas of the roof that have already seen damage/wear. Once it’s ripped off some shingles, it could start a domino effect and pull up other linked shingles.

In addition, high winds, with or without driving rain or hail, often cause more subtle damage to your roof, such as granule loss, punctures, and bruising.

  • Granules are the sandpaper-like outer coating of the shingle. High winds can strip the granules from shingles, exposing the asphalt coating to the elements. This degrades the material’s performance, leading to accelerated aging and poor performance. Severe weather can cause shed granules to pile up in your gutters.
  • Bruising is the soft, spongy area on or around the spot where shingle granules are missing or displaced. It results when the hail has placed enough pressure on the shingles that the fibers within the mat have loosened and have started to come apart. 

Experts in roof evaluation can usually feel divots or indentations in this area that are not apparent to the untrained eye. Because bruising is not outwardly noticeable, you may be tempted to ignore it. However, because bruised areas on your roof are not protected by a thick layer of granules, they are susceptible to future damage from temperature gradations and more.  

Unlike other areas of your home, you can’t always see the damage that may have happened to your roof. Yet staying on top of repairs is critically important to its longevity. Following a severe storm, have your roof inspected—especially if you can see debris on the ground or other telltale signs that some roof damage may have occurred out of sight. 

Remember that even though there is no tried-and-true way to protect your roof from being damaged by heavy rain, hail, or high winds, a well-maintained roof will hold up better against the element than one that has sustained even minor damage in the past. Don’t ignore even the smallest issues—keeping up with relatively small repairs as they occur is far better than having to replace your entire roof prematurely—or risk damage to the contents of your home.

house with old cedar shake roof

What Can Happen If You Put Off Roof Repair

Being a homeowner is not for the faint of heart. In addition to all the things you’d like to do to enhance your home’s comfort and value, there always seems to be a list of must-do items that require your attention—and resources. That can be frustrating, but when it comes to roof repairs, don’t put those off. Delaying necessary roof repairs can create serious, expensive consequences, endangering your home, health, and financial security if you don’t address them promptly and thoroughly.

Delaying roof repairs can cause:

Health Issues
Even a small leak in your roof can allow mold, mildew and/or bacteria to develop in the wet spots where the water seeps in. As those areas of moisture expand, more will grow exponentially, working its way into the walls, the attic, and below grade. When these nasties grow indoors, they contaminate the air, threatening your health. Many people are very sensitive to mold, mildew and bacteria—to the point they develop severe respiratory illness or ongoing allergies.

Structural Instability
If your roof is leaking, and the leak is left untreated, your home can incur some serious internal damage. The wooden support beams that create the infrastructure will begin to rot and become unstable—in the worse cases, your roof will eventually collapse.

Delaying roof repairs won’t solve the problem.

Walk your roof after big storms or high winds and check for signs of damage. If any shingles are missing, torn, broken, or punctured, get a professional roofer in there to fix the problems pronto.
When your roof starts leaking, it will spread quickly to other parts of the house, weakening both the roof and the rest of the home’s infrastructure. Holes and cracks in your roof allow insects, rodents and other animals to get into your home, contaminating your living area and possibly spreading disease.

Putting off roof repairs is more expensive.

When you notice roof damage, ignoring it will only lead to the damage getting worse over time and more costly to repair. When you don’t act promptly, the damage may even spread from the roof to other parts of your home, including the walls, joists, rafters and more. Should the roof and ceilings collapse, it will be considered as a roof failure and you will need to remove and replace the entire roof. If mold, mildew, and other toxins have taken over your home, you’ll have to call in a professional service to clean it. You will also have to call a pest control company to remove any insects and animals that entered your house. Putting off roof maintenance and minor repairs only opens the door for more serious problems that will be considerably more expensive to repair.

Don’t Count on your insurance to cover certain costs.

While your homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers damage from natural disasters like storms and strong winds, it’s not likely to pay you for repairs that have resulted from neglected minor issues. If the insurance company’s claims examiner sees evidence that you have your roof, it’s possible that your claim will be rejected.

In the worst cases, putting off roof repairs can create issues that are threatening to your health and more expensive to repair. Ignoring the signs of roof damage can morph into problems that are too severe to fix while the house is occupied. Imagine having to move out of your home entirely to fix problems that could have been remedied years ago for far less money and much less disruption.

At PJ’s Roofing, we understand the importance of living in a healthy, structurally sound home that retains its value over time. We offer financing options to make roof repair or replacement affordable for a wide range of budgets.

Home Roofing Trends To Watch For in 2021

The new year is here, bringing with it a variety of innovations and technologies that are changing homeowners’ buying patterns. As more environmentally conscious consumers begin making roofing decisions, Energy-Star™-rated roofing products are becoming more popular. Mixed-material options, concrete shingles, and roofing that accommodates other earth-friendly products such as solar panels is also coming to the forefront, along with innovative “solar shingles.”

Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the roofing trends we can expect to see grow in popularity in 2021.

Mixed Material Roofing

Roofing that combines traditional shingles with metal to create a hybrid option is one of the latest roofing trends. The combination of laminated shingles and metal roof panels on separate sections of a pitched roof has dynamic visual appeal.

Solar Panels and Solar Shingles

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency makes solar options popular as we begin 2021. Innovatively engineered, modern solar panels are more stylish and affordable than ever before—without sacrificing any energy efficiency. As technology continues to improve, energy-saving benefits will increase and costs will go down—making solar panels and solar shingles even more appealing.

Cool Roofing

Cool roofing materials reflect the visible, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths of the sun, thereby reducing the heat conducted into the building. It also absorbs non-reflected solar energy, significantly improving energy efficiency, reducing power bills, and relieving the burden on your home’s HVAC system. It also comes in an array of colors and designs that complement and enhance the curb appeal of a wide variety of home styles.

Metal Roofs

Popular over the past several years, metal roofing is a trend for 2021 that is not going away. With so many colors and styles, metal roofing allows homeowners plenty of opportunity to create a unique and custom look and feel for their largest investment. In addition to being environmentally-friendly (most are made from almost all recycled content), metal roofs are stylish and durable, requiring little maintenance. They also reflect and insulate well, thereby reducing HVAC bills.

Concrete Roofing

Concrete roofing tiles provide style, texture, durability, and versatility, and require very few costly repairs—a combination that places them high on the trends list for 2021 roofing options.

Synthetic Materials

Made out of recyclable materials, synthetic shingles are a great choice for sustainable roofing that’s eco-friendly and surprisingly affordable.

Asphalt Shingles

The roofing material of choice for many years, asphalt shingles will continue to be a popular choice in 2021. Asphalt shingles are durable, high-performing, and extremely affordable.

Residential Flat Roofing

Flat roofs are becoming increasingly popular to accommodate the modern styling of newer residences in 2021. Minimalistic, affordable, and eco-friendly, flat roofing options are easy to install, safer, and more accessible than other roofing systems. Solar panels can be added without too much additional expense.

Looking for an especially beautiful, nature-inspired shingle color for 2021? Aged Copper is a serene blend of earthy shades—like deep orange, sage green, and rich brown—that evokes the peaceful serenity of a walk in the woods. This nature-inspired shingle color will complement a wide variety of exterior color palettes, giving your home rich and enduring curb appeal.

house with asphalt shingle roof

Why Asphalt Shingles Are Still a Great Home Roofing Choice in 2021

Just because something’s new doesn’t mean it’s better.

New roofing materials have entered the market place this year, giving the thoughtful homeowner even more choices for repair and replacement. Progressively engineered materials have potential, but conservative, dependable roofing companies like PJ’s Roofing will still be directing consumers to evaluate their options in light of durability, dependability, affordability, ease of care, and curb appeal—likely keeping asphalt shingles in high demand in the next five years.

Durability

Asphalt roofs are leak-resistant if properly installed, and they can last up to 30 years or more. Because the material is neither too light (which means less chance of uplift problems) nor too heavy (requires no reinforcement), this type of roof is likely to last a long time.

Dependability

When installed with fiberglass matting, asphalt shingle roofs are also fire-resistant. They bear up well under strong winds, typically staying put in even the gustiest summer storms or winter blizzards.

Affordability

Asphalt roofing systems offer an excellent value for the money, and are one of the most cost-effective options available to Frederick area homeowners. A reputable contractor will give you complete pricing up front, as well as payment options and financing plans if needed.

Easy Care

In addition to offering one of the simplest installation processes, asphalt roofs are among the simplest for homeowners to maintain. They can be easily adapted to fit angled or steep roofs, and repairs are usually straightforward and relatively inexpensive when performed by a knowledgeable, reputable professional.

Curb Appeal

Asphalt shingle roofing isn’t a cookie cutter solution. From natural looking, rough-hewn shingles to overlapping designs with 3-D effects, your choice of shingle and installation are many and varied. You can choose from a wide variety of colors to complement your color scheme or select asphalt shingles that resemble slate roofing or cedar

How the newly engineered roofing materials are integrated into residential design, and how well they perform, remains to be seen. Asphalt shingles, while perhaps an old stand-by, continue to offer some of the best value on the market in terms of longevity, attractiveness, and affordability.

close-up of slate roof tiles

Which Roof Material is Right for You?

Fortunately, twenty-first century roofing materials are made to withstand a wide variety of temperatures and fluctuations. Therefore, choosing a particular material over another based on the climate where you live is not as critical as it once was. If you’re in the market for a new roof, there are many materials to consider that will work well no matter where you live, including:

Slate Tile

This is the gold standard for durability in many different climates and in all kinds of weather. With a lifespan of up to one hundred years, you can expect your slate roof to stand up to multiple layers of ice and the heaviest snowfalls. Slate’s high density also makes it an outstanding insulator, capable of keeping the temperature of the interior of the home it protects stable year round. If you live in an area where lack of rain and fire risks dictate a certain type of roofing material, slate should lead your list of durable, safe options.

If there’s a downside to slate, it would be its weight. Slate shingle roofing tiles weigh between 800 and 1500 pounds per square foot. Before you decide on a slate roof and its many advantages, you will need to have a professional contractor evaluate your roof structure to be sure it is sound and strong enough to support these materials.

Metal

Over the last 20 years, the demand for metal roofing rose from a 3.7 percent share to 14 percent. This is due in part to the fact that, like slate, metal roofing materials are solid options for both colder and warmer climates, and are also likely to last a long time.

Metal roofing excels at handling extreme temperatures, especially when treated with highly reflective paint or coating. A simple re-coating can make the roofing new again despite many years of wear. In warm climates, the coated surface of a metal roof will reflect the sun, keeping the temperature of the home it protects stable. In colder climates, this same coated surface makes the metal surface smooth and slick, making ice and snow slide off quickly before it can accumulate.

Like slate, metal roofing is fire-resistant and needs minimum maintenance. It can also last three times longer when compared to a typical asphalt shingle roof. A metal roof is much lighter than one made from slate. Installed correctly, a metal roof will help your home obtain and maintain optimal temperature year round, lowering your energy bills.

Depending on a variety of variables, a metal roof will cost anywhere from $7 to $10 per square foot. While this represents a more substantial investment than an asphalt roof, the long-term energy efficiency and higher resale value you can expect with a metal roof on your home make it a sound choice.

Shingles

Traditional shingles are an affordable choice for all types of weather. Keep in mind, however, that while these roofs are effective protection against extreme weather for multiple years, they can crack and incur other weather-related damage should they encounter really harsh conditions.

If you’re looking for more longevity, wooden shakes (a certain type of shingle) can provide up to thirty years of effective service. And because they circulate air so efficiently, wooden shakes can help save you energy, too.

“Super shingles” offer four times more protection than regular shingles—which also means they deliver four times more energy-efficient benefits. Especially if they come with a lifetime warranty, super shingles are an excellent choice for roofing material no matter where you live.

Clay Shingles

Recognizable by their rich, earthy tones, clay roof shingles have more to offer than just aesthetics. Not only are they thermal-resistant and fire-retardent, clay roof shingles are eco-friendly, too. They are also well known for maintaining temperatures at both ends of the spectrum. Clay roof shingles can cost anywhere from $10 to $18 per square foot, and installation can be a bit more expensive, too.

EPDM

This is commonly called “rubber roofing”, also known as rubber membrane roofing or rolled rubber roofing. A mixture of slate dust, recycled tires, and sawdust, EPDM is relatively lightweight, easy to install, and costs significantly less than competitive roofing choices. Because they have very few seams, an EPDM roof has little chance of leaking and will last roughly 20 years.

Although the typical EPDM is black and absorbs heat, the surface is not easily damaged by UV rays—allowing them to hold up well in hot, sunny climates. It is possible to select an EPDM installation in a lighter color that will not only be more attractive within some color schemes but which will also help reflect more heat.

Because a new roof is a big investment, it makes sense to review your options with an experienced professional. Look at the pros and cons and make the decision that is right for you.

attic with insulation on ceiling

How To Prepare Your Home’s Roofing For Fall

Most people really look forward to the falling temperatures and the beauty of the changing landscape that autumn brings. If you’re one of them, enjoy all the benefits of this transitional season-—just remember to spend a little time addressing the myriad of little things that can become big issues if you leave them unaddressed as winter sets in—especially with regard to your roof. From leaves to leaks to pests, fall brings with it some potential problems you’d be well advised to deal with now before they go from bad to worse.

Leaves

Even a thin layer of rotting leaves can cause big damage to your home’s roof. Not only do these dead leaves create the perfect cover for pests, the decomposition process creates compounds that damage many types of shingles.

If you’ve ever tried to move a pile of raked leaves after a rainy day or two, you can vouch for how heavy they get when they’re wet. Move those leaves on the roof before they get wet to keep your gutters from pulling loose, causing a lot of damage to your roof, trim, and siding.

Crooked gutters? Fix those, too. Misaligned gutters can’t channel water away effectively, causing them to overflow. Make sure to clean and align them regularly while leaves are falling, and finish the season off with a thorough cleaning once your trees’ limbs and branches are winter-bare.

Pests

Insects, animals, and birds will be looking for warmth as temperatures drop, and a leaf-covered roof will really tempt them to hunker down. These unwanted guests can cause a surprising amount of damage, especially if there are spots on your roof that are vulnerable. These small access points can easily be turned into large openings to accommodate the creature seeking shelter, allowing rain and snow to infiltrate your roof—never a good thing.

Having a professional walk your roof to look for pest damage, sagging structure, small leaks, missing or deteriorating shingles, or issues with insulation will prove to be a good investment as fall approaches. If squirrels, birds, or other wildlife are creating havoc up there, hire a professional to set humane traps before they settle in for the long, cold winter.

Check Your Attic

A lot of people don’t realize it, but your attic is part of your roofing system. As such, beware of two possible issues: poor ventilation and inadequate insulation. For example, because warm air rises and exits at the top, and cool air is drawn in at the bottom, vents that are located at the top and base of the roof take advantage of natural airflow—regulating both temperature and moisture in the attic.

If moisture build ups and the temperature rises, your roof will heat up too much from the inside. The trapped warm air condenses, which means moisture damage isn’t far behind. Also as trapped heat rapidly melts snow and temperatures plummet, ice dams and leaks can occur, causing further damage to your roof. Troubleshoot this potential issue by having a professional check your insulation for bald or fraying areas, replacing promptly as needed. This evenly distributed insulation will halt roof damage while also helping to reduce your energy needs.

One of the most proactive things you can do is to hire a professional roofing contractor to do an annual roof inspection for you so small problems can be dealt with before they become big, expensive issues. Even if you’re not afraid of heights and consider yourself a veteran Do-It-Yourselfer, hire a professional roofing contractor with the experience, expertise, and tools required to do the best job possible.

roofers installing a roof on home

Do I Need to Move Out During a Roof Replacement?

The roof is the crown of your home. Keeping it looking good and functioning well is one of the most important things you can do to preserve your home’s value and keep your family safe and comfortable.
Making the decision to replace an old roof that is no longer functioning as it should is a significant investment. Planning ahead is critical and there are many decisions to be made. One question homeowners often have is, “Do I need to move out during the roof replacement process?”

Fortunately, the answer is no…or at least, “not usually.”

First, let’s look at the big picture. Unless there are unusual circumstances, or extreme weather comes our way, replacing the roof of a typical, single-family home usually only takes a few days— almost always less than a week. We try to get the job done during the week while many individuals and families are at work or at school to minimize the disruption to our homeowners’ lives.

If you’re working from home or spend much of your day at home, it might be a better idea to stay out for a few days just until the work is completed. Despite our best efforts, roof replacement is noisy at times— and our crew members will need to be onsite to complete the work. Some families find this a good time to vacate the premises, at least during weekdays while work is progressing.

However, if you opt to stay at the house while we’re working on your roof, here are a few things you can do:

  • Park your car somewhere else to keep it safe from debris.
  • Inform neighbors about the ongoing job, the length, and hours our crew will be on site.
  • Keep pets in the basement of your home or in another quiet room to minimize their distress from unusual noise and activity.
  • Designate safe spaces in the home where your children can play and keep them out of the work area.

There are still plenty of things you will need to do to ensure a smooth and safe installation. For example, you’ll need to schedule the work at a convenient time and accommodate any changes to the schedule forced by unexpected bad weather. However, in almost all cases, you will not have to move out of your house entirely while your new roof is being installed. Even if you opt to vacate the premises during the day while the work is progressing, in less than a week, you’ll have a brand new roof that will provide the superior weather protection your home deserves and the comfort you and your family rely on day after day, year after year.

worker replacing a home's roof

A Roof That’s Safe & Sound, Even During COVID-19

As most of us continue to observe the “stay-at-home” recommendations, we have more time than ever to look around and notice what features need work. If you’ve discovered damage or troublesome wear to your roof during one of your walkabouts, you’re going to want to attend to that promptly. Leaving roofing issues unaddressed can cause damage to your home— and you don’t want to take that risk.

Even during the COVID-19 outbreak and all the restrictions it has imposed, there are ways to get your roof repaired or replaced—and we’re here to help.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait

Of course, preserving your health and well-being should be your top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s also important to keep your home in good shape. Some home improvement projects can be delayed until restrictions are lifted, but fixing a damaged roof isn’t one of them. Even a small issue can cause a big problem. For example, non-stop exposure to moisture can make your home susceptible to mold growth, affecting the air quality throughout your home. Mold can have a serious impact on your health, especially for the very young or the elderly who may have pre-existing respiratory problems or breathing difficulties.

That’s why especially now, while we are spending more time than ever indoors, it is extremely important to be sure your roof is in good repair— despite the extra challenges social distancing imposes. Whether your roof issues are minor or major, we can fix them before they lead to bigger problems and more expensive damage.

As always, we are committed to prompt, thorough, cost-effective roof repair and replacementroof repair and replacement. However, during this time of increased public health vigilance, we are also working hard to keep our customers and our valued team members safe and well.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have taken very specific steps to preserve the health and welfare of our customers and our employees. Here are a few of the safety measures we have deployed to ensure everyone’s safety during this unprecedented public health crisis.

Staying Safe During Safety Measures During the Coronavirus Outbreak

  • Compliance with Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. Strict adherence to the guidelines put in place by the CDC, OSHA, and other regulatory agencies is the basis for any safety program, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to follow the protocols advised by the CDC by encouraging any employee who does not feel well to stay home. We routinely clean and disinfect our equipment, tools, work attire, and other gear used on our jobs.
  • Physical/Social Distancing. Most of our work is done outside your home. Our crew is careful to practice recommended physical distancing when completing work on your roof.
  • Paperless Process. We are using a contactless, paper-free process during any meetings, inspections, or transactions, including the actual roofing job itself.

Your comfort is always important, but especially now. If you need roofing work, don’t delay until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. We are prepared to repair or replace your roof at your convenience in a way that complies with the Governor’s recommendations and preserves the health and well-being of our customers and crew.

slate roofing on house

The Best Types of Home Roofing for Storm-Resistance

Summer in the mid-Atlantic states brings heat and humidity. And what comes on the heels of heat and humidity, especially in June, July, and August? Thunderstorms! Often accompanied by strong downpours and high winds, thunderstorms can play havoc with the roof of your home. While it’s impossible to predict how well a particular roofing material will weather a severe storm, there are certain materials that have been shown to weather them best.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is lightweight, durable, affordable, and highly protective against strong winds, making it one of the best choices for commercial and residential roofing in storm-prone areas like Maryland. If you take care of it properly, it will last for generations, all while making your house more energy efficient.

Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is a network of stone slabs. Their slick surface, combined with their sheer weight and durability, makes them very resistant to damage from high winds. Its smooth surface doesn’t give snow any traction, so potential piles of ice and snow just slide off before they can cause any damage. If storms in your area are accompanied by lightning, the fact that slate is non-combustible makes them fire-resistant as well. As with any natural material, the qualities of this material that may affect its endurance and performance may vary.

Composite Shingles

Well-known and popular within the residential and commercial roofing markets, composite shingles that are specially rated to withstand higher wind speeds are also potentially a good choice for storm-prone areas. Not just any composite shingle will do the job, so be sure to talk with us about your needs before you purchase.

Clay Tile Roofing

Similar to slate roofing, clay tile roofing is heavy, making them resistant to storm damage. They are also non-combustible, which can be a plus in areas prone to storm-related lightning strikes.

We hope this information is helpful as you evaluate your options for a storm-resistant roof. Keep in mind, however, that no roofing material will withstand storms and related damage if it is not installed and maintained correctly. Be sure to involve a professional roofing service when it’s time to repair or replace your residential or commercial roof to be sure your roof can withstand anything your local weather throws at it.

roof with gutters

It’s Spring! Time to Inspect Your Roof.

It’s been an exceptionally mild winter in Maryland, and it looks like we’re in for an early spring!  Get out and enjoy the warmer weather and the early spring flowers and foliage— just don’t forget to take stock of your home and property while you’re out there.

Just because Marylanders didn’t have to deal with a blizzard during the winter doesn’t mean your home— especially the often-forgotten roof— wasn’t affected. Even if winter’s rain and winds didn’t cause your roof serious damage, you should still do a walk-around to catch any minor issues that could cause greater damage down the road.

General Wear and Tear

Start your spring survey by checking for things like rust on your gutters or areas of your roof that seem to be sagging. These tend to be large areas that are easy to spot from the ground.

Gutters and Downspouts

No matter how clean your gutters were when you winterized last October, chances are rain and wind have filled them up again with dried-up leaves and other debris. Clean, functional gutters are the key to your roof’s drainage system. Efficient water run-off protects your soffits, siding, and shingles from damage, so make it a priority to unclog them completely.

After you’ve cleaned out the visible debris from your gutters, move on to an equally important part of your home’s drainage system— your downspout. Try using a hose or a plumbers snake for hard-to-reach areas.

Once your gutters and downspouts are clean and clear, check your roof’s drainage system for additional damage, including missing fasteners, holes, and areas that may be sagging.

Inspect the Shingles

No matter what they’re made of, the shingles that cover your roof are critically important to the integrity of your roof. Save “walking your roof” for the professionals, but you can usually see the following issues with your roof easily from the ground:

  • Missing Shingles. Have these replaced immediately. A missing shingle can result in a weak spot in your roof, causing it to leak and exposing it to damage like rot and mold.
  • Buckling Shingles. If the framing underneath your shingles retains moisture, the shingles on top can shift or buckle. Replace these right away, as they have the potential to tear or crack, causing serious damage to your roof.
  • Curling Shingles. Shingles that have been installed improperly will begin to curl at the edges. Have these fixed promptly to avoid further damage.
  • Blistering Shingles. When moisture gets trapped inside a shingle, a blister develops that can easily burst, causing damage to the roof’s infrastructure. Unlike most problems with your shingles, blistering can be hard to spot from the ground. Consider arranging for an annual, professional inspection to catch any blisters that may have developed on your roof’s shingles.
  • Stained Shingles. See any streaking or stains? Either of these usually means that your roof’s ventilation system is damaged, or there’s a leak somewhere else. Even if you’re an accomplished DIYer, think twice before tackling this repair. Contact a professional roofer.

Evaluate for Mold

If you catch mold or mildew early— before they seep into your roof’s foundation— simple remedies like zinc or lead control strips usually contain the problem. If mold has spread, or is covering a large area, call a roofing professional to contain the problem. Don’t delay, as mold that spreads to the interior of your home can be dangerous to you, your family, and your pets.

Trim Branches

Overgrown vegetation and hanging tree limbs threaten the integrity of your roof. This is a much easier job in the spring when trees are just beginning to “leaf out”, as opposed to summer and early fall when they are likely to be in full bloom. Keep them trimmed back if you have the knowledge and the equipment. If not, don’t take a chance— there are professional services that can take care of this for you at far less risk to your life and limb. (Cutting back branches will also reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning leaves out of your gutters in the future.)

Check from the Inside Out

Go into your attic and look up. If you can see any light anywhere, you have a hole somewhere there shouldn’t be. Assess for any water damage and mold/mildew growth. Mold and mildew have a particular smell, so survey with that sense, too— even if you don’t see anything, that telltale smell might mean something is amiss that you can’t see. Call the professionals for a more thorough inspection

Some people may be able to work through this list on their own. However, many will prefer to call in the professionals. Bringing in the experts can make the process more efficient and thorough. At PJ’s Roofing, we have the expertise and experience to provide you with a comprehensive inspection, followed up with any repairs needed. Call us today and start a tradition of an annual roof inspection.