Gutter Cleaning: Not Just for the Birds

Whether you live in a climate that is perpetually rainy year-round or one that just has seasonal rain, showers and thunderstorms can wreak havoc on your roof. This havoc can manifest itself in the form of both visible and subtle damage that, over time, can spell serious trouble for your roof, as well as your foundation. The key to preventing this is through regular upkeep and maintenance. In this article, we will give you six quick tips for maintaining your home in a rainy climate.


Mind the Gutters


Rainwater, when it builds up, can be much heavier than you may imagine. During the rainy season, water backup, flooding, and leaks in your gutters can put severe strain on your roof, even causing cracks to form. Additionally, this clogged rainwater can become an easy cesspool and breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes and unwanted plant growth. In colder climates, the water will freeze and lead to breaks, bursts, and more. This is why gutter experts recommend that your gutters be regularly cleaned and maintained at least once a season.


Check for Mold and Fungi


Speaking of vegetative growth, mold is a common occurrence on roofs throughout the rainy season, particularly in warmer climates. The moist, humid air and the continuous supply of water lead to your roof becoming the perfect habitat for mold spores that can cause structural damage and even health issues for anyone living beneath it. Although mold, at first glance, may not seem tough enough to take down a roof, it can lead to cracks and tearing.


So-called "dry rot" is another concern, though it is actually caused by certain types of fungi, contrary to its name. It can also seemingly appear some distance away from visible sources of moisture, but will lead to the premature decay of any wood it's made its home in. You can learn more about dry rot here.


Check Your Lightning Rods


Where there’s rain, there tends to be thunder and lightning as well at some point. This can affect you even if you live in an area that doesn't see too many regular storms and, unsurprisingly, a lightning strike can do immense damage. Make sure you have lightning rods up and ready to take the hit, and check them periodically in case they need to be replaced.


Maintain the Surround


It’s not just about the roof—you need to be sure that you are maintaining the trees around your home as well. Fallen leaves and tree branches are among the many hazards that come from allowing the surrounding environment to overtake your roof. Leaf-buildup can lead to rot, and fallen tree debris, either from a storm or from internal damage to the tree, can directly impact the structure. Prune your trees regularly to prevent this danger.


Ventilate Properly


Poor ventilation is a cause of roof damage that many people don't consider, but a poorly-ventilated home during the rainy season is actually a leading source of premature decay. Ensure that your attic has proper airflow, and that vents are clear and functional. Ideally, you want a healthy amount of airflow and a minimum of condensation or humidity. Joseph Lstiburek explains this in further detail in his article from Fine Homebuilding.


When in Doubt, Call the Professionals


Make sure that you have your roof professionally inspected by experts who know what to look for and can spot warning-signs that you may not see. These professionals are trained to clean and treat roofs in a safe, thorough way. Inclement weather can do a number on your roof, and it’s important to be diligent with your upkeep in order to prevent serious damage to your home.