Spring has come to Toronto again, and for many homeowners, the return of warm weather offers the perfect opportunity to get a head start on cleaning and maintenance work around the house.
After months of snowstorms and ice storms, of freezes and thaws and blustery nights, there is plenty of maintenance needed, but the first priority should always be the roof of your home, for the simple reason that a roof that has been damaged by winter will only suffer more damage once the spring rains start to fall.
As a lakeside city, Toronto sometimes benefits from milder weather than the rest of the province — but it is also frequently buffeted by icy gales and lake-effect snow, and it must weather frequent heating and cooling which can cause buildings to age much more quickly than they would in colder but more predictable climates.
These factors can have an especially serious impact on your home’s roof, which is why making sure it is in good condition is a smart way to kick off the season’s maintenance work. If you want to guarantee a leak free spring, make sure you follow these three tips for checking up on your roof.
Start with a Thorough Inspection
As with any maintenance task, the first thing to do is find out what state your roof is in. As soon as it is safe to do so (and only if you are comfortable getting on the roof yourself), take a walk around your roof to see what state it is in.
You will want to observe whether there are any problems with the shingles themselves, of course, but it is also important to look at any chimneys, gables, gutters, flue pipes, and other elements of your roof system to ensure that they have not sustained damage over the winter. A roof inspection is also a great opportunity to clear away debris that may have fallen onto it over the winter.
Once you have given the roof an external inspection, check your attic to see if there is any internal damage. Be careful, though — it is not uncommon for raccoons and other animals to take shelter in the attics of older houses during the winter.
Generally speaking, there are three common types of minor roof damage you should look out for. While each of these problems is easy to solve, if left alone it can lead to major issues down the road.
1. Deteriorated Flashing
Some parts of a roof (the edges of dormers and gable gutters, for example, or chimney stacks) are weaker than others, which is why Toronto roofers install galvanized steel flashing to provide added protection.
Most of the time, flashing is invisible and provides a hidden layer of extra-resistant waterproofing, but as your roof ages, this flashing can become corroded and damaged by the elements. If the flashing on your roof is showing its age, it’s important to have it replaced immediately.
2. Cracked Shingles
While curling shingle is a sure sign of an ageing roof, cracked shingles can be caused by a number of different things, and aren’t only an issue on older roofs. High winds, falling limbs, rapid temperature changes, and hail can all cause tears, punctures, and cracks to form in shingles. Just because you have a few broken shingles doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to replace your entire roof, but if you aren’t sure whether a patch job will be sufficient, get in touch with Professional Roofers to get an expert Toronto roofer opinion.
3. Moisture Damage
You may find that, while the external roof deck is in good shape, there are signs of moisture damage inside your attic. This is usually caused by poor ventilation, and if left alone, it can eventually do serious damage to your home’s structural integrity in the coming years. The best thing to do is call a Toronto roofing company like Professional Roofers to come to install new ridge venting to ensure that your attic stays dry.
Experienced homeowners may be able to handle some of these repairs on their own. But if you aren’t sure about what you’re doing, make sure you get in touch with Toronto roofers who can fix your roof for you. You don’t want to take any risks with such an important part of your house!
If Your Roof is Damaged, Have it Replaced
In some cases, of course, repairs won’t be enough, and when conducting your spring inspections, you should be on the lookout for warning signs you need to replace your roof in the coming months.
After a long, difficult winter that has seen heavy snows and plummeting temperatures, many houses (especially in older Toronto neighbourhoods like Parkdale, Kensington Market, Little Portugal, Palmerston-Little Italy, Leslieville, and The Beaches) will have suffered significant damage. If your roof was already starting to show signs of age, the rapid fluctuations between mild weather and arctic vortices may have been enough to put it over the edge.
For this reason, it is important to be on the lookout in particular for the following signs of wear and tear:
Sagging is the number one sign that your roof is in trouble. Sagging can be caused by a wide range of different factors but it usually indicates structural damage of some kind — rotting roof decks or damaged beams being the usual culprits. If your roof is sagging, you will definitely need the help of roof repair services in Toronto and the GTA who can provide you with solutions that will restore the structural integrity of your roof.
2. Curling Shingles
Most roofs in suburban Toronto neighbourhoods in Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke — and many in the downtown core — are built using asphalt shingle. Asphalt shingle is popular because it is both durable and affordable, and an asphalt shingle roof usually lasts anywhere from fifteen to thirty years.
But as the shingles age, they will start to lose their gravel coating and will curl up, making them less effective at channelling away water and more likely to cause leaks. If your shingles are starting to curl, it’s time to replace them.
3. Ceiling Leaks
Finally, it is important to remember that no matter what your roof looks like from the outside, if your ceiling is showing signs of leaking, or if you have noticed that your attic insulation is excessively damp, it is important to get in touch with a Toronto roofing company like Professional Roofers right away. If water is getting in, then your roof is clearly in trouble.
If you notice any of these warnings signs this spring, making sure to get in touch with roofing Toronto experts like Professional Roofers. We have extensive experience working on all kinds of Toronto roofs, and we can guarantee you an effective, affordable roofing solution that will restore the integrity of your roof for years to come.
Don’t Take Any Chances: Always Ask an Expert
While the previous points should cover most of the common problems in Toronto homes and roofs, it is essential for Toronto homeowners to understand that even if your roof isn’t sagging, leaking, or curling yet, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily in good health. Heavy wind storms, lashing rain, and surprise blizzards can age your roof in unseen ways, and whether you have noticed problems or not, it’s a good idea to keep track of how much time has elapsed since your roof was last replaced.
If your roof is more than fifteen years old, it’s a good idea to have it professionally inspected, so you can determine its general condition and find out whether there are more specific things you should be on the lookout for.
Remember, much of the damage a leaking roof causes will be invisible until it’s too late: long before your ceiling starts dripping water, moisture can be rotting your roof deck, spreading fungus and mould throughout your house, and can even compromise structural integrity. If you want to make sure that your home is properly protected from the elements, take steps to replace your roof before it starts to become a problem.
And when it comes to fixing or replacing your roof, remember to go with a roofing company that has extensive local experience. At Professional Roofers, we understand intimately the kind of pressures and stresses that Toronto homes and roofs face, just as we understand the different challenges posed by a three-storey nineteenth century home in Yorkville compared to a thirty-year-old bungalow in Cooksville.
We are dedicated to helping you get the best roof for your home, and for that reason, we offer a wide range of services and solutions, from flat roof repair to metal roofing, soffit and fascia, and attic ventilation. Give us a call today to find out how Professional Roofers Toronto can provide you with the help you need with spring roof maintenance today!