Fall colors bring joy to so many homes! The crisp smell in the air, colorful leaves dancing in the wind, warm butternut squash soup, and pumpkin decorations everywhere you look are a few of key indicators that the cooling season is upon us. As fun as all of these fall traditions are, you might want to add a new fall tradition that pays major dividends, roof cleaning!

Mid-late fall is the perfect time for an annual roof inspection and cleaning. The season has brought leaves, sticks, dirt, and other forms of debris, so it is very important that you clean all that out before the heavy weather conditions of winter set in. The following are some helpful tips for a fall cleaning session.

  • Check out the gutters.

The purpose of your gutters is to direct rainfall and melted snow away from your home and onto the ground. This drainage system is vital for a healthy roof and if it is working properly will save your roof from a lot of unnecessary damage. However, if the fall leftovers are not cleaned out of the gutters the drainage system will become blocked. This buildup is particularly dangerous going into the winter season because snow and ice will pile up on top of the mass of debris and can lead to a completely frozen ice dam, which can be one of the most expensive problems for a homeowner.

  • Do a self-inspection of your roof.

Many serious roof problems can be easily diagnosed just by looking out for them. Keep an eye out for obvious signs of damage such as missing shingles, any loose elements, cracks, blistered areas, or anything like that. If you feel comfortable getting up on the roof that will give you the best vantage point for a thorough inspection. However, make sure you do this safely with a ladder, a good pair of shoes with grip, and someone there to watch you. If you do not feel comfortable climbing around on top of the shingles, then a pair of binoculars will do the trick.

Look out for cracks, holes or movement in the flashing, around the chimney, and any other vents that might come out through the roof. Anything that seems out of place or worn down deserves a more thorough look either from yourself or a professional because these are early signs of problems that could become a major financial obligation later on down the road.

  • Trim the trees.

It might seem like an odd practice for roof care, but anything you do to eliminate debrisfrom your roof will be worth it. These overhanging branches not only might fall onto your

roof on a particularly windy day, but they could also drag some shingles down with them.

The overhang drops leaves, sticks, acorns, and other unwanted things, but also directs snowfall and to pile up. Not to mention that it will be in the best interest of your roof health to eliminate the direct pathway for squirrels and other animals.