5 things your roof is asking you to do now

We are lucky in California that our weather consistently provides virtually NO rain July, Aug or Sept. Well, October is not that far away so this is a great time to check your roof for these 5 potential problems.

1) Vegetation should not be touching your roof.

What does this look like? Tree limbs dangling over your roof with branches touching the roof, or bushes that have grown so tall they are touching your roof line.

Trees and bushes

Trees limbs and tall hedges lay on, and touch the roof of this house

What’s the problem? When the wind blows, that vegetation rubs your roof, accelerating the wear and tear on it. The sun and the wind are hard enough on a roof, don’t let vegetation decrease the life of your roof. Vegetation can trap moisture against your roof causing moss, fungus, and algae to grow on and under your shingles. Additionally, vegetation can act as an highway way for bugs and rodents such as roof rats to access your home.

Remedy: Cut your hedges back so they are not touching your home anywhere. Hire an arborist to cut tree limbs back so they are not touching your roof.

2) Debris on the roof.

What’s it look like? Dry leaves and vegetation on the roof, or collecting behind a chimney usually below a tree or some other vegetation that’s growing above the roof line.

Debri in valley.JPG

Debris in the valley of the roof traps moisture and will eventually clog the rain gutters


Debris built up behind the chimney traps moisture causing rust and dry rot

What’s the problem? Debris on the roof seems innocent enough right? The wind and rain will wash it away. Well, the rain might wash it into your rain gutters where it may then become trapped and clog your gutters. Trapped debris breaks down over time and reduces the amount of rain water your gutters can contain before overflowing. While on the roof, the leaves are trapping moisture, and blocking the wind and the sun from keeping your shingles, fascia board, and trim dry.

Remedy: Clean your roof off before dry leaves get a chance to flow into your gutters. Use a broom, or leaf blower, or hire a professional to get on your roof and clean behind the chimney and other hard to reach places.

3) Algae and moss

What’s it look like? Moss looks like fuzz and algae can look like various colors of discoloration.

roof shingles with moss.jpg

Moss on composite shingles


Algae on wood shingles

What’s the problem? Moss traps moisture which is never good. Severe moss can cause the shingles to lift compromising the shingles water resistance.

Remedy: Use a stiff broom to brush the growth away, and analyze why the moss is growing there. Chances are that there is something causing the moss to grow such as excessive shade from nearby vegetation.

4) Damaged flashing on the roof

What’s it looks like? Flashing that has slipped, been damaged or brittle and cracked. Caulking that is cracked or missing, paint that is peeling or chipping.


Damaged chimney flashing

plumbing flashing on roof

Cracked plumbing flashing

What’s the problem? Flashing is about preventing water intrusion into the home. Sometimes flashing is damaged by work being done on the home, vegetation, animals or just old age. Flashing is designed to keep moisture from penetrating the roof where plumbing, chimneys, vents, or skylights breach the shingles. Having the flashing repaired is a lot cheaper than dealing with water damage later on.

Remedy:  Consult professional roofer for repair before wet weather arrives.

5) Damaged/leaking rain gutters

What does it look like? Rain gutters that are full of debris, cracked, rusted or otherwise show active signs of leaking or imminent signs of leaking.

Rain gutters in need of maintenance

Rain gutters need to be check for debris, cracks and leaks. Gutters that are painted won’t rust and will last longer


Rain gutters that leak or overflow cause water to splash onto the siding which overtime causes dry rot and other wood related problems.

What’s the problem? Some people think rain gutters are simply there to allow you to walk under your eaves without getting wet. They actually are designed to carry water away from your home. When gutters over flow or leak, the water falls to the ground below which (most of the time) causes the rain water to splash back onto the siding of the home. eventually, causing dry rot and other wood related problems. If the gutters “overflow” it can cause dry rot and other wood related problems to the roof trim and fascia board behind the gutter. Rot on the trim can eventually spread to other parts of the roof and can become quite costly. It can all be avoided by maintaining your gutters.

Remedy:   Inspect your gutters.  Keep them free of debris and painted.  If they leak, it’s possible to patch a small spot, however it might just be time to have them replaced.

I love living in Rincon Valley! I’ve lived here since 1995 and can’t imagine living in a better north bay community. Call me today if you’re interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you’d like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.

Jim Cheney Rincon Valley Realtor

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor

  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • Jim@StFrancisProperty.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley – Santa Rosa
  • Cert Tourism Ambassador

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