5 Things your roof wants you to do for it NOW

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA 01368633

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 issues.


1) Vegetation should not be touching your roof


What's 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.

Tree limbs and hedges touch the roof and cause excessive wear and tear on the roof


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 access way for bugs and rodents such as roof rats.


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.

   Debris lays in the valley of the roof until washed into the gutters

Debris piling up behind the chimney flashing


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. Trapped debris breaks down over time and reduces the amount of rain water your drain can contain before overflowing. Until then, the leaves are trapping moisture, and blocking the wind and the sun from keeping your shingles, fascia board, and trim dry.



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.

Moss grows between and under composite shingles

Fungus growing 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.



Use a stiff broom to brush the moss away, and analyze why the moss is going there. Chances are that there is something that is 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.

Flashing in need of repair creates an area where water can intrude into the roof


Damaged 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, or by vegetation 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.


5) Rain gutters

What's it look like?

Rain gutters that are full of debris, cracked, rusted or otherwise show active signs of leaking or imminent signs of leaking.

Properly maintained rain gutters prevent rusting and leaking

Garage door damage accelerated by leaking rain gutters

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, causes 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. Rot on the trim will eventually spread to other parts of the roof and can become quite costly. To think that it can all be avoided by maintaining your gutters.



Call a licensed roofing contractor to assess and correct any flashing problems.  Inspect and paint or patch where needed the rain gutters.  Make sure your rain gutter spouts divert rainwater away from your home and do not allow splashing of the rain water onto the structure.




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




 Originally posted on RinconValleyBlog.com



Posted by

Jim Cheney, Broker

"Your Realtor in Rincon Valley"

Wine Country Real Estate

Santa Rosa, Sonoma County


Comments (9)

Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Good points Jim. The last thing you want to do is procrastinate as these issues will just get worse and cost even more money. The time to act is now.

Sep 01, 2017 12:02 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jim, 

This is definetely a reblog. All great tips. The most comon problems are the tree leave and debris and flashing will always work into a major problem if not addressed. Thank you!

Sep 06, 2017 05:49 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

That is very informative, Jim. Taking preventative measures will extend the life of any roof.

Sep 07, 2017 07:12 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Good information, Jim! We run into a lot of homes with trees scraping the roof and either rubbing off shingles or lifting them up. Thanks for sharing!

Sep 09, 2017 06:41 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jim, what a great post, and excellent information for homeowners.   Our trees should not touch the home as lighening can strike the tree, and travel into the house burning out all the electrical outlets and everything plugged in!  

Sep 09, 2017 06:42 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Soooo many homeowners have no idea what that "shade tree" is doing to their roof  as it overhangs the house !

Sep 09, 2017 06:59 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Jim Cheney Thanks for the very good tips to check on the roof.

Sep 09, 2017 05:27 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Jim, I saw your excellent post on a reblog from Sheri Sperry - MCNE® This definitely great information to know for all homeowners.

Sep 10, 2017 06:24 AM
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Thank you Jerry Newman 

Sep 10, 2017 03:07 PM