After a relatively mild summer for heat and rain, the fall and winter seasons may be more troublesome. Several forecasters have predicted colder-than-usual temperatures and more rain and snow squalls. In preparation, areas of your home will need special attention to avoid damage. Prior to bad weather, the roof and gutters should be high on your maintenance list.
Roofs help protect homes with a layer of physical security that keeps snow, rain and sleet from getting inside. Gutters act in tandem with the roof, diverting rain and snow away from the home through its drainage system. If your roof or gutters are in need of repair, it’s imperative to address any problems before the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Inspecting the Roof
While the weather is still above 50 degrees, choose a mild day with dry conditions to inspect your roof. Always make sure to practice roof safety:
- Use a sturdy ladder on level ground
- Have someone hold the ladder in place and spot you
- Never climb on a wet or slippery roof
- Wear a harness connected to a securely anchored rope
Check the roof for worn and frayed shingles, areas that dip when you step on them and damage along the flashing. If any issues are uncovered, schedule repairs now to avoid leaks and serious water-related damage later on.
Once leaves have fallen from the trees in your yard, spend an afternoon thoroughly cleaning the roof. Leaves, twigs, branches and other debris will accumulate over time, so it’s recommended to continually keep the roof free of any litter.
Your attic is directly linked to the performance of your roof. If the attic is not in good shape – perhaps the ventilation or insulation is failing – it can lead to serious problems like ice dams. Keeping the air flow consistent in your attic will help protect your roof and keep ice from accumulating at the base.
Many experts recommend inspecting your gutter system twice a year, at the start of spring and fall. If your gutters are in poor condition, it can impact how well water is drained from the roof, potentially leading to leaks and water damage. A thorough cleaning can keep the gutters clear.
To perform a gutter inspection, take a garden hose and run water down the drain to identify any clogs or leaks that occur. While you may need a professional gutter service to perform repairs, you can at least determine the source of the problem.
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