As the days get shorter and cooler, the leaves begin to change, and the kids return to school for the year, it’s time to begin preparing for the wetter weather that’s right around the corner, to ensure your family stays safe and warm all winter long. Here are a few tips for preparing your roof this fall.
Clean The Gutters
Your gutters are a vital part of your roofing sytem. If leaves and other debris are allowed to build up, the downspouts can become clogged and hinder drainage. Not only does this mean they can overflow and cause damage to your roof, trim, and siding, but additionally the gutters can become too heavy from the weight of the wet debris and begin to pull free and break off. This is especially true in regions where snow and ice buildup is a concern. A thorough cleaning to remove the debris is essential and gutter screens can be beneficial for long term ease of maintenance.
Clear The Roof
Leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other such debris present a problem if allowed to remain on your roof surface as well. These can hold in moisture, leading to rot or mold, causing your roofing material to break down over time. Sweep or blow off the debris that has accumulated on your roof, especially in the valleys where your roof most needs a clear path for water to flow.
Trim The Trees
Tree limbs and branches that overhang your roof will shed leaves in the fall, clogging your gutters continuously if not properly maintained. High winds, and the added weight of ice or snow can cause these branches to break and damage your roof as well. Trim back any branches that might cause an unexpected and expensive repair during the winter months.
Check For Damage
Now that your roof is clear, it’s a great time to take a look at the overall condition of your roof and shingles. If climbing up to get a first hand look isn’t something you are comfortable with, grab a pair of binoculars to make and inspection from the ground. You’ll want to look for any missing or damaged shingles, or damaged flashing around vents, chimneys, or skylights, since these areas are most likely to be the source of a leak. Also scan the fascia boards and soffits for damage, to ensure they won’t let in water under the roof line.
Don’t Forget The Attic
Head up into the attic to take a look at the roof from the inside. If there are any spots where you can see sunlight coming through, this means water can come through as well, so you’ll need to make repairs right away. Check for any signs of mold or mildew – these will lead to a number of problems if left untreated, such as causing damage to the timbers, and can be a major health hazard within your home. Ensure your attic has proper airflow and insulation to eliminate moisture problems from condensation, as well as maintain optimum energy efficiency.
Hire A Professional
While there are many smaller problems you may be able to tackle on your own if you are a handy homeowner, there is no better option than to call in a roofing expert to perform a yearly inspection or make any major repairs. Their experienced eye will easily spot things you might have missed and the additional cost will be offset by avoiding any costly and life-disrupting repairs, as well as prolonging the life expectancy of your roofing system.