What are Preventive Measures to Take on our Roof for Winter?
There are some do-it-yourself measures you can take that will help keep your roof in good condition before cold weather sets in. Keep in mind any roof maintenance requires the use of a ladder and it is important to take safety precautions when climbing on a ladder to avoid falls. Before we take a jaunt and journey up to the roof, just a little safety reminder here, falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leasing causes of fatalities and injuries. YCCA has free portable ladder safety tips, so give me a call and we will mail it out to you.
Now, let’s “drift” up on the roof and hopefully you will find a paradise that’s trouble proof up on the roof. Many homes have gutter drainage systems which are an important part of the roof system and should be checked to make sure they are working properly. A gutter system is specifically designed to carry as much moisture from the roof away from the foundation as possible. To ensure that this system is working properly, get your garden house out in early fall and run water through the gutter system to make sure there are no blockages. During an early rain storm, it is recommended that you walk the outside perimeter of your home during the storm. This will allow you to spot signs of trouble areas such as standing water, water running alongside or toward the foundation, overflowing gutters and clogged downspouts.
Clear the roof and gutters of all debris. This task is important regardless of the type of roof you have. If you have a flat roof, it is absolutely imperative that you clear and clean your roof on a regular basis. Debris on a flat roof can trap water more easily and will cause roof sagging and rotting. Also with flat roofs, you may possibly have a parapet (a low wall that is normally constructed about the roofline) Parapet walls are extremely prone to moisture issues and have a continuous flashing membrane which if not maintained, properly sealed and kept free of material will result in leaks and roof deterioration. If you have a tile roof, it is important to check for cracked tiles, which can allow water to penetrate your roof system.
Roof shingles bake in the hot summer sun and their granular coating can break down. The fall is a good time to inspect these shingles and replace worn-out shingles before permanent damage occurs. It is important to inspect the flashing and this is material that is used anywhere the roof system is penetrated by chimneys, attic vents and plumbing vent stacks. This time of year you should check the flashing for gaps, cracks, rust holes and any bending. Cracks and holes must be sealed with roofing cement. These are easy to it yourself roof checks, however, it would be beneficial to call a licensed roofer to come out and conduct a roof inspection and offer maintenance tips. These inspections are normally done at no cost, however it is important to ask the roofing contractor what there terms are. These inspections are an added layer of protection to ensure that your roof is in good shape and will keep you covered for years to come.