The cold and storms of the winter season can wreak havoc on the exterior of a home and the surrounding property. Now is the time to do a winter-end check to make sure everything is in order and ready to withstand those spring time showers and the pending heat of summer. Sometimes it isn’t that there is significant damage to worry about, but simply the fact that it may have been several months since you last paid any attention to outdoor maintenance.
While all exterior areas should be checked periodically, areas that typically require extra attention at the end of the winter season include the roofing and roof drainage system (gutters and downspouts). To identify possible roof component concerns, look for:
- Ceiling spots – A possible warning sign that your roof system needs leak repair or replacement. If stains are on a lower level ceiling, a plumbing leak could be the cause, put don’t rule out a roof source for the water. Ceiling stains can also be associated with condensation due to excessive attic moisture and/or ice dam conditions, which may require air sealing, additional attic ventilation and/or insulation to prevent a recurrence.
- Missing shingles – Any missing shingles should be replaced quickly to avoid additional leakage and damage to the roof deck and interior of your home.
- Lifted or curled shingles – This may be an indication the roof is worn and near or at the end of its service life. If found just in an isolated areas, spot replacement may be possible, but if widespread, get a professional opinion on the roofs condition.
- Heavy granules buildup in gutter or at base of downspouts – The granule on roof shingles gradually wear away to the point where the underlying material is exposed over large areas. Once this happens the rate of shingle deterioration accelerates. If excessive, it may indicate aging shingles that need replacement.
- Loose, lifted or cracked flashing – This is the metal or other type membrane found at the base of chimneys, vents and other roof penetrations. Damaged flashing should be repaired to prevent leakage.
If you have issues with your roof system, we recommend utilizing the services of a professional home inspector or qualified roofer contractor to determine conditions and repair needs. Most homeowners should not attempt to climb on or walk a roof due to the risk of a fall. Many conditions can be safely observed from the grounds with a good pair of binoculars.
GAF Materials Corporation, one of North America’s largest roofing manufacturer maintains a directory to help homeowners find qualified roofing contractors . Simply go to GAF’s website at www.gaf.com to find the directory. This site also contains a great deal of information about roofing products, common problems and solutions.
Source: House Master