In many parts of the country, the bold colors of fall will soon be replaced by winter’s first snowfall. Even if you’re not ready to face the cold, you can be sure your home and storage buildings are prepared by completing several important maintenance tasks. A simple fall maintenance program will not only give you peace of mind, you will also save money by avoiding expensive repairs.
Inspect the roof. We recommend that you perform a thorough check-up of your roofing system twice per year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Look for shingles that are cracked, curled, loose or altogether missing. Check wood shakes for rot and splits, and slate and tile for broken pieces. Also note the condition of metal flashing at joints and protrusions in the roof, such as around chimneys or skylights. If you see damage or areas of concern, call a professional roofer for assistance.
Clean out gutters. Clogged gutters are a major contributor to ice dams and other winter headaches. Be sure to clean leaves out of gutters and downspouts on both your home and outdoor sheds, then flush out remaining debris with water. Inspect guttering for leaks or loose brackets, and repair if needed.
Clear roof surfaces. Clear off leaves and other debris that can promote mold, mildew and water collection on the roof surface. Ice that forms under shingles can lift the edges or cause cracking, permitting water to enter once spring rains arrive.
Check ventilation. To allow proper ventilation within your home, be sure attic vents in the eaves are not covered by insulation. Clear debris away from ridge and soffit vents. Keep out unwanted guests by installing bird and rodent screens on attic vents.
Look for peeling paint. Paint is your home’s protection from water infiltration. Peeling paint can lead to wood rot, mold and insect damage. Inspect the exterior walls of your home and sheds for any paint that is peeling or blistering.
Stop drafts. To prevent heat from escaping your home, caulk and seal openings around windows and doors, and around pipes and wires where they enter the house. If applicable, don’t forget to check basement windows for drafts, loose frames and cracked panes.
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