As the Rochester summer comes winding to a halt, it’s time to start thinking about winter. While that may seem miles away, it is the just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking not only about preparing your wardrobe but also your home.
In an area with harsh winters (such as Rochester), it’s important to do as much as possible to protect your home against damage that could be dangerous and/or costly. Seasonal maintenance should be performed in your home’s interior and exterior to ensure top performance.
Here is a checklist of things to keep in mind when winterizing your roof:
• Trim any vegetation
• Look for signs of pests. Winter will leads to squirrels, mice and raccoons to look for warmth in your home.
• Clean the roof and gutters of debris. Follow up with a hose down.
• Clear out the gutters if needed.
• Remove any damaged caulking and roofing cement and reapply.
• Check flashing for any damage.
• Fix loose asphalt shingles with roofing cement.
• Check the vents. Clear any obstructions. This will prevent heat and moisture from building up in the attic, therefore causing damage to your roof and rafters.
• Install additional vents to prevent ice-damming.
• Install attic insulation to prevent icing.
• Inspect the ceiling and drywall. If you see any discoloration or feel moisture, you could have a leak. This will require further maintenance before complete winterization can be done.
In Case of Damage
While it is not ideal, sometimes an emergency situation calls for a quick solution. While these are not the final answer, they can help you out in a time of crisis. Leaks can be small but dangerous. If you stumble upon a leak in your home and aren’t in a position to get it fixed immediately, these tips can help:
• For a leak in the attic, attach a string to the location of the leak and place a bucket underneath.
• For small holes in shingles or damage to the metal flashing, clear the area of any dust or debris and apply some cold plastic cement.
• Place a piece of metal flashing under a damage shingle to patch it up quickly.
If a quick fix isn’t going to work and you need a professional to repair it immediately, be sure to keep these things in mind:
• Make sure the contractor/roofer is insured.
• Get EVERYTHING in writing, including a proposal and start/end dates.
• Ask for a contractor’s warrant and manufacturer’s warranties for installation and materials.
• Ask for references and get in touch with them.
The earlier you start to winterize your home, the better. Be thorough and be sure to get everything repaired that needs to be. You will be thankful when an unexpected storm hits and you don’t have to worry about your roof.