Hugh Cairns: Do these 3 things before winter

October 31, 2014 2:59 am

Make sure that all flashings are sealed and roof valleys (where two or more sections of the roof meet and act as a funnel on the roof) are clear of vegetative debris that can gather and eventually deteriorate the covering. Photo: Contributed – (Hugh Cairns)

For homeowners, the end of Fall means that your home should be prepared for winter. Beyond yard cleanup and irrigation blowouts, homeowners should be completing their Fall maintenance inspections. If you’ve already done yours good for you, if you haven’t, the good news is there is some time to get it done before winter arrives.

If you’ve been on one of my inspections then you’ll know that I consider water and moisture the number one enemies of a home. One water intrusion occurs it can be difficult and costly to remediate, so make sure that your home is up to protecting you from the upcoming wet weather.

Inspect your roof covering

Your roof covering is a vital part of protecting your home, and it’s important to make sure that it is in good condition. Regular maintenance of your roof can help ensure it will continue to protect you and your family from the elements. It’s always preferable to hire a roof professional to inspect and maintain your roof, they have the training, tools and experience to work in dangerous conditions.

Look for aging and worn shingles. Make sure that all flashings are sealed and roof valleys (where two or more sections of the roof meet and act as a funnel on the roof) are clear of vegetative debris that can gather and eventually deteriorate the covering.

Inspect your roof perimeter gutter and downspout drainage system

Roofs collect a ton of water literally. Managing the water that accumulates on the covering is extremely important. The purpose of your roof perimeter drainage system is to collect water from the roof and divert water well away from the structure out of harm’s way. Blocked or damaged gutters can deposit water that can penetrate walls and damage your home.

Overflowing gutters can drop water onto walkways. As the temperatures continue to drop moisture, build-up can result in surface ice on your walkaways. If your gutters and downspouts are not clear of debris, they can overflow and cause icicles to grow and fall. Even worse, ice accumulation in gutters expands and can pry gutters, soffit, fascia, roof shingles, and other structures apart from the home. Excessive ice build-up can cause your gutters to become very heavy. It is estimated that a 10-foot section of gutter can hold 150lbs of water.

Inspect and test your outdoor lighting

Soon it’ll be dark by dinnertime. Now is great time to make sure that you and your guests will be able to navigate their way in and out of your home. Replace all burnt-out bulbs. Consider upgrading inadequate fixtures with newer stronger ones.

A great flashlight is a good idea. I pack a flashlight everyday while inspecting homes. I’ve been through them all and have arrived at my self-called “Torchamatic 9000” (it’s really a ArmorMax 3D Tactical Flashlight – $30 at our local big box store). It’s a big rugged flashlight with a staggering 600 lumens. It’ll light up an attic effortlessly. It holds 3 D batteries which gives it a great long battery life. It can easily illuminate the side of a house from 300 feet away. 

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