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Weatherproof Your Roof

 

    A regular program of maintenance is the best way to ensure a comfortable, energy efficient home year-round. Now’s the time to get up on the roof to take a look around. Check for:

1. Loose, damaged or missing shingles. Use a dab of roof cement to repair loose shingles. This is best done on a warm day to prevent the shingle from cracking. Replace damaged or missing ones.

Did you know that shingle lift-up comes from too much heat in the attic; and heat in turn, is caused by poor or inadequate ventilation?

2. Check flashing between chimneys and roof and also at the roof line. If flashing is loose, seal with caulking compound or roof cement. Flashing is used wherever walls, roof surfaces and chimneys meet. It is also used around vent pipes and dormers. Flashing joints are usually sealed with roof cement which may develop small breaks and even pin holes over time. If you have doubts about its condition, coat with asphalt roof paint or roofing cement. If the chimney flashing has separated from the mortar, you should repair it immediately. The separated flashing acts as a conduit for accumulated water, sending it all down under the shingles into the rooms below. In this case, you must remove the old mortar along the line, clean the channel, reposition the flashing along the line and refill the line with a fresh mix of patching mortar.

3. Remove debris from gutters. Check that they are at the proper pitch. Look for leaks in the seams and replace or repair as required. Clean downspouts and check for loose joints.

4. Check chimneys for nests and other potential blockages. Repair any loose mortar on brick chimneys and replace chimney cap if required. This step is especially important if you have trees that come in contact with your roof, giving squirrels and other wildlife easy access to your roof and chimney.

Ice dams are caused by snow melting on a warm roof surface, then running off the overhang and refreezing. Later melting of the ice can cause snow water to accumulate and to eventually back up under the shingles. In some cases, ice build up can even cause structural damage. Falling ice can also damage gutters, fascia and shrubbery. A little maintenance done now will help prevent costly weather damage later.

 

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