The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. The kids are trudging off to school again with their backpacks, and leaves are falling from the trees. Fall is here. Now’s the time to finish up any last-minute maintenance projects and get your home and yard ready. Get your home ready for the cool days to come.
Leaf Buildup On Roof
As we begin buttoning up our jackets, we should give thought to doing the same for our homes. Before the first freeze, here are a few things you should do to prepare your roof for the cold, wet weather ahead.
Trim The Trees
Most species of trees grow steadily all year long. Those tiny branches hanging barely above the roof could become a real nuisance by the time spring is here. Trimming back any branches near the house now can help prevent damage, as well as reduce the volume of leaves that will fall on the roof within a few weeks.
Clean Your Gutters
You may not associate the summer months with clogged gutters and downspouts, but don’t be tricked by Mother Nature. Summer storms may have driven leaves, needles, twigs, and other debris into your gutter system. As the autumn leaves begin to collect on your roof and in the gutter system, there is a greater risk that they will block the downspouts. Rain water then overflows the gutter, and can damage your trim and siding. With the added weight of soggy, decaying leaves and water buildup, there’s also a chance the gutters could actually pull loose from their anchor points and collapse.
Clear Off Any Debris
It’s equally important that you remove leaves, evergreen needles, branches, and other debris from the full surface area of your roof. The gunk loves to collect in the valleys, the place where two roof-lines meet. Even the smallest deposits will hold moisture, and could lead to a mold and rot condition that may damage your roof. If you are experienced in walking on the roof, and feel confident, you should be able to remove any debris with a bristle broom or leaf blower.
Check For Damage & Deterioration
When your roof is cleaned, check the surface for missing or curled shingles. If yours is a tile roof, you’ll be looking for some that may be loose or cracked. Leaks often begin at the flashing around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights. If you discover any defects, or areas that may be suspect, this is the time to have a roofer check the integrity of the roof, before the heavy rain begins. A damaged or deteriorating roof could produce leaks when the rains come, and also drive up energy costs as temperatures drop.
Check The Attic Insulation & Ventilation
You will also want to take a peek in the attic. Here you’re looking for areas where moisture has built up, and excessive heat. It’s a good idea to check the vents, to make sure none of the local critters have found a refuge from the elements. Also when heat is allowed to build up in the attic, it can lead to condensation buildup and moisture damage. Attic heat can also cause the formation of ice dams in the winter. This invites leaks when snow accumulates on your roof. When the hot air has nowhere else to go, it can seep into the living space below, encouraging you to turn on the air conditioning during the cooler months.