When you think of fall in New England, the first things that come to mind are colorful leaves and a warm bowl of chowder. But before the cold winds of winter arrive, it’s a good idea to do a fall roof checkup to ensure your home is ready for the next Nor’Easter.
If you need more reasons to do a fall roof checkup guide, here are some exciting weather facts about the region.
Massachusetts experiences the most thunderstorms in all of New England. During the winter season, the average snowfall is 27 inches. Daily temperatures in the winter season can vary from an average low of 22 degrees Fahrenheit to 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow, ice, and moisture on the roofing system, coupled with strong winds, can cause damage to your home.
During the warmer summer months, sun, rain, and humidity impact and can wear down a roof as well. For homeowners, the key to avoiding costly roofing damages is performing regular maintenance. Following a fall roof checkup guide should be part of your annual home maintenance schedule, along with replacing batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.
Fall Roof Checkup Guide
Your roof is a mission-critical component of your home. A little maintenance can help extend its life and ensure that your house stays comfortable and secure year-round. Here’s a quick checklist for fall:
Inspect Ceilings – Check your ceilings for any signs of sagging or leaks. Signs of water damage include discoloration and peeling paint. In some cases, exterior walls might also get damaged by water.
Trim And Prune Trees Near Your Home – Keep trees at least 10′ away from your home, and prune any low-hanging branches. By removing these limbs ahead of the rainy, windy, icy, and windy season, you don’t have to worry about them potentially falling on the house.
Check Your Attic For Water – Water can make its way in through the roof. Dry, hot air rises and leaves cold, wet air trapped near the ceiling. Homes with an unfinished attic without proper insulation are more likely to have this problem than homes with attic insulation. Check for signs of moisture, such as dampness or mold on the bottom of your rafters. If you notice either, this could indicate a bigger problem, like a crack in your roof.
Check Your Ventilation System – While in the attic, also check the ventilation system. A roof with excellent ventilation doesn’t cause a temperature imbalance across the roofing surface.
However, roofs without proper ventilation will melt snow accumulated on the rooftop, trickling down and refreezing in the gutters, creating ice dams during winter.
Clean Out The Gutters – Leaves and other debris can clog up your gutters and drainpipes, leading to minor leaks or complete blockage. Instead of rainwater running out and away from your home, it could spill over the gutters or create water buildup underneath the shingles nearest the edge.
Inspect Gutter Systems – Leaves and debris can pile up in your gutters and eventually clog them. Check for gutter damage (broken, loose or missing pieces) and clean out grates to allow rainfall to flow freely into the system where it belongs.
During this inspection, also ensure that downspouts are positioned correctly and drain away from the house. Water that runs or collects against a foundation wall can promote frozen or saturated soil, foundation problems, and even wood rot.
Your home’s gutter system plays an essential role in draining away rain and moisture away from your home. However, standing water can penetrate the roofing system and cause serious damage to the roof decking underlayment in severe cases if they aren’t working correctly. It could also cause interior or structural damage, which can get avoided with preventative maintenance.
Check Chimneys and Flashing – A block in the chimney can prevent heat from escaping during cold weather. Flashing is the metal sheeting that forms a protective barrier around these points to prevent water from getting inside your home. Replace any flashing that appears damaged. Cracks or other visible damage around the chimney or flashing should get fixed by a professional.
Clear Moss Growth – Moss and mold can thrive during the spring and summer months, so removing them in the fall will prevent a buildup that could potentially damage your roofing system.
Inspect Shingles – Asphalt shingles are made of organic materials and need protection from the elements. If roof sections are blistering, flaking, or peeling paint, inspect the deck and insulation underneath. Other damages to be on the lookout for include curled or cracked shingles. You can avoid more extensive or emergency repairs in the winter by making needed replacements and repairs in the fall.
Check Skylights – Without a tight seal, skylights can leak heat. Ensuring there are no gaps between the frame and roof deck helps keep everything dry and energy costs low. Any leaks should get sealed.
Check Solar Panels – Solar panels are less susceptible to damage from wind and rain, but they’re still at risk for undue wear. Make sure the connections are secure between your roofing system and your solar panels. Proper maintenance can help prevent hazardous current flowing between the two systems that could cause significant damage to either one.
Prevention Is Always Better Than A Repair!
It’s almost always better to be proactive and prevent roofing problems before they become inconvenient repairs. After all, nobody wants to have to make a significant roofing repair at the absolute worst time of the year to do so.
By ensuring that all components of your roofing system are working correctly, you have greater confidence knowing it’s ready to protect your family and investment from the unpredictable winter weather patterns of New England.
If you could use the help of a roofing professional, trusted roofing company to complete a thorough roof inspection or repairs Hingham, Dover, Newton, Wellesley, Norwell, or Needham, MA, our team of expert roofing contractors is happy to work with you to complete the project.
We always offer free, no-obligation price quotes for all of our roofing installation and repair services.