Once the leaves start changing color, you know that winter is just around the corner. In Austin and Central Texas, winter weather can bring storms that can turn small roofing issues into major problems. Fortunately, severe damage to your roof can often be prevented by following five basic fall maintenance tips.
Trim Overhanging Branches
Trees that have overhanging branches need to be trimmed for three important reasons. First, dead leaves and twigs can block gutters and downspouts, allowing water to back up under the edges of your roof, drain onto your fascia boards or drip between your interior and exterior walls. Second, when the wind blows, the branches can scrape against your roof, damaging your roofing covering. Third, an ice storm or high wind could break the branches and send them crashing onto your roof.
Take Care of Gutters
By late autumn, your gutters probably need a thorough cleaning. Leaves, trash, twigs and other debris should be removed to prevent overflows, but clogged gutters are also more susceptible to damage. As part of the cleaning process, inspect the gutters for holes or leaks. You can use a garden hose to flush your gutters and downspouts, which will make it easier for you to spot leaks at seams and holes in the gutters. You can repair leaks at seams with a silicone sealant and patch small holes with roofing cement. You should also check to make sure that your gutters and downspouts are securely fastened to your home or fascia boards.
Inspect Your Attic
Water stains on your ceilings or walls are positive proof of a leak, but these types of leaks often manifest first in the attic. Examine the underside of your roof decking for water stains, look for damp insulation and make sure that you cannot see daylight streaming in through your roof or where your roof meets the walls. Mold, mildew and warped rafters can indicate that you have a leak although they can also indicate that your attic ventilation is insufficient and allowing humidity levels to soar.
Inspect Your Roof
If you do not have the proper equipment to conduct a rooftop inspection or are uncomfortable with the idea, you should call a reputable contractor to conduct a thorough inspection. However, there are many signs of damage that you can spot from the ground, especially if you use a pair of binoculars. If you have asphalt shingles, look for any that are missing, cracked, curled, loose, blistered or broken. Shingles that have lost their granules can also lead to leaks. Look for missing or damaged flashing, and if you have a chimney, make sure that the chimney cap is intact and the chimney flashing is properly sealed. If you have a metal roofing system with exposed fasteners, look for missing fasteners or signs that the fasteners are loose.
Keep a Comprehensive List
Make a written record of any problems or potential problems that you discover so that you can keep track of the issues that have been corrected to ensure that none are overlooked. You can use the list to obtain quotes from several roof contractors to help ensure that you are reviewing bids for exactly the same work.
Alpha Roofing Industries is an Austin residential roofing company and we understand the value of proper maintenance. We offer roof inspections and roof repair, including emergency services. We install flashing, asphalt shingles, metal roofing systems, skylights and siding. We are known for the quality of our work, our professionalism and our reasonable rates. If you have more question about Fall Maintenance Tips | Residential Roofing, or would like a free quote, you can call us at (512) 777-1086 or submit the handy online form.