We’ve all experienced how harsh the winter weather can be on a house. In the spring, after the cold, snowy weather is finally gone, it’s time to take stock of how well your house and roof fared and address any damage as soon as possible. Even a little damage can result in a major repair if not properly repaired. Water can easily get into the smallest openings and create weaknesses in your structure that can result in costly damage, both externally as well as internally.
Take a few minutes and grab a good pair of binoculars and perhaps a ladder and inspect your house, paying particular attention to your roof line and the various points of contact and connections. Here are a few guidelines on where and what to look for when assessing your roof:
Missing or damaged shingles and flashing: Shingles can become dislodged or completely removed in a storm, creating an avenue for melting snow to get underneath your other shingles and weaken the wood beneath. Even a curled piece of flashing or shingle that is not fully secured is a potential problem, as the wind can catch it and further expose your roof’s infrastructure. Replace or re-secure these as soon as possible.
Clogged or disconnected gutters and downspouts: Gutters and downspouts provide a channel for the melting snow and rainwater to flow safely away from the house. Any break in the connection can lead to water pouring on to a section of your roof or house not designed to handle it, and cause decay on the surface. A stoppage in the channel can prevent the flow of water away from your house and cause water back up. This can be especially damaging should there be a quick refreeze, when that built up water becomes a giant, expanding ice chunk. Clearing out and reconnecting your gutters should be a priority.
Seals around chimneys, windows and skylights: The seals around these openings represent another point of entry into your home’s infrastructure. Make sure they remain tight and the flashing correctly in place so that no rainwater can enter and cause damage. Re-caulking and repairing these seals not only keeps out the water, but also has the added benefit of improved insulation, keeping the cold out and heat in. Be mindful of your manufacturer’s recommendations of application temperature for the caulk, it will not cure properly otherwise.
Rusted or damaged/missing hardware and fasteners: Closer inspection might show you yet another point of entry for that dreaded enemy water – holes where hardware has gone missing or loosened. Even a little wiggle-room is unwelcome when trying to protect your home from the elements. An open hole represents the most direct access into your home, as it often leads into the wood beneath where a hole was drilled or a staple had been fastened. This opening can lead to wood rot, or provide an avenue for burrowing insects. Rusting hardware can lead to damaging corrosion on the surrounding surface. Replace missing hardware and make sure the seal is tight. Consider stainless steel fasteners when replacing.
Debris on roof and next to house: Debris laying on the house, or even leaning against, invites not just scratches and wear on your house but may also lead to unwanted critters wandering up onto (or into) your house. Broken branches, leaves and twigs can cause a block in your downspouts and gutters. Remove these as soon, and as safely, as possible.
As with any home improvement project, take care to do it safely and correctly. To ensure your repairs last, consider using the RoofLoc® SCRAIL® - The Metal Roofing System. Installing faster and more efficiently than conventional fasteners, the SCRAIL® RoofLoc® System is two times faster than collated screws and eight times faster than bulk screws, and the leak proof EPDM washer and FasCoat® exterior finish ensure it stands up to the conditions your roof faces.
Learn more about the RoofLoc® system by viewing the video.