The months of rain are quickly approaching and being prepared for what to do and how to safeguard your home are great ways to keep your home and your family safe.
Here are five important steps to take for preventing roof leaks caused by the Spring thaw:
1) Inspect Your Shingles
After tough winters your Wheaton IL roofing shingles can take a lot of wear and tear. The cold and wind can deteriorate your your shingles causing leakage. It is important to check and see if different areas need repairing to prepare for the upcoming rain season.
2) Seal Flashings & Exposed Nail Heads
In addition to shingle damage, snow and ice can also affect your metal flashings and rubberized caulk sealers. Expanding ice displaces metal flashings and breaks open caulk joints. Check all flashings along walls, chimneys and skylights for damage or disruption. Examine the neoprene rubber gaskets that seal water out around vents pipes and other penetrations. Neoprene gaskets dry out and become brittle in colder temperatures. They are also prone to cracking. If you have access to your roof, walk on the roof to inspect if any nails are now exposed after the harsh winter. Make sure to not do this alone and be careful.
3) Check Gutters And Downspouts
Icicles, ice, and snow can weigh down your gutters, and snow melted by the daytime sun can freeze inside your downspouts at night when the temperature drops. Gutters that are damaged not only can affect the overall beauty of your home , but it can affect the system’s performance of keeping water away and ultimately cause more damage to your home. A properly working gutter and downspout system can help shed water and moisture from your roof surface and deliver it safely away from your home’s foundation. You should be sure that your downspouts have not expanded and split from ice formation, and that they are properly directing water away from your home.
4) Pay Attention To Siding And Trim
Siding can also be affected from cold temperatures and high, driving winds. Inspect around all windows and doors to ensure the vinyl trim isn’t cracked or broken. Make sure there are no open or disturbed seams or broken or cracked siding panels. A broken or cracked vinyl siding panel opens your home to water and wind infiltration, leading to additional damage hidden behind your vinyl siding. Look for any dislodged or bent aluminum capping on your trim boards and replace. Aluminum capping is both aesthetically pleasing, and protects the wood trim boards beneath. You definitely don’t want it to be damaged!
5) Install & Review Attic Ventilation
Naturally, wetter months bring added moisture to the air as well. Moisture can reside in your attic and crawl spaces if not ventilated properly. As you walk around you home and your roof’s surface, inspect the condition of your ventilation system. Look at the ridge vent and make sure there are no exposed nail heads and that it is securely fastened to the roof surface. From ground level, make sure your soffits are secure in place and not obstructed. If your home is equipped with gable vents, evaluate the condition and replace commonly broken, brittle plastic vents with a high-quality vinyl unit. While in the attic, move any insulation that has settled in the soffits to prevent obstructed air flow.
Maintaining the condition and efficiency of your roofing and gutter systems is paramount to protect your family and add peace of mind when it comes to your home. Although it may seem like a lot of work to take these precautions, you will feel safer knowing that your home is ready to take on the weather that comes with the spring and summer.