While your roof requires year-round maintenance to ensure its longevity and structural integrity, special care needs to be taken when autumn rolls around. Fall roof care is particularly involved because, well, it’s fall! Leaves quickly cover roofs and fill gutters, and can rapidly cause problems with your roof’s drainage system. Come winter, those problems can multiply when ice dams up those clogged gutter lines. Because winter is the worst time to be dealing with roof issues, you’ll also want to engage in some basic roof maintenance measures to keep your roof in tip-top shape. Avoid potential costly damage to your roof with our autumn roof care tips:
- Inspect: Inspection is a key autumn roof care step. From a safe vantage point of a ladder or window, visually inspect your roof for any problems that might need to be addressed before the colder months arrive in earnest. Look for algae or mold growth, missing or damaged shingles or flashing, areas of discoloration, and other visible issues. A pair of binoculars can be very handy to help you more easily spot problems. If you note any areas of concern, give us a call and we’ll come out to do a closer inspection and, if necessary, repair or remediate the damage.
- Insulate: Caring for your roof involves more than just dealing with the exterior. If possible, get up into your attic or crawl space and examine the interior for any air or water leaks. Adding insulation is virtually always a good idea, and now is the ideal time to do so, but you’ll want to make absolutely sure your roof is water-tight first. Spot a leak? Put a bucket underneath as a stopgap measure, and contact us as soon as possible to inspect and repair.
- Trim: Fall is a great time to trim back branches that could damage your home in the event of a storm. Removing limbs that extend over your roof can also reduce the amount of debris that ultimately ends up in your gutter system. Whether this is a DIY or pro job depends on your abilities and access to the correct equipment, as well as your knowledge of how to properly shear off overhanging limbs. When in doubt, call in a professional, who will know how to cut back branches safely while keeping your trees healthy in the process.
- Clean: No fall roof care list would be complete without a thorough gutter and downspout cleaning. All that messy work is worth it though: clean gutters allow water to flow away from your home, preventing it from pooling around the foundation and causing basement flooding. Cleared gutters also help direct water away from the roof and siding, keeping problems such as rotting wood, damaged fascia, and moldy shingles at bay. While you’re cleaning out those pipes, be sure to check that they are all correctly attached and intact, and that they are properly directing water away from your foundation.
Safety first! When caring for your roof, be sure to follow proper safety measures. When working with insulation, wear proper protective gear, such as gloves and a breathing mask. If you’re working with power tools, saws, or cutting shears, gloves and eye protection are an absolute must. When cleaning gutters, wear gloves and bring along a bucket to collect debris. If possible, have someone steady the ladder from below, and never stand on the very top rungs. If you can’t safely reach the gutters with your own equipment, it’s time to call a pro. Also, never lean out to the side of a ladder to collect debris. Annoying as it is, you simply have to keep climbing up and down to move the ladder as you work. Think of it as your workout for the day! In any event, don’t attempt to go up on the roof itself to perform any of these fall roof care measures. Not only could you damage your roof, you could be seriously injured in the event of a fall.
Overwhelmed by your autumn roof care list? Took the first step and spotted a problem? Relax! We’ve got you covered. Give George J Keller and Sons a call today at 973-927-0963 and we’ll come out right away to perform a careful inspection, address problems, and give you the peace of mind you need before Old Man Winter arrives!