With the unseasonably high temperatures and small amount of snowfall during the home stretch of the 2016-17 winter season, it appears we may be on the verge of a nice, early spring this year. While this might be tough on ski resorts and snowmobile dealerships, I couldn’t be happier, to the point that I will probably yell at the first person who brings up one those frequently repeated adages like ‘March is the snowiest month’ or ‘there is always a winter storm during the high school state hockey tournament’ (mostly because neither is true; check your facts people! Haha).
So, if you’re like me and are anxious to get your spring activities started there is no better place to begin than with your roof and gutters. As always, only get on your roof if you are completely comfortable doing so and always use all applicable safety practices and equipment if you do. If you are not comfortable getting on your roof for any reason, then you should hire a roofer or handyman to help. Of course you should always wait until all snow and ice has melted off of every part of that roof before anyone tries to get up there.
Here is my spring checklist for roof and gutters:
- Check for any tree branches that are in contact or are close to coming in contact with the roof.
- Check for debris that has accumulated on the roof (sticks, leaves, pine needles, etc.).
- Check the roof for any loose, lifted, damaged or missing shingles. Note any buckling, curling, blistering or excessive granular loss, which could indicate that the roof is coming to the end of its useful life.
- Confirm that all vent covers and caps are still in place and firmly attached.
- Check all areas of flashing to make sure they are intact, secured and free of deterioration and rust.
- Check chimneys for deteriorating brick, flashing and/or mortar.
- Check all caulked areas for shrinkage and deterioration.
- Check the roof for signs of organic growth like algae, lichen or moss.
- If possible, check your attic space with a flashlight for any indications of leaking that you may not be seeing on the interior yet.
- Check all gutters and downspouts for clogs and accumulated detritus.
- Confirm that all gutters, downspouts and downspout extensions are still firmly attached to each other and the house.
- Use a level or a hose to verify that all gutter are still sloped towards the downspouts (sometimes the weight of winter snow and ice can affect this). Check for any leaking.
Promptly address any issues that are found or get them addressed by a qualified professional. Make sure your roof and gutters are ready for the April showers and summer storms that are sure to come. Don’t wait until there is a problem inside to do something.