From Roofing Inspection to Repairs: 5 Fall Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Home maintenance experts point to fall as the year’s most important maintenance and repair seasons.

Winter can bring all kinds of unruly and unpredictable weather, and if your roof has any minor or undetected structural or repair problems, you run the risk of having them get out of control at the worst possible time. Harsh winter elements can easily turn small problems into big ones, so be proactive and ensure your roof is ready for the cold weather before it arrives.

From Roofing Inspection to Repairs: 5 Fall Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

From Roofing Inspection to Repairs: 5 Fall Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

These five key items should be on your fall roof maintenance checklist:

#1. Inspect, Clean & Fix Gutters

Gutters provide essential drainage, directing rainwater and melted snow and ice off your roof and safely away from your home. However, by the later part of autumn, chances are they need some cleaning. Falling leaves, sticks, twigs, branches, and all kinds of other debris can easily become trapped. If clogged gutters interferes with their proper function, you risk developing ice dams during the winter, and they are among the most notorious and costly problems a homeowner can face.

  • Clear leaves & debris. Gutters and downspouts must be clear of leaves and debris to do their job. Clogged, dammed drain outlets lead to overflowing gutters, and may even pull the gutters loose. Avoid clogged gutters from forming in the first place by installing a gutter guard protection system, or grab a ladder and clear your regular gutters from all the accumulated debris, before fall rains start.
  • Evaluate the gutter angle, making sloping adjustments as necessary. Properly installed rain gutters are slightly sloped toward the downspout, allowing water to drain efficiently. Improperly sloped gutters will result in pooling, which over time will rot or corrode your gutters. An easy way to test the slope is by spraying water into the rain gutters with a hose (do this only after cleaning your gutters to avoid potentially clogging it and making things worse). The water should flow smoothly toward the downspout. Additionally, improper location of downspouts, or not having enough of them, can lead to standing water and overflows during heavy rains.
  • Inspect for gutters pulled away from the home. If water pools in your gutters for any reason, the weight of the water may, over time, loosen the fasteners and allow the gutter to pull away from your structure. To check the integrity of your gutter system, an annual inspection is recommended.
  • Check for leaks and holes. Using a garden hose, spray water on your roof to see if your gutters are leaking. If you don’t have seamless gutters, your system may begin to leak at aging seams. These leaks may be repaired with silicone sealant. Be sure to seal both the inside and outside of the gutter. Small holes can be easily repaired with roofing cement, applied with a putty knife. Larger issues may require replacing the leaky section altogether.
  • Inspect downspouts. Inspect your downspouts for any leaks or signs of excessive wear. If your downspouts are joined to fascia boards, ensure that they are firmly attached.

#2. Inspect & Repair Your Roof As Needed

During the fall, you should also make a careful and thorough check for any obvious signs of damage to your roof. Loose or missing shingles, loose roofing elements, cracks, blisters, chipped roofing cement…all of them should be dealt with before the first snowfall. Binoculars are your best friend if you don’t feel comfortable climbing a ladder onto your roof.

  • Check for broken, cracked, curled, or missing shingles, and any signs of a loss of granulation. Loose or damaged shingles is a common problem. Over time, high winds, hail, tree branches and other debris can take a toll. Often, a little roofing cement may be all that’s needed to repair a loose shingle tab. If the shingle is damaged, you’ll want to have it replaced.
  • Check for blisters, cracks, and tears around the edges of the roof
  • Check flashings for damage, corrosion, or holes that may need repair or replacement.
  • Inspect damaged chimney bricks and buckled or torn flashing, cracked or worn caps and joints. Check caulking/sealants around the roof for cracking or other damage. Old, worn sealants should be replaced before water seepage causes problems.
  • Assess the condition of exhaust pipes, valleys, outer edges or angles where the roof meets the walls.

If your roofing inspection uncovers issues that require remediation, don’t wait until spring. Have them fixed now, before the snow starts to fall. Otherwise, you risk developing problems that may be far more difficult and expensive to repair later.

Bottom line: Patch any ongoing roof leaks, or hire a contractor to handle that for you. As you work on repairing your roof, remember to stay safe and take special care to not inflict further damage to your roof.

#3. Trim Trees That Hang Over Your Roof

If you have trees with branches that hang over your roof, it’s a good idea to trim these branches away to prevent leaves from falling onto your roof. The accumulation of leaves, branches, twigs, and other debris can cause blockages in your gutters, leading to ice dams and other potentially serious issues, as mentioned earlier.

This supplemental task serves multiple purposes. First, it eliminates some of the potential debris that could end up in your gutters as winter wears on. Second, and more importantly, it reduces your chances of suffering serious damage as the result of a winter storm. High winds and heavy snowfall accumulation can cause even large, sturdy branches to break off, and they can cause big problems if they land on your roof with a crash.


#4. Don’t Forget To Check The Attic

Some problems are less obvious, and you’ll need to track down clues that might be on the inside of your home rather than outside. Head up to your attic to check for signs of leaks. Check your attics and all walls and ceilings that adjoin your roof for signs of water damage, such as leaks or discolored splotches. The presence of mold and mildew, stains, and warped wooden elements all indicate leakage, or high humidity levels.

Proper attic insulation and ventilation are the keys to fixing these issues and preventing the serious problems they can cause. Be especially vigilant about mold – roof leaks can give moisture and mold a way to get a foothold inside your house.

#5. Make a list.

Keep a comprehensive record of any possible problems you find. This will make it faster and easier for you to obtain and compare quotes from roofing contractors, should you decide to hire a professional to perform any necessary repairs.

If you encounter problems you don’t know how to repair on your own, reach out to a reputable local professional roofing contractor. Making an investment in proper repairs now can pay off in spades by helping you avoid more serious and more costly problems during the winter, when snowy and slippery conditions can make repairs difficult or impossible.

Have A Leak? Hire A Repair Contractor

family owned & operated DE/PA roofing contractor, All Roofing Solutions has been serving Delaware and Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years! Whether you need help with inspection, maintenance or repairs, we’re ready to assist you!

To schedule your free consultation, call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania. Contact us today and receive a discount of 15% off any roofing repair job.

Residential Roofing: Tackling Shingle Roof Installation The Right Way

Whether your shingle roof has been damaged by weather or simply aged to the point where it’s just deteriorated beyond repair, it will eventually need to be replaced.

Installing a new roof is a serious undertaking, and one that very few homeowners will (or should!) tackle themselves. Because of the critical role your roof plays in protecting your home, this is a job that’s best left to your local roofing contractor experienced with the ins and outs of the roofing replacement process.

If you’ve never gone through re-roofing, it may seem a bit overwhelming and you may not know where to start.  But, no worries. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned homeowners, we’ll show you what the steps to tackling shingle roof installation the right way!

Residential Roofing: Shingle Roof Installation The Right Way

Tackling Shingle Roofing Installation The Right Way

Installing a new shingle roof is a huge commitment, so understanding the entire re-roofing process from start to finish can be highly beneficial to you as a homeowner. From questions about the cost involved to knowing the installation pitfalls to watch out for, there’s a lot of information that you need to familiarize yourself with if you want a successful replacement with no costly surprises along the way.

1. Selecting a contractor and getting an estimate

The most important part is researching and selecting the right roofing contractor for your replacement. When choosing a roofer, be sure to select an experienced, licensed, and insured company that’s local to your area. Pick few contractors and collect multiple estimates you can compare.

Remember, while total project cost is an important consideration, it’s certainly not the only thing you need to keep in mind. In fact, many homeowners make the mistake of going with a particular contractor simply because they’re the cheapest, only to learn later that shoddy workmanship and inferior materials led to unsatisfactory results.

All quality roofing estimates should include:

  • Estimated project duration
  • Detailed description of work, including roofing materials, flashing locations & underlayment type
  • Type of sealant used to weatherproof flashing and nail holes
  • Cleanup expectations
  • Total project cost:
    • Building material costs (roofing material, fasteners, flashing)
    • Labor costs, broken down by man hours or listed as a project bid
    • Additional expenses, such as sheathing repairs, tear-out of old shingles, etc.

2. Inspecting and replacing underlying materials

Roofing replacement will start differently, depending whether you’re tearing off the old shingles or adding a top layer of new shingles to the existing roof. Most likely, however, your contractor will remove old shingles and underlying roofing materials completely in order to inspect wood decking. Any soft or rotted wood decking will be removed and replaced as well – this will provide a solid base for your new shingles.

Residential Roofing: Tackling Shingle Roof Installation The Right Way

Next, drip edge will then be installed at all edges of the roof. Drip edge prevents rain and snow from getting underneath your shingles around the roof’s perimeter.

Finally, your roofer will install “ice and water shield” which is a special type of roofing underlayment. This is installed at the bottom few feet of the roof and around all roof penetrations, such as chimneys and pipes. Prior to installing the shingles, the remainder of the roof is covered with roofing felt (sometimes called “tar paper”), which prevents shingles from sticking to the wood & offers additional protection.

At this point, the roof is ready for new layer of shingles to be installed.

3. Installing new shingles and final inspection

Working from the bottom of the roof toward the top, the roofing crew will install your choice of asphalt shingles.

The two most important things to look for in a quality asphalt shingle are its performance characteristics and its warranty. To get the most for your money, make sure that you consider life span, durability, weather resistance and quality when you select your new roof shingles, not just the price tag. Choose roofing shingles with a lengthy, comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty since high-quality shingles come with warranties of up to 25 years or more. Also, look for roof shingles that complement your siding or brick.

Residential Roofing: Tackling Shingle Roof Installation The Right Way

After shingles are laid out, step and/or counter flashing, ridge vents, and ridge capping installation follows. A thorough clean up of the job site is next, while any old roofing materials are hauled away. On that note: many homeowners choose to recycle old asphalt shingles rather than send them to a landfill, so if your contractor offers that option, be sure to consider it.

Every roofing replacement process should end with a thorough post-installation roof inspection!

Have Your Roofing Installed Right, The First Time!

One additional aspect of roofing installation is warranty information – material, system, and workmanship warranties come in many flavors. This is critical and often overlooked factor – ensure that you’re adequately protected for years to come by selecting wisely.

Educate yourself on proper installation to make the best investment possible.

All Roofing Solutions is proud to be a team of experienced roofers who are committed to helping you with your next roofing project. We’ll consult with you regarding the right roofing material for your home, install your roof with the care and expertise you expect, and back it up with a comprehensive guarantee.

Call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania with any questions or to request your FREE roofing estimate!

Common Roofing Repairs: Dealing With High Wind Damage

High winds can be a huge concern for homeowners, especially those living in areas prone to hurricanes and severe storms, like the East Coast. Rainstorms, hailstorms and hurricanes can tear shingles from your roof, penetrate roof’s surface, and even lead to structural damage. Not to mention the beating your roof might endure with falling tree branches.

Roofing repairs related to high wind damage are among the most common types of repairs you will encounter as a homeowner. To mitigate this kind of damage, schedule a roof inspection and appropriate repairs for your home immediately after a major windstorm.

Common Roofing Repairs: Dealing With High Wind Damage

Common Roofing Repairs: High Wind Damage

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), approaching wind speeds can more than double as the air currents pass over your roof. The increase in wind speed can easily dislodge shingles and shakes from the roof, starting around the roof’s perimeter and quickly progressing further toward the center of the roof. The higher the winds, the more damage your home is likely to sustain.

Dealing With High Wind Damage: Post-Storm Inspection

Immediately after the storm passes — and only when the winds have subsided enough — assess the condition of your roofing, siding, and gutters. A thorough inspection is highly recommended, preferably by a roofing contractor trained to spot all signs of damage, including those less obvious.

High wind damage inspection checklist:

  • Inspect your attic for leaks or water damage.
  • Check for broken, cracked, curled, or missing shingles, and any signs of a loss of granulation
  • Look for split or curled shakes or shingles
  • Check for blisters, cracks, and tears around the edges of the roof
  • Inspect damaged chimney bricks and buckled or torn flashing, cracked or worn caps and joints
  • Assess the condition of exhaust pipes, valleys, outer edges or angles where the roof meets the walls.
  • Check for bent, loose, or missing gutter sections
  • Look for any signs of siding damage

Keep in mind that over time, missing, broken, or bruised roof materials can lead to a variety of problems in your home, including:

  • Water damage
  • Mold and mildew
  • Loss of insulation, leading to higher energy bills

Regular roof inspections in the fall and spring can help you identify potential roof repairs related to high winds.

Dealing With High Wind Damage: Contacting Your Insurance

If your home suffered any damage, contact your insurance agent to determine whether you should file a claim. Coverage will often depend on the age of your roof, the area you live in, and many other factors, so it’s important to know the specifics of your policy.

At this point, all your damage should be determined and well documented, and you should be proceeding with emergency repairs to stop further damage.

Dealing With High Wind Damage: Handling Repairs

Once you identify the damage and contact your insurance company, handle repairs as promptly as possible to minimize the damage to your home. Putting off an affordable repair leaves your home vulnerable to more damage, leading to more costly and extensive work later on.

We’ve written extensively about roofing repairs. Here are step-by-step guides on various roofing repairs:

Keep in mind that not all roofing repairs are easy. If your roof has suffered serious damage, or if you’re experiencing leaks or other problems you’re not able to fix yourself, you should consider hiring a professional contractor.

Have a Leak? Hire a Repair Contractor

A family owned & operated DE/PA roofing contractor, All Roofing Solutions has been serving Delaware and Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years! We’re ready to assist your with your emergency roofing repair, large and small.

To schedule your free consultation, call 302-725-ROOF (7663) in Delaware or 610-551-ROOF (7663) in Pennsylvania. Contact us today and receive a discount of 15% off any roofing repair job.

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