Johnson Roofing and Gutters’ End of Summer Checklist

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With the dry summer season winding down, Seattle area roofer recommends an end of summer maintenance checklist for ensuring your house is ready for the inevitable rains. Beginning this process early can leave enough time to schedule repairs with specialists.

Late summer and early fall are the most critical time of year for homeowners to establish the health of their roof and gutter systems. The dry, warm weather can reveal and even create new problems that, left un-checked, can result in costly repairs.

Johnson Roofing and Gutters, Shoreline roofing specialists, offers advice to homeowners on how to establish a maintenance checklist for preparing for the inevitable rain that is right around the corner. By performing these simple maintenance and inspection tasks during the late summer months, enough time will be left to schedule repairs with a qualified professional roofing company if needed.

Start with Inspection
Inspecting the condition of roofing tiles is critical to keeping water out of the attic. Look for obvious damage and missing tiles that expose cracks in the roof itself. Falling debris and tree limbs may have caused damage that was not readily observable. Start with a pair of binoculars on the ground, and then climb up for closer inspection. Look to see gutters are not bent and that a solid connection to the roof for collecting runoff is maintained. The biggest sign that you need new roofing tiles is the accumulation of granules in the gutters. Late summer dry weather will make this more obvious.

Clean out Gutters
Removing debris like leaves and branches from gutters is important for allowing them to work properly. It is easiest to remove these materials when they dry. Scooping out debris is a tedious and somewhat risky task. They do make tools for clearing gutters from the ground, but it is best to take a bag up with you and do it by hand so you can see the results. Along with usual climbing safety, take care in positioning the ladder so as not to damage the gutter by leaning directly on it.

Flush Downspouts
After clearing the gutters, it is important to make sure that downspouts are free from debris as well. Using a hose, safely climb up and flush out the downspouts. This is also a great way to determine the integrity of both gutters and downspouts. Check for leaks and water flow issues that can result from aging and bent gutter systems.

Attic Ventilation
Improper attic ventilation can cause many problems with the structural integrity of the roof, even in the milder climate of the Pacific Northwest. The superheated air trapped in an inadequately ventilated attic can cause expansion in materials that require a watertight fit. Check for gaps around vents and blistering roofing materials.

Moss Removal
Moss is a common fixture on Seattle area roofs and can cause damage by collecting water and inhibiting its proper flow towards the gutters. In the summer, moss dries out and hibernates, waiting for the return of moisture. Late summer is the best time to remove the dried moss. On roofs that are not pitched too severely, simply climb up with your favorite push broom and sweep away. Greater care and ingenuity must be taken on steeper designs.

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Susanna Johnson
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