Johnson Roofing and Gutter's Tips for Fall and Winter Preparations

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Seattle roofer offers advice on how to prepare for the rapidly approaching wet weather. Late summer and early fall are the best time of the year to make sure the roof on your home is doing its job.

Late summer and early fall are crucial times in the Pacific Northwest for preparing roofs and gutters for the looming rainy winter months. The stability of air masses through the end of summer yields the driest and most predictable conditions for cleaning, inspecting and repairing your houses roof and gutter system.

Johnson Roofing and Gutters, Seattle roofing and gutter specialists, have compiled a list of tips for quickly and effectively preparing for wetter and colder weather. Completing this basic checklist should avoid, or at least minimize, the impact that water damage can have on your home. Unceasing, driven rain can result in damaged tiles and cause serious leaks, while water that does not drain off the roof properly ultimately results in foundation issues. As always, take extreme care when using a ladder, or contact your Seattle roofer to help with the inspection.

  •     Clean off Roof - Begin by clearing large debris, such as fallen branches (or frisbees). Sweep off moss, leaves and other organic materials that should, by this point of early fall, be dry and easy to remove. In extreme cases pressure washing may be the only way to clean off a roof, but be sure and use only the amount of water pressure needed so as not to damage shakes and tiles.
  •     Inspect Tiles and Roof Integrity - After a thorough cleaning, or even during, tile damage should become obvious. Also look for week spots where water has seeped under a damaged tile and compromised the structure. A moss covered roof can hold a lot of moisture during the wet months and can cause unseen damage. Debris may have also effected the path of water and guided it in unfavorable directions for the design of the roof, or even worse, pooled.
  •     Inspect Flashing - With a clean roof, damage to flashing around chimneys and vents should be fairly obvious as well. This would also be a good time to check and see if chimneys and vents are properly sealed. Controlling the moisture and temperature in the attic is fundamental in maintaining the health of roof. Attics that are properly sealed and insulated will resist leaking by controlling the internal conditions of your house.    
  •     Clean Gutters and Downspouts - Clearing debris from the gutters and downspouts is very important for the proper flow of water off the roof. If it pools or is redirected all sorts of damage can occur. The best method is simply to climb up and remove debris by hand. Flushing the downspouts with a hose works best as well. Be careful placing ladders on aluminum gutters for they are easily bent and damaged. While you have the hose up to flush down spouts, run a few test wettings of the roof to see if water is running off properly.
  •     Pruning - Make sure that tree limbs are not perched precariously to fall onto the roof with the next gust of wind. By clearing out branches hanging over the roof you can eliminate much of the cleaning you will need to do next year by limiting leaves, as well as other organic material necessary for moss accumulation.

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Susanna Johnson
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