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How To Get Your Roof Ready For Summer Storms

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Summer can produce thunderstorms with heavy rains and strong winds, a bad combination if your roof isn't up to the challenge. It only takes a small opening for water to find its way into your home. The best time to examine and repair your roof is in the springtime, before the heat, humidity, and storms of summer.

You'll need a ladder that reaches your roof, of course. The ladder should extend at least three feet above the edge of the roof to grant safe access. You may also need some tools and supplies, according to the repair needs of your roof.

What should you look for when examining your roof for necessary repairs?

Gutters

Your gutters are the first place that you will see upon ascending to the roof, and a common source of leaks. The gutters should not look like a botanical garden, with accumulated soil, leaves, and other debris packed inside them.

When your gutters are dirty, the water from your roof cannot drain into the downspouts and away from your home in a proper manner. This causes the water to back up in the gutters, adding additional weight that may combine with the accumulated muck to cause your gutters to pull away from the exterior wall of the home.

This allows water to spill between the gutters and the wall, deteriorating the wood and creating a possible opening for water to enter the home. If the wood is compromised enough, and the gutters aren't cleaned, they can eventually come crashing to the ground.

Cleaning the gutters requires scooping out the muck with either your hand or a gutter cleaning tool, which is essentially a narrow hand spade designed to fit into gutters. Wear heavy work gloves to avoid cutting your hands on sharp portions of the gutters.

The muck inside the gutters is surprisingly heavy, so don't attempt to gather too much in one container or you may lose your balance and fall from the ladder.

After the gutters are cleared, check the pitch, or directional slant, of the gutters. They should be slightly pitched in the direction of the downspouts. You may need to move the gutter spikes (nails) or screws to change the pitch if needed. When the pitch is correct, tighten all spikes or screws securely.

Roofing tiles and nails

Check for broken or missing tiles and replace them, along with any nails that are missing or are protruding from the tiles. Roofing nails tend to "pop up" because of expansion and contraction of the roofing tiles due to temperature changes.After replacing or hammering down nails, add a dab of roofing cement to the nails to keep them in their place and to fill ant possible openings created when the nails came out.

Flashing

Loose flashing, the thin strips of aluminum around roof abutments and edges, is especially susceptible to the strong winds of summer storms. Water can blow inside the flashing and enter the home. Secure all loose flashing with roofing nails, and seal around vertical edges (areas that can be seen from the ground)with silicone sealant. Flashing that is attached to the roof's surface can be sealed with roofing cement, which produces a better seal but is unpleasant aesthetically. 

A little bit of preparation can save a lot of headaches when the storms of summer come rolling into your area. For more advice, talk with a roofing company like Palmer Roofing.


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