With fall in full swing and winter here before you know it, it’s essential to prepare your gutters and roof now, to prevent major repairs down the road. “For instance, ice and snow buildups can cause major gutter and roof damage. Just following a few easy steps can get you ahead of the game this winter,” said Scott Cline, owner of J&B Construction. J&B Construction Company, Inc. serving southeastern Wisconsin homeowners since 1958 as a provider of high-quality exterior home improvement products and services, explains the importance of gutter and roof maintenance.
When it comes to gutters, you want to first make sure that they are securely screwed into the fascia board. If your gutters happen to be more than 15 years old, they may just be nailed with a big spike (a technique called “spike and ferrule”) and after that many years, it may no longer be functional. Gutters assembled using this technique will be able to handle heavy rainfall in the spring, but once heavy snowfall hits and rests in the gutters, they will begin to pry off the house. Unless gutters are properly strapped and securely screwed on, they will not be able to handle the excess weight of ice and snow build up.
Second, ensure that your gutters and downspouts are clean. If you don’t have a functioning gutter cover system, gutter cleaning is necessary. “You want to remove any leaves and debris before the first snowfall. Without a gutter cover system, gutters and downspouts can easily become clogged with wet leaves and when wet leaves freeze, your gutter system won’t stand a chance,” said Cline.
Roofs, on the other hand, require a little more maintenance and inspection. First, you want to make sure your shingles are firmly fastened to your roof. On older roofs, the roofing nails or tar sealing the shingles together may not be functioning properly. In this case, water can get underneath the shingles and easily find its way into your home. “This problem intensifies in winter, because the water beneath your shingle will turn into ice. Consequently, the ice on your roof will expand and contract as it melts and refreezes, creating more space between your roof and the damaged shingle,” said Cline.
You may also want to consider installing heating cables on the bottom of your roof. These cables are capable of melting any excess snow or ice that has accumulated on the roof and allows it to run off as it normally would in warmer months. They will also help prevent water from entering and damaging your home because they keep the seams and edges of your roof clear of ice.
Third, use a roof rake after there is a snowfall that produces accumulation. This type of rake is available at area hardware stores and are helpful at pulling excess snow off your roof. “Just be mindful of not impacting the gutter system,” Cline said.
Finally, use common sense. After a big storm, it’s worth your time to take a few minutes to scan your home top to bottom to check for weak spots or areas of particularly heavy snow and/or ice accumulation. If you see an large mounds forming on your roof, take action now to avoid a major issue later.
J&B Construction offers exterior remodeling products and services with a focus on trust, craftsmanship, superior customer service, and care for the home. The company’s Germantown showroom, W140 N10589 Fond du Lac Ave., contains a variety of exterior home improvement product samples, including windows, siding, doors, roofing, and decking materials. As Master EliteÒ GAF roofing contractors, J&B Construction offers the added security of a 12-year warranty, plus manufacturer warranties that range from 25 years to lifetime, depending on the product.
J&B Construction is a member of Milwaukee NARI and the Better Business Bureau. For more information or to arrange a complimentary consultation, call J&B Construction at 262-437-0537 or visit www.jandbconstruction.com.