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Essential Fall Clean Up Tips for Homeowners

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We have been on a lot of roofs all over Oklahoma for the last 18 years. In that amount of time, we have seen a lot of things. It is rare that we are surprised by what we find on the roof, but we’re still amazed by the “out of sight, out of mind mentality” when it comes to maintenance for one of the most valuable assets that you own, your home.

In our years of serving the community, we have expanded beyond roofing and into additional home exterior products such as ventilation, windows, doors, insulation, and siding. Extensive research and training go into the selection of every product line that we represent. We stand by our products which are the best in their respective industries. By working with and installing roofing, ventilation, windows, doors, insulation, and siding almost every day, we understand the basic maintenance needs that are required to ensure that these products maintain their service life in excellent working order.

As the seasons change and the weather gets colder, now is a good time to inspect the key structures of your home. Home preventative maintenance protects your home and your wallet from large, expensive, and unexpected repairs and replacements.  Set aside a weekend while the weather is nice to ensure that everything is working as it should. Here are some maintenance tips for our line of products.

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Roofing

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. It’s a good idea to inspect your roof twice a year to make sure everything is in working order. Your house shifts and settles in hot and cold temperatures. Checking your roof in the fall, between the seasons gives you a good idea if your sealants are holding up against the movements.  

Look for:

  • Rust and/or deterioration on flashings
  • Crumbling or holes that water can seep in around your chimney
  • Missing, cracked, bubbled or loose shingles
  • Debris, algae, leaves, and dirt – they can cause damage to your shingles as they grow or decompose
  • Excessive amounts of shingle granules in gutters – granules protect shingles from harsh UV rays, and without them, your shingles can deteriorate faster than your roof’s standard lifespan

Gutters

The gutters on your house are an important part of your roof system. The shingles on your roof direct water down toward the gutters. The gutters direct water away from the home to prevent flooding and water damage. Fall is an especially important time to clean out your gutters. If you overlook a clogged gutter, you are setting yourself up for a possible roof leak. Clogged gutters prohibit the flow of water off your roof, and it may cause the water to back up and go under your shingles causing an inconvenient leak. Consider installing leaf gutter guards.  Leaf gutter guards are extremely affordable, and they will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning out your gutters. These simple caps fit over your guttering to prevent leaves from falling inside. Water is still able to get through thanks to small holes in the caps, but large debris will simply wash off the top naturally.

Ventilation

Now that you have inspected the exterior of your home, it’s also a good idea to check out your attic to see if there’s any water damage. While you may know that attic ventilation helps control indoor temperature and saves energy costs, you may not realize that improper ventilation can damage your roof, void your roof warranty, and reduce your roof’s overall lifespan.

Look for –

  • Mold or mildew – you can typically smell it
  • Warped wood
  • Stained Insulation
  • Closed or blocked vents

While it may sound counter-intuitive, your attic should be properly ventilated in the winter. It’s an old tradition at the start of winter to cover your whirlybird or other rooftop vents. This is a bad practice. By covering your vents, you are prohibiting airflow through your attic, causing moisture buildup, and rot in the roof decking and other parts of the structure. It is actually causing more costly damage to your home than the money it saves in heating.

Windows

Windows see a lot of action — opening, closing, constant exposure to the elements. With winter approaching, avoid heat loss through your windows with periodic maintenance.

Look for:

  • Damage and wear on caulk and weather-stripping
  • Dirt and debris on tracks and jambs
  • Window sashes that do not close firmly
  • Loose and/or foggy glass

Doors

On doors, clean mud or dirt-caked weather-stripping and replace any that is too worn. Doors should have weather-stripping applied on both sides (jambs) and across the top (lintel) so that when the door closes, it has a good seal.

Insulation

Insulating the home's attic keeps warm air in the home and prevents it from escaping outside. According to energy.gov, no matter what kind of insulation you have in your attic, one quick way to determine if you need more is to look across the span of your attic. If your insulation is just level with or below your floor joists (i.e., you can easily see your joists), you should add more. It is important that the insulation be evenly distributed with no low spots; sometimes there is enough insulation in the middle of the attic and very little along the eaves. Most homes are insulated to an old building code standard of R-19. The Department of Energy recommends an insulation level of R-38 for optimal energy efficiency.

Siding

The right siding adds the perfect amount of color and curb appeal to your home. As we head into the fall and the holiday season, don’t you want to keep it looking its best?

Look for:

  • Peeling paint if your siding has a painted top coat - if left uncorrected, the siding itself can deteriorate and no longer protect the building
  • Loose siding – if it is allowed to flap in the wind and gets bent, it can’t be reshaped, and the panel will need to be replaced
  • Spiders and insects in the small ledges of siding stair-steps
  • Stains on stucco siding – degreaser works well to remove stains
  • Wear and tear on wood siding – wood siding requires treatment every 4 to 6 years

Once any necessary repairs have been taken care of, periodically you may also wish to clean your siding with a mild soap and water from your garden hose as a regular part of your siding maintenance routine.

As always we recommend consulting with a professional when replacing or repairing any of the products listed above. Check out our website for other maintenance tips and our product line repair and replacement services at redriverroofing.com.

Fall Maintenance Special Offer

Let Red River Roofing & Construction handle your fall maintenance to-do list for you with our Top of the House Roof Inspection package. For $149, (valued at $575), we’ll come to your home and perform a professional inspection covering:

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Click on the button below to learn more about our special off and to sign up for your Top of the House Maintenance Package. 

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