Don't let heavy rains lead to widespread home damage. Follow this guide to protecting your home from seasonal heavy rains.
Since roofing shingles are brittle in winter, they may break if you handle or walk on them. This makes spring a good time to do an inspection. Look for loose or curling shingles.
Ice that may have formed over the winter in gutters can cause the gutter to pull away from the house as well as break seals in gutter joints and downspout connections. Loose or clogged gutters can allow rain to run over your fascia board, into your eaves, and ultimately into your house. Loose gutters can also allow rain to collect near your foundation causing your basement to leak. Gutter cleaning, inspections and repairs generally require using an extension ladder which can present a potentially dangerous situation. It is recommended that this task be performed by your local licensed handyman or gutter service.
Loose or sagging plastic gutters will not drain properly, and this may cause their contents to overflow. As a temporary measure, hammer in a wooden wedge between each bracket and the gutter to hold each section in place until you can replace it.
When inspecting or repairing gutters, take the opportunity to attach narrow gauge chicken wire along the length of the gutters to prevent them from becoming blocked with debris.
A myth of metal roofing is that it is noisy. Metal roofs with solid sheathing and insulation control noise from rain, hail and bad weather just as well as any other roofing material.
If you are replacing your old, worn out roof covering with new asphalt shingles, make sure they have a Class 4 rating under Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) 2218 standard. A Class 4 rating tells you a sample of the product did not crack when hit twice in the same area by a two-inch steel ball.
When it's time for a new roof, you've got a lot of new choices these days, many of which will last more than 50 years. New engineered shingles are made to look like cedar or tile using recycled materials. Even metal roofs, the old standby for barns, have made a comeback with new colors, styles, and an unbeatable maintenance-free life expectancy.
Here's a tip on how to increase the life of old wooden gutters. The first step is to lay a new rubber liner along the inside the gutter. Adding copper flashing along the edge seals the liner, adds extra durability, and allows water to run off easily. Finally, add a second strip of rubber on top of the flashing for extra protection.
Regardless of your roof type, hurricane straps are designed to help hold the roof to the walls. Ask your builder to install hurricane straps of galvanized metal. Don't wait until after your house is constructed; although some people attempt hurricane-strap installation as a do-it-yourself project, the straps are difficult to fit, and improperly placed, they can turn into sharp projectiles in a strong wind.