As summer gives way to change colors and colder nights, now is an ideal time to tackle the necessary home maintenance projects that get put off during those sun-filled months – especially when it comes to one of the most protective and necessary aspects of any home, the roof. Cold weather can aggravate a roof and quickly turn minor defects into costly repair bills; in fact, the latest “Cost vs. Value” report from Remodeling Magazine estimates the average roofing replacement cost at over $20,000.
So, whether you’ve already noticed signs of wear on your roof or just want more “overhead” peace of mind, pay special attention to two seemingly small aspects of the roof that homeowners often overlook:
Seal it, patch it
Be sure to check for any gaps around gutters, skylights and roofing vents then utilize the correct caulking, patching, and sealants. The easy act of sealing these areas can make a big difference in keeping out moisture and reducing heating costs – and many sealants are specially designed to adhere directly to exterior surfaces. Even the tiniest cracks and gaps can allow moisture to enter, not to mention rodents, squirrels, and other unwelcome varmints.
Don’t be a welcome mat for squirrels
Another area to closely inspect are the roof venting pipes. One of the more common roof problems involves cracked rooftop venting pipes made with cheap lead tops as they eventually corrode over time. To make matters worse, squirrels and other critters are known to relentlessly chew their way into a home via these thin pipe flashings as the lead entices these unwelcome varmints to gnaw at them, thus providing interior access for damaging rain, snow and more pests once whittled away.
“Squirrel infestation is a very big problem throughout many areas of the United States, especially older homes,” explains Amanda Williams, marketing manager at Quarrix. “This is exactly why we developed a durable, lead-free and easy-to-install vent pipe flashing called Pipe Boot that simply slides over the existing vent, nails into place, and then twists securely to form a weather-tight seal.” With Pipe Boot, no specialty installation tools are needed as the telescoping sleeve allows for varying pipe sizes and can withstand frigid winter temperatures via a patented design. It comes in four color options and is paintable to cleverly camouflage the vent pipes, reducing unwanted sight-lines.
Enlist the pros quickly when there’s trouble
Waiting too late to call in a certified professional can lead to much bigger issues. For example, squirrels quickly reproduce and can potentially gnaw on electrical wiring or crawl into difficult-to-reach wall spaces, making extraction a nightmare. It’s a wise move to seek out a reputable roofing specialist, especially when it involves roof damage from weather or critters or both.
The roof is no place to cut corners, and no matter the season, even seemingly minor roofing issues can put your home and valuables at risk.