Weekly Home Information Guide
Ongoing home maintenance is the key to pride of ownership. Each season thousands of homeowners prepare their homes for the summer/winter seasons.
Safety first! If you feel at all uncomfortable have a competent tradesperson perform all tasks. Examine the flashing around the chimney, the condition of the mortar, the flue linings (clean if necessary), the roofing material itself removing any limbs that may be rubbing the surface, all valley flashing, any other protrusions (soil stacks, aerials and vents) and most important the gutters. The unique problems here include moss buildup, conifer needles and cones, maple/alder leaves, the occasional toy, sagging/rotting fascia boards and the condition of the leaf strainer. The ultra violet rays will over time make the plastic/vinyl brittle. When cleaning the gutters remove the leader before it goes into the downspout. This is the angled portion connecting the gutter to the downspout. This will eliminate any chance of plugging up the drainage system further down the line. Note the condition of all painted surfaces and ensure that they are well covered to prevent rot. During the summer dry spell is the more practical time to gently hand remove any moss buildup rather than pressure washing. Chemicals may destroy all that grows beneath the gutters. Carefully remove any bee’s nest.
Working from a ladder presents special caution. First ensure that the ladder is in good repair. Keep all aluminum ladders well away from electrical wires at all times. Place the ladder firmly on the ground a distance of one quarter the working height out from the building. Secure the top end of the ladder to the gutter if practical to eliminate any shifting with a bungee chord and keep it level. Do not overreach but move the ladder closer to your work. Remember this is autumn not fall. Fall should only be left up to the leaves and temperature.
All metal/clay/cement/built up roofs depending on the slope should only be walked on when dry, if at all, as there may be a layer of a slippery film when damp or wet. Monitor all fasteners and replace any that show deterioration as these will let water into the attic/ceiling area. Walk carefully on tar and gravel roofs. Typically these roofs do not last as long as other-low sloped types due to the penetrations, lack of sufficient ventilation, ponding of water and little or no maintenance. Using the proper sealants will help enormously to maintain it in good repair.
Know that, for peace of mind, the care and attention you give your home will serve you well year after year and in comfort.