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5 Tips from a Roofer: Getting Ready for Winter, Snowy Clime Edition

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Nov 14, 2015 01:03 AM
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by Margot Guralnick last modified Nov 13, 2015

For decades my family has had a small getaway house in southern New Hampshire that we've held on to partly because it appears to be unsaleable. We recently tackled one of the problems by replacing its threadbare roof with new asphalt shingles (it didn't make sense to pony up for standing seam, much as I wanted to). During the process, in-demand roofer Doug Aldrich of WeatherCheck in Georges Mills, New Hampshire, gave me the lowdown on general asphalt-shingle roof maintenance and getting houses prepped from the top down for winter. Above: A snow-dusted house by Belgian architect Bruno Erpicum . 1. If you don’t shovel your roof, it will leak regardless of how new it is. This, of course, applies to houses in snowy climes: Rule of thumb is one foot is too much. If snow is allowed to build up, ice will form under the shingles, eventually leading to leaks. You can buy a roof rake at Home Depot and tackle the clearing yourself, but it’s best to hire a professional—if you don’t know where to be careful, you’ll ruin your shingles while you’re raking.   Above: Photograph via Bob Vila . 2. A leak needs to be fixed on the exterior of the house, not just the interior. This sounds like common sense, but I’ve learned over the years that for most people it isn’t. You can’t just patch the damage inside, you have to get to the source.  3. Clear your gutters of leaves and debris before winter hits. You can use your hands, a garden hose, a wet/dry vac, or a leaf blower with a nozzle attachment. Just get the job done—gutters keep water away from your house. Above: Photograph via Roof Krupik . 4. If you see moss and algae growing on your roof, it’s a sign that your roof is starting to fail. Water gets trapped in and works its way under the shingles. When things start to sprout, you may get a few more years out of your roof, but the growth is a warning sign. Granules and pieces of shingles on the ground around your house are another early warning sign.    5. If you’re getting a new roof, outdated skylights and falling-apart chimneys need to be fixed at the same time. Too often these details get ignored—which is when we roofers get called in to do triage.  Favorite roofing material of members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer directory? The vote was unanimous: See  Remodeling 101: Standing Seam Metal .  More Stories from Remodelista Improper Bostonians: Jeffrey and Cheryl Katz at Home on Beacon Hill An Iconic Modern House in Woodstock Hits the Market Barn-Style Living in the Berkshires






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