Avoid water damage with a roof inspection: Our rooftops take a major beating during the Fall and heavy winter storms. And while you should probably not go climbing up there when the weather is bad, it is a good idea to have someone inspect the roof on the next clear day, before another storm hits.

It is essential to have the roof inspected for damaged or missing shingles, assuring that all caulking and chimney flashings are sealed up and in good shape. Repairing any existing or future potential leaks will prevent small problems from becoming big and expensive problems later.

Loose, missing, clogged, or damaged gutters can also be a source of water infiltration. In the winter months snow can melt, run down the roof and into the gutters as it should. However, when the water and snow backs up and re-freezes in the gutters, it can work its way underneath the shingles. This is called an ice dam. The freezing melting and refreezing at damaged or backed up gutters can allow water to get into your attic space and not only elevate moisture content in the attic space but in severe cases, cause water to run down the inside walls of your home. Sometimes, based on the direction of the house in relation to the sun, this cannot be avoided. But there are remedies. Ice melt prevention can be accomplished with electric heat tape which is essentially a long wire that when plugged into a GFCI protected circuit carries heat through the wire across the problem area of the roof line or gutter. You do still want to make sure your gutters are cleared and sloping in the right direction towards the downspout.

Windows and Insulation: Much like your leaky windows, a poorly insulated or improperly insulated attic can also lead to higher energy bills. The greater the amount of insulation, typically the greater your energy savings. Older homes may have insulation levels of 3 inches or less. Newer homes now carry as much as 16 to 18 inches of blown in insulation. After you check your attic space, you may want to contact your local utility company. Many now offer an energy audit consultation as a service.

Alright then… should you be scaling a ladder outdoors in frigid weather? Crawling around your attic when its 20 degrees? Maybe not. Contact a professional roofer in your area who has the experience and knowledge necessary to identify and repair potential roofing problems. And its not a bad idea to contact your energy supplier about an audit of your home.