Leaks typically occur around an inadequately flashed chimney, skylight, or another opening. They’re easiest to spot in the attic; inspect the rafters for water stains. Patching leaks are best left to a professional. While the contractor is on the roof, have him clean leaves from roof valleys.
Examine the siding under roof eaves, and the ceilings in the rooms below, for water or discoloration, indications that ice dams might have created leaks along the roof edge.
Inspect the roof for cracked, curled, or missing shingles. Asphalt shingles typically last 20 years.
CR recommends thickly laminated shingles. They did the best overall in our tests, though some less-expensive, three-tab shingles also performed well.
Inspect trees for broken branches. If the limb is high up, hire a licensed arborist. If you can reach it from the ground, take it down using the three-cut technique, which prevents bark from tearing and creating an open wound on the trunk:
- Make the first cut 1 to 2 feet from the branch collar, sawing a quarter way through the bottom of the branch.
- Make the second cut 3 inches farther out from the first, saw all the way through the branch.
- Make the final cut just beyond the branch collar, sawing from the top down.
Check trunks for signs of “sun scalding,” which typically affects the south and the southwest sides of smooth-barked trees, such as maples. Inspect for roots poking through the soil, a possible sign that the tree is starting to list. If you had heavy snowfall in winter, look for bending branches. Make a mental note and check that they bounce back and produce leaves in the spring.
|The above is an excerpt from the article, “Spring checklist for the home.” For more information, please visit www.consumerreports.org.|