1) Every single window and door should be checked ONCE A YEAR for cracks developing in the sealant where the window / door meets the trim and where the trim meets the house. This is very simple and can save you thousands in damages. Just walk around your house with a caulk gun and fill in any gaps or cracks that have developed with a high quality, paintable caulk. I recommend SherMax because I use it often.
2) Make sure any window or door that is not protected beneath the eaves of your home has either Z-flashing or an Awning covering it. There is no question about this. If a window or door has no protection above it; it will eventually leak. I’ve simply seen this too many times for any lingering doubt to exist.
3) Before every winter season, make sure there are no leaves piled in your roof valleys or behind your chimney where the roof meets the back of the chimney. This causes water to pool and eventually run up-hill beneath your flashing and shingles. The big issue with this is that it can slowly rot your roof sheathing for several years before you notice the problem. By the time you notice the problem, the cost of repairing the roof is generally a few thousand dollars.
4) If your roof is 5yrs old or more, check your roof boots. Roof boots cover the vent pipes that extend through your roof for plumbing and other various reasons. Roof boots often become loose, dry rotted, and damaged by animals such as squirrels and birds. If there is a vent pipe protruding through the surface of your roof, there is a hole cut through the roof sheathing and the shingles. The only thing keeping water from getting in your house is the roof boot. We’ve repaired hundreds of these in the last few years. When they leak, it can cause damage to the ceiling, walls, insulation, furniture, and floors on the interior of your house. This can quickly turn into a huge mess and become very costly. I’ve seen folks spend tens-of-thousands in repairs from a leaking roof boot.
5) Clean your gutters. Gutters that are filled with leaves or other debris over-flow in a heavy rain. This causes water damage to the eaves of your home. Gutters are one more item that should be cleaned once a year. Don’t let something as simple as cleaning leaves out of a gutter take a chunk out of your wallet. It’s just too easy to clean them.
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