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Tip #228:  Getting a Bird’s-Eye View

As summer glides to a close, its time to start thinking about fall maintenance.

One of the most expensive maintenance headaches is a leaky roof.  Performing a quick annual inspection can save thousands of dollars in repair bills.

Here are some tips that will help with your annual roof inspection:

1. The first clue is the most obvious — signs of water stains and discoloration will be evident if water is already leaking in.

2. If you have an attic in your unit, crawl up there and inspect the entire ceiling to see if there is any sign of water leakage (staining and discoloration in the ceiling or walls). Sometimes the leakage can be confined to the attic, and it may be months before it becomes evident below. Catching the leaks here can save major headaches. Look specifically at chimneys and vertical venting pipes to see if there are any streaks or stains coming down them. These are often the biggest culprits when it comes to leaks.

3. Now it is time to crawl up on the roof. Again, the first place to inspect will be around any chimneys or vents, this time from the outside. Inspect the flashing and caulking around them to make sure there are no cracks or separations.

4. Inspect your gutters and the shingles that butt up against them to make sure there are no areas where water or ice can invade. While you’re up there, clean your gutters to reduce the likelihood of water building up over the long, cold winter.

5. Check to see if any shingles have become loose or if edges have become separated and begun to lift up. These will be the first shingles to go in a high wind.

These simple inspections should not take you more than 30 minutes, and could save you thousands of dollars in repair bills!

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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