In the 1980s America saw one of the largest residential construction booms and now 20 years later, it’s time to check your house for wear and tear. One key area to check is your roof. Many homes have roofs that are more than 20 years old and may need to be replaced. Instead of replacing it with the basic three-tab, many homeowners are stepping it up and installing double laminate or architectural design shingles to improve the home’s curb appeal. And why not? A roof is 50 percent of a home’s exterior.

When winter snow and ice melts and then refreezes on a roof, ice dams are formed. Ice dams cause damage to shingles, siding, insulation and even walls. Take some of the following precautions to help prevent ice dams: clear away excessive icicles, clean out gutters and downspouts, add a layer of attic insulation to reduce heat loss and make sure your roof is properly ventilated.

Now is the time to check your roof for shingle damage, leaks, missing shingles, and flashing before the winter storm season hits. Much of this year’s storm damage can be minimized if homeowners take long-term precautions with their roofs. To receive a free Roof Troubleshooting Kit fromĀ Owens Corning, callĀ 1-800-GET-PINK.

When replacing your roof, take a look at your siding when selecting a roof color. Consider choosing a roofing shingle with color granules that match your current siding color, so you can create a unified exterior.

At your own risk, (Using a type-I or a type-II-class-ladder), climb onto the damaged section of the roof. Gently bend back the shingles above the damaged section to expose the area. Remove nails and shingle debris with the claw head of a hammer and then slide the new shingle in place and nail it down. Finally, glue down the raised shingles with roofing cement and apply it with a caulking gun or old putty knife. If you need professional help, click on the ProConnect(tm) icon to find a professional in your area.

Tony Newman RoofingPreparing your roof now for the high winds and rain of the spring storm season may prevent damage and expensive repairs in the upcoming months. Check for loose or damaged shingles and seal around flashings, chimneys or vent pipes if necessary. Also inspect your drainage system for loose or clogged gutters and downspouts.

Need to check out your roof for broken or missing shingles? Try to avoid walking on your roof in cold weather since the shingles are brittle and can easily break. Instead, stand on the ground and use a pair of binoculars to scope out the roof’s surface.

Before winter hits, head up to your roof and look for cracked shingles, rusted flashing, open joints, or brittle mastic. Good places to look first are valleys and chimneys, but you’ll also want to check ridges, hips, vent flashing and other flashing.