Spring is here

This isn’t going to be about Canale Catchers®, but about other stuff that’s related. When was the last time you were up on your roof? Not peering across it, but actually on top of it, looking around. If it’s been more than a year, it’s time to get up there and take a good look around. This is a great time of year to get up there, it’s warm, but not hot, and it’s not too bad to be working up there for a few hours.
Many, many years ago I was talking to a roofer, and asked him if he had any advice for a homeowner. He said to go up on your roof every year with a bucket (gallon) of roof goop (asphalt patch or similar) and look for places to use it, as well as just looking at the roof. Seal cracks in the roof and roofing tar with the roof goop. The first time you do this you’ll probably run out of goop. The second year you may have some left over, and after that you may struggle to use it. That’s a good thing! Cracks are bad. Cracks are where water can get in. Pay particular attention to the areas around canales and corners. Anything that looks like a crack is fair game. Apply the goop with a 3” or 4” disposable spatula, smear it around the area, feather the edges, and think about where water wants to flow. Don’t make ponding or puddling opportunities. You want all the water to flow off your roof, and preferably into Canale Catchers®.
After patching all the roof cracks, its time to look at the parapet stucco. Cracks in the parapet stucco let in water, which in the winter will freeze, expand, and widen the crack and cause further damage. To patch small cracks (up to about 1/8”, use color coat that matches the stucco. Some home building supply companies can help you get a gallon or two that matches your stucco color. It may take them a week or two to get the color mixed, so grab a piece to match and take it down. I’ll talk about stucco patching in another post.

What Should I Do About Rain Barrels in the Winter?

Now is a good time to take down any water barrels.  Freezing may cause them to crack, and at over $100 each, that can get expensive in a hurry.  I drain any remaining water onto trees so they can get one last drink before winter.  I rinse mine out a bit, totally drain them, and put them on their sides in an out-of-the way place in my yard where they won’t blow away. Rotate the barrel to put the drain valve up or high on the side (between 9 and 3 o’clock) so water won’t fill it and crack it.  If you were using hoses connected to the drain valve, drain them and store them inside the barrel.

Rather than letting the water splash where the rain barrel was, and assuming you have downspouts to direct water to your rain barrels, get a length of downspout and connect that to the existing downspout elbow and direct the water away from your house.  If this is your first time cutting downspout, you can cut downspout with a hacksaw.

If you had issues last winter with canales draining onto patios, sidewalks, or driveways and creating ice hazards (oh wait, we didn’t get enough snow in Santa Fe to have problems!), now is a good time to set up a Canale Catcher©  on problem canales.  If you wait until you have ice problems it’ll be too dangerous to set up a ladder.