Autumn roofing maintenance tips

Autumn roofing maintenance tipscredit

The autumn is an ideal time of year to head up onto your roof and check what’s going on up there. In doing so, you can be alerted to any problems that are starting, and you can hire a local roofer to make repairs before the long, hard, and damaging winter approaches. The weather is ideal, it’s the right time to do some cleaning and maintenance, and you can rest easy during the rest of the year, knowing that your roof will be able to withstand the elements. So keep reading to learn about a few autumn roofing maintenance tips to get started.

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Clean out the gutters

First, get into the gutters and downspouts surrounding your home and make sure that all of them are totally clear of debris. You may want to wait until the leaves have all fallen off of the trees so you can remove them as well before the winter hits. The key is to ensure that everything drains smoothly, without any obstructions. If you have to, install some gutter guards, as they’ll make this task much easier and save you time every year.

Wooden roof tilescredit

Check the roof’s covering

Next, head onto your roof with care so you can carefully inspect it to ensure that it will be able to withstand all of the harsh elements that will come its way when winter hits. For example, if your roof is tiled, check for any broken or cracked tiles, as these would need to be replaced before winter. On the other hand, if your roof is made of metal, look for any indications that the metal is warping, rusting or blistering, as those problems will also need to be addressed before winter. If you’ve inspected your roof and noted that a lot of the slates need to be replaced, or there’s a lot of damage throughout the entire roof, you may need to replace the whole thing.

Hole in a wooden roofcredit

Look for any signs of water damage

In addition to looking at your house’s roof from the outside, you also want to take a look at it from the inside. Look at the interior of the roof to search for any signs that there’s water damage anywhere. Small signs of this type of damage may be identified during this inspection, but because it is the autumn, you’ll be able to have them fixed right away, before the winter can cause further damage with its ice and snow. Remember, a small leak could turn disastrous once heavy rains or other harsh elements come into play.

Repairing roof flashingcredit

Inspect the chimney, pipes, and skylights

If you have any skylights, pipes, or a chimney on the roof of your home, you should also check any of the flashing that surrounds them to ensure that everything is in good enough condition to make it through the next few seasons.

With the tips above, you can make sure that your roof is in the best shape possible every year in the autumn. When the winter hits, you won’t need to worry at all about the integrity and strength of your roof, and you and your family will be protected from the elements.

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Cakes & Bakes: Soul cakes

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Home-made soul cakes | H is for Home

These soul cakes are very fitting for this week’s Cakes & Bakes. They’re part of an ancient Christian tradition that took place in the UK – especially ‘up North’ – each All Hallow’s Eve. Or as it’s better known in this day & age, Halloween.

sugar, butter and egg yolks

The cakes were baked on All Hallow’s Eve to honour the dead – hence the name ‘soul’ – and the cross made on them before baking. On All Saints’ Day (1st Nov) and All Souls’ Day (2nd Nov), they were then were given as alms to the poor (especially children). Perhaps it’s the origin of modern day trick or treating.

plain flour and ground spices

I searched through all my old-fashioned cookery books and finally found a recipe for them in the not so old A Calendar of Feasts: Cattern Cakes and Lace.

adding currants to soul cakes dough

The recipe isn’t the most detailed, but from the way they turned out, I’d say they were more a biscuit than a cake! If I made them thicker than I did, they’d probably resemble scones… but they wouldn’t have cooked completely through in the 15 minutes advised.

cutting soul cakes dough

I was all out of the mixed spice that the recipe called for; I did some detective work and found out that Schwartz mixed spice comprises nutmeg, cinnamon and ground coriander seed. I used half a teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon… I was all out of coriander seeds too!

uncooked soul cakes

I don’t think the mixed spice is mandatory if you don’t have any, soul cakes can be made with ground ginger, allspice, the aforementioned nutmeg and cinnamon… or any mixture of all the above!

soul cakes cooling on a wire rack

I wonder if I’ll get any funny looks from the neighbourhood kids if I hand these out when they come around trick or treating this weekend! 🙂

Soul cakes
Yields 20
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Cook Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g/6oz butter
  2. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  3. 3 egg yolks
  4. 450g/1lb plain flour
  5. 1tsp ground mixed spice
  6. A little milk to mix (I used about 4 tbsps)
  7.  
  8. soul cakes ingredients
  9.  
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl and then beat in the egg yolks one at a time
  3. Sift the flour and the spice into another bowl then add to the butter mixture
  4. Stir in the currants and add milk if necessary to form a soft dough
  5. Form the dough into flat cakes and mark each with a cross
  6. Put on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
Adapted from A Calendar of Feasts: Cattern Cakes and Lace
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Etsy List: Spring forward, Fall back

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'Spring forward, Fall back' Etsy List curated by H is for HomeThe clocks go back (or is it forwards?) on the 26th of October this year – it always happens on the last Sunday of October. We’ll go from British Summer Time (BST) or ‘daylight saving time’ back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) at 1am.

For ages I couldn’t get to grips with this bi-annual time change – it’s not practiced in Trinidad where I grew up. The sudden change to dark evenings still affects me hugely even though I’ve been back living in the UK for over 25 years. But I take the rough with the smooth; the long, bright summer evenings almost make up for it!

I now mentally recite the mnemonic, “spring forward, fall back”, to remember which way to turn the hands on my watch & clocks around the house.

Spring forward, Fall back
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Etsy List: If you go down to the woods today…

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'If you go down to the woods today' Etsy List by H is for HomeWe love walking Fudge in the woods near our house – it takes on such a magical quality in the autumn.

The colour; the earthy smell; the sound of crisp, dry leaves underfoot; squirrels darting here & there up trunks and between branches; mushrooms poking up through the leaf litter.

Yesterday, I (Adelle) was lucky to get a long look at two startled deer leaping away – it was the first time I’d seen deer in over a year. Justin boasts of sightings at least once a week!

If you go down to the woods today…
Curated by H is for Home


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