Winter can wreak havoc on a roof. Making sure your roof is ready for winter can save time and money by avoiding costly repairs. While technology has allowed roofing materials to continue to advance, there are still safeguards to which you should pay attention in order to make sure there are no roof failures during the winter months.
1. Don’t let snow accumulate
Accumulated snow may look pretty, but it can cause a lot of damage. As snow accumulates, the weight your roof must support increases as well. The pressure on your roof could cause weak spots to fail.
In addition to the added weight, snow can form costly ice dams as it melts. The constant cycle of melting and refreezing is harmful to roofs because, as water freezes, the ice expands. The melting snow can find vulnerable cracks, exposing them and creating costly leaks.
When you remove snow from your roof, be sure to take extra precautions as it may be slippery. Contact a professional if necessary. Or consider adding a heat cable to easily melt away the snow.
2. Make sure the gutters are clean
No one likes cleaning gutters, but it is a necessary step in preparing your roof for winter. Make sure they are free of debris before the start of the season and check them periodically to be sure they are free from ice throughout the winter.
3. Perform sight checks
When storms come through, wind and heavy precipitation, such as rain or snow, could expose areas of the roof that are not in peak condition. Before winter arrives, look over your roof for any signs of loose, damaged, or missing shingles. Do the same after a storm. At the first sign of a problem, call a contractor to schedule a repair.
4. Keep landscaping back and clear debris
Trimming back trees and other overhanging landscaping can keep debris off your roof. Anytime you can eliminate debris near or on your roof, you are taking an opportunity to eliminate additional areas where moisture can collect, freeze, or rot.
5. Be sure the vents in the attic are clear
In the winter, ice can form anywhere – and that includes on the vents that are responsible for keeping moisture out of the attic. Moisture and leaks in the attic can become worse in the winter and can further damage your home and your roof. Making sure there is proper ventilation and no leaks are present can prevent the need for repairs.
6. Repair the flashing
The flashing may warp or loosen over time. At the first sign of this occurring, it is important to have the flashing repaired in order to prevent moisture from entering other areas of your roof.
7. Look for signs of animals
Just as humans tend to stay indoors when it is cold, animals and other critters will seek out the warmth as well. Look for areas where animals may have created an entrance or could already be inside. Any animals that are already in your roofing or attic before winter begins will only be sealed in when winter arrives.
8. Read through your homeowner’s insurance policy
Know what information is in your homeowner’s policy regarding your roof should any damage present itself. Keep track of any maintenance you have performed on the roof prior to winter. Often policies will cover weather but having a paper trail can help with any pushback you may receive.
9. Ensure insulation is adequate
Adding or updating insulation is important for winter. It may not seem like it has much to do with the roof, but having proper insulation between the living area of your home and the roof can avoid any warping caused by temperature fluctuations from both inside and outside.
10. Schedule a professional inspection
Performing your own inspections and knowing what to look for will certainly help to maintain your roof but consider hiring an expert to give your roof a once-over to look for any signs of potential problems with which you may not be familiar.
Rely on the professionals
Winter should not be a time when you worry about your roof. Keeping proper maintenance and taking steps to protect your roof from the harsh season can take that worry away. As winter approaches, rely on professional help to make sure that your roof is ready to protect you and your family through the whole season. Our experts at Able Roof will take the time to inspect all parts of your roof and attic. From our inspections, we will make recommendations and provide a free estimate for any work that may need to be completed. Keep your winter worry-free, and give us a call today.