Winter is here, which means temperatures are starting to drop and you’ll want to stay inside your home more than the rest of the year. Keeping your roof in tip-top shape is a year-round endeavor. Yet, it’s especially important to focus on roof maintenance during these cold-weather months. Between the snow and freezing temperatures, this is when your roof will take the biggest hit. So is your roof ready to support your warm home? Wintertime is known to bring some extra wear and tear to your roof. To help prevent costly damage, check out these roof maintenance tips for this winter.
Remove ANY Snow ASAP
While having snow on a rooftop can look like a picturesque Hallmark Movie, it can also wreak havoc if it’s left to sit for too long. Along with ice, snow creates a heavy weight on your roof. This means that anywhere it’s even slightly compromised could be at risk of major damage. If precipitation remains on your roof, it can create what’s known as an ice dam when it melts. Water on a roof is nothing new, but it’s the re-freezing that creates the issue.When temperatures drop below freezing (usually overnight), the melted ice hardens back up again. As a result, it creates a dam in or around your gutters, backing up any runoff precipitation. This can loosen your shingles or even create a leakage.
So you need to remove all ice and snow from your roof as quickly and thoroughly as possible to keep it dry longer. As the conditions can make the surfaces slippery, it’s often wise to hire a roof maintenance company to come and take care of the issue for you.
It is important to examine your existing flashing, especially at the beginning of the winter season. Even if the flashing was only installed correctly a few years ago, over time they can start to become warped or even loosened.
If the flashing is faulty, then you will need to get them fixed as soon as possible. With improper flashing, snow and other icy precipitation are allowed to more freely enter your roof. If too much excess moisture builds up, you’re looking at an interior leak.
While snow and ice are the first two conditions that come to mind when you think about wintertime roof maintenance, don’t discount the incredible power of wind. If a major storm comes through your area, wind can be just as detrimental as any form of wet precipitation.
Inspect your roof for any signs of wind damage, and take steps to repair any spots that may have become compromised. You’re specifically looking for missing, broken, or damaged shingles or other roofing materials.
If left untreated, these vulnerable spots won’t just open your home up to leaks. They’ll also serve as breeding grounds for some pretty nasty bacteria, mold, and mildew. So, contact your roof maintenance professional to come patch or replace any areas that wind tears away.
Check Your Attic Ventilation
You might not realize it, but the performance of your attic is directly linked to the performance of your roof. Why? If your attic is poorly ventilated or insulated, it can expose your roof more directly to the winter elements, allowing problems like ice dams to form.
When performing your roof maintenance inspection, go inside and make sure your attic has sufficient insulation and has solid routes for ventilation. Keeping the airflow consistent is key to keeping your roof as protected as possible.
Clear Away Debris
Before the winter storms begin to roll in, you’ll want to make sure that your roof and all surrounding elements such as gutters, flashing, and downspouts, are free of debris. This can include things like pine needles, leaves, and other grime that can accumulate on its surface.
By doing so, you’ll help make sure that if a storm does hit, the moisture doesn’t have an extra grip on your roof. If it sticks to debris, those little pieces can become water-logged and eventually rot, leading to a leak or other damage.
Take a rake or broom and clear as much as possible in the autumn months to keep your roof clear all winter long.
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