Once the air starts getting colder, homeowners usually think about changing decor, switching out their wardrobe, preparing for the holidays, and making sure that the windows and doors are sealed to keep the cold out. Oftentimes, the roof is overlooked but it is just as important to prep it for the cold and snow as the rest of the house.
Leaving your roof in the hands of nature unprepared would be a costly disaster just waiting to happen. On the other hand, performing roof maintenance tasks before the cold sets in can prevent damages from ice dams and leaking. It’ll also help keep your home warm and comfortable. Here are some key things to help your winter roofing prep.
Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters can be problematic all year round but more so in seasons abundant with ice and water. When your gutters can’t do their job properly because of all the leaves, twigs, and other debris stuck there, the ice and water won’t have anywhere to go. As a result, this can form destructive ice dams that would block your roof drainage. It would also start a freeze-thaw cycle that would weaken your shingles and separate them from your roof.
All that can be avoided by getting ahead of the season and cleaning out your gutters at least twice a year, one of them in the fall. You can also install a gutter guard to help keep debris out of your gutter. While cleaning it out, make sure that everything is tightly fitted and secure as well to prevent loose and falling gutters.
Trim the Trees Around Your Home
Even if you love your trees, it’s best to give them a trim especially around your roof area before the frost comes in. One bad snow storm can break off a branch which can then land on your roof and inflict considerable damage. Trimming them early on before they start losing their leaves can also help minimize the amount of debris falling on your roof and gutters. And last but not least, it helps prevent rodents such as raccoons and squirrels from gaining access to your attic and burrowing there for the winter.
Inspect Your Roof Shingles
Shingles experience wear and tear over time. Some of the most common signs a shingle needs to be replaced are some visible curling, granules in your gutters, and twigs or leaves lodged underneath the pieces. Neglecting these can lead to more costly damages in the future.
Missing or damaged shingles allow water to get into your home and cause some nasty water damage. Strong winter winds can also blow these shingles away. Before these start becoming big headaches, repair or replace them.
Examine Your Roof Flashing
The roof flashing directs water off certain of your roof protecting your home from water damage. Unfortunately, it’s also a common area for leaks to appear. That’s why it’s important to give it a good check every once in a while especially before wintertime. Strong winds and freezing temperatures can cause the flashings to corrode, loosen, uplift, and tear. Pay special attention to roof valleys and overhangs and make sure that these won’t allow any leak to happen.
Inspect Your Attic and Install Ventilation
When your attic isn’t properly ventilated, temperatures in your home can go haywire all year round. It can get too hot and too cold and never in between. This will increase both your cooling and heating needs which then increases your energy costs. In addition to that, the heat escaping from your home can also melt the snow on your roof and cause ice dams. By making sure that your attic ventilation is functioning properly, you can help keep your roof in good shape and also cut down on costs.
When making your fall and winter preparations, it’s important to include your roof on the list. After all, it’s your number one protection against the ever-changing weather and all that it brings. Perform check-ups and make any repairs before the season even starts. By making sure all is set and good, you can relax in peace once the harsh weather comes knocking.