How to get your Roof Ready for Winter
Love it or hate it, winter will soon be upon us with all its cold weather, snow and ice. And while this time of years is perfect for winter sports enthusiasts, snowball fights and sledding, it can be dangerous for your roof if you don’t prepare. Here are three steps to get your roof ready for winter before that first snowfall.
Clean and Repair Gutters
The first step to winterizing your roof is to clean and repair your gutters. If your gutters are clogged or damaged, when inclement weather hits the snow and ice has nowhere to go and ends up just sitting on your roof. This can lead to leaks, damaged shingles, mold and a whole host of other unwelcome problems. Once most of the leaves are down from your trees, simply get a sturdy ladder, some gloves and a trash bag and clean out the debris. If you would rather, you can also hire this out to a reputable company. After all the leaves and sticks are gone, spray out the gutters with a high-pressure hose nozzle to wash them out. This is also a good time to check for any leaks or cracks which should be fixed before winter. After cleaning everything out, make sure to also remove any leaves or other clutter from around the downspout so that the water can flow freely and it doesn’t get clogged with ice once the weather turns cold. Some good investments to keep your gutters free of debris are gutter guards and snow guards. Gutter guards are simply screens installed on top of your gutters to prevent them from getting clogged in the first place. Snow guards are tabs that are installed on sloped roofs to catch and hold in place the snow and ice before it falls off the roof. This may seem counterproductive as you want the snow and ice off your roof, but the importance of snow guards is that it keeps the built-up precipitation from falling all at once and possibly injuring someone or damaging property. Instead the snow and ice can melt gradually flowing down the gutter as intended.
Inspect the Roof
After you have taken care of the gutters and downspout, it is time to assess the roof itself. Look at the shingles for any holes, worn spots or damage from branches or storms. Pay special attention to where the shingles connect with flashing, bricks, plumbing pipes, TV antennas and such, as this is a more vulnerable area. If there are any spots that need fixed, make sure to call someone like Roof Advance before cold weather hits. Once there is snow and ice on the roof it becomes more difficult and possibly costlier to repair these areas.
Inspect the Attic
While you are searching around for the Christmas tree and lights, it’s also a good idea to inspect your attic and make sure it’s ready for the holidays as well. Insulation is important for the health of your roof because it keeps the heat in your house where it should be and not escaping under the shingles where it can cause ice dams and other problems. Check to make sure you have adequate insulation and that it’s not blocking anything like vents or soffits. Also check the attic roof for leaks, which, if left unrepaired can cause mold to grow on your roof and in your home.