Winter can bring some extra wear and tear to your roof. To help prevent costly damage, check out these roof maintenance tips for this winter.
It’s wintertime, which means temperatures are dipping and you’ll want to stay indoors more than the rest of the year. Is your roof ready to support your warm home?
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.
Taking the time to properly safeguard it is paramount.
Today, we’re looking at seven ways you can maintain your roof during the winter to make sure it’s operating at peak performance.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
- Remove Snow ASAP
Snow on a rooftop can look postcard perfect. Unfortunately, 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.
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.
- Repair Flashing
When starting your wintertime roof maintenance routine, take a look first at your existing flashing. Even if it was installed correctly years ago, over time it can become warped or even loosened.
If it’s faulty, strive to get it fixed as soon as you can. With improper flashing, snow and other icy precipitation can more freely enter your roof. If too much excess moisture builds up, you’re looking at an interior leak.
The same concept applies to your shingles. If any are beginning to peel up or chip, have them replaced immediately. Left unsecured, they also allow moisture to build and seep into your ceiling.
- Check Your Gutters
One of the first places that freezing precipitation will accumulate? Your gutters.
That’s why it’s important to check them regularly for any signs of ice dams. One rule of thumb is that if you see icicles hanging off of them, you’re likely already looking at a build-up.
The first concern is that if they’re filled with ice, your gutters can simply become weakened, unable to hold all that weight. As a result, they can tear away from your home. This creates significant structural damage and leaves you slapped with a major repair bill.
Getting rid of all ice dams at the first sign of formation is key to keeping your gutters strong and working properly.
- Remediate All Wind Damage
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 All Debris
Before the winter storms roll in, make sure your roof and all surrounding elements such as gutters, flashing, and downspouts, are free of debris. This can include 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.
- Hire a Professional Inspection
While there are some roof maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, if you really want to get your home in quality shape for the winter, it’s best to hire a professional roofing company to take care of the major work.
By letting the experts take the reins, you’ll not only save your back and ensure your safety, you’ll also have the peace of mind that everything is properly checked and repaired. That way, you can enjoy the winter and all the festivities it brings without having to stress or worry about the condition of your roof!
The Roof Maintenance Support You Need
Before the brunt of winter hits, take the steps to secure your roof today. Taking care of the small issues now can prevent them from snowballing into major catastrophes down the road.