Winter might be the most wonderful time of year, but it can do a number on your home. One area that’s hit particularly hard by cold, snowy weather is the roof. Is yours prepared for another season of snow and ice?
The best time of year to prepare your roof for winter is in the fall, before the long cold season is upon us. Start with the tips below. The more you can do to prepare, the fewer problems you’ll encounter when the snowy season finally begins.
Clean Your Gutters
Fall is when you can expect your gutter system to become clogged with leaves and debris. Clogged gutters cause water to back up in the gutters and spill over the troughs. This can be damaging to your roof and siding any time of the year, but is of special concern during the freeze and thaw cycles of winter.
The more often you clean your gutters the better your roof will withstand the winter elements. To prevent clogged gutters in the first place, consider gutter screens or guards.
In addition to your gutters, debris needs to be cleaned from the surface of your roof. Small pieces hold moisture, especially during the winter, and can cause the roof to mold or, worse, rot. That’s an expensive repair you don’t want to face.
The best way to clean your roof is to get up there with a broom or blower. You’ll want to pay attention to the roof’s valleys and dips, where debris and water are more likely to collect. If you’re inexperienced in climbing on roofs, it’s best to leave this task to a roofing expert.
Prepare Your Insulation
One area people don’t think about when it comes to their roof is insulation. Insulation is what keeps cold air out and warm air inside. If you don’t have adequate insulation in your attic, you’ll be letting the warm air escape, driving up energy costs.
In addition, if it doesn’t have proper insulation, your roof—and even your home—will likely suffer moisture damage. This can be expensive to fix, and could be catastrophic if your roof begins to develop mold or rot. The best way to guard against this possibility is to hire an insulation expert to check your attic insulation on a yearly basis in preparation for winter.
Look for Roof Damage
Now that your roof is clean and clear, it’s time to look for problems and damage. If you notice any shingles that have cracked edges, you’ll want to fix these right away. Winter weather can compromise the integrity of your roof, so make sure it’s strong and in working order.
The most important areas to check are around vent stacks, chimneys, and skylights. These areas are most likely to experience problems that could result in leakage.
Keep Your Roof Safe in the Winter
Snow and ice add a lot of stress to your roof, so don’t wait for winter before taking steps to keep it safe. Fall is when you want to make sure everything is ready for the season ahead. The best action is preventative action, so take the above tips seriously.