Preparing Your Roof for Winter Weather

With the winter months quickly approaching, this is the perfect time to ensure your roof is ready for the snow. If your roof is not ready for the harsh winter weather, that can lead to a number of problems inside and outside your home. Being proactive before the winter storms hit will help eliminate any major issues that require immediate attention during poor weather. Here are five ways you can be sure your roof and gutters are ready for the snow and ice this year. 

Clear Gutters and Downspouts of Debris

Checking to make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris, such as leaves and other natural materials, will help ensure that water is being properly directed away from your roof. It is best to check your gutters twice a year to be sure they are clean. The best practice is to check them once in the early summer and once in the early fall. If your gutters are not clear, rain water or melting snow can begin to pool on the roof or at the base of your home’s foundation, both scenarios can cause damage to the interior of your home.

Check for Roof Damage

Did your rooftop sustain any damage during a severe storm earlier in the year? If you can see that your home is missing tiles or has damaged shingles, repairing them before winter sets in will help you avoid any interior or exterior complications. Even if you have had shingles missing for months and haven’t had any issues, you are playing a risky game of chance that could end up costing you. A roof that is already weakened has a higher chance of not being able to withstand the harsh winter weather and all the moisture that comes with it.

Address Indoor Leaks

After you have cleaned out your gutters and downspouts, it is always a good idea to check the interior of your house for any signs of leaks, such as water stains. Checking the ceiling of your attic is also very important. If you find water stains in your attic, chances are your house has poor roofing insulation in a particular area. Having poor roofing insulation can lead to water leaks and a roof that is more susceptible to damage. It can also cause heat to escape from your home, resulting in not only a higher heating bill for your family, but a potential for ice dams to form. 

Prevent Ice Dam Formation

Speaking of ice dams, do you know how they form? What can an ice dam do to your home? Ice dams form when heat from the attic of your home escapes and melts the snow on your roof. This water collects in or around the gutters and can freeze to create an ice dam. It’s important to keep an eye on your roof during the winter months because ice dams can cause significant damage due to the extra weight they put on your roof and gutters. If an ice dam gets big enough, melted water can back up into the shingles causing interior leaks. If the ice dam falls from the roof, it can sometimes pull shingles and gutters off with it. 

 Invest in a Roof Rake

To help avoid ice dams from forming on your roof, investing in a roof rake is an inexpensive way to assist in the effort. A roof rake allows you to safely remove excessive amounts of snow from your roof. By removing or at least reducing the source of water that creates ice dams, you have a better chance of protecting your roof from ice dams forming. A roof rake will not only reduce the moisture source from your roof, it will also remove the extra weight snow adds. If you cannot find a roof rake, a long push broom will also do the trick in most cases.

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