Winter can bring several issues that seem designed to wreak havoc on your home. While it’s true that cold winds, snow, and ice can cause damage to the entire exterior, your roof sees the most severe and sustained impact. Have you done everything you can to ensure that your roof is ready for winter?
Before the Weather Gets Nasty
Trim nearby trees. Any trees near your home have the potential to drop leaves or needles onto your roof, resulting in potential issues down the road. Downed tree limbs are the number one cause of damage to roofs in any season, but the additional stress trees can endure during the winter makes tree trimming a priority.
Clear gutters and downspouts. Even with nearby trees taken care of, make sure you clear the roof of any remaining debris that could wash down your roof and collect in eaves, gutters, and overhangs. Clogged gutters hold rainwater and snow melt, which can eventually form ice dams and keep unwanted moisture against the roof itself.
Check attic ventilation. An improperly insulated or ventilated attic can result in warm spots on your roof, melting snow and ice in one area only for it to collect and freeze in another area later. Ensuring your attic is uniformly insulated and properly ventilated can go a long way towards preventing ice dams once the cold weather sets in.
Perform an overall inspection. Walk around your home’s exterior to check for missing shingles, lifted flashing, and any sagging spots that could hold excess moisture. Your roof’s covering is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, and gaps in this defense could mean water seeping through the roof deck and into your home’s interior.
Once Snow Is Here
Remove excess snow from your roof. Any buildup of snow or ice within 4 – 5 feet of the edge can result in ice dams, clogged gutters, or even present a falling hazard. Snow removal can usually be accomplished from a ladder, but heavy snows can necessitate a more thorough removal. To avoid treading on surfaces that can be dangerously icy, consider hiring a professional.
Keep gutters clear. Even though your roof should have begun winter with a clean slate, wind and ice storms can result in debris once again collecting in gutters and downspouts. Inspecting these after a storm and removing clogs and blocks will keep any snow melt flowing away from your roof.
Repair any damage in a timely manner. After a winter storm, keep a close eye out for damages. Wind can harm shingles, flashing, and gutters, while ice and snow can cause sagging or leaking. Roof damage can result in moisture finding its way into the interior of your home, causing crumbling and collapse or even mold and rot. Take the steps necessary to repair this damage as soon as possible.
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