Before winter hits, it is essential to make sure your roof is ready to handle the harsher months. Your roof keeps out snow and rain, retains warm air inside your home where it belongs, and protects your family and belongings. Maintaining your roof in great shape is certainly in your best interest, so read on to learn about preparing your roof for winter.
Clean It Up
The first step to making sure your roof is winter-ready is to ensure it is clean. Debris and buildup can cause damage to the roof and can inhibit its ability to perform its job effectively. Regular cleanups can go a long way toward keeping your roof functional. Remove leaves, dirt, nests, and debris from your roof, and watch for birds and bugs that make homes in your eaves.
Give Your Gutters Some Love
Remove leaves and debris from your gutters and run water through them to make sure they are draining properly. Consider leaf guards to keep your gutters free from blockages that can cause backups and leaks. If blockages do occur, a long brush can be used to break leaves and buildup free. Rake up and remove anything you get out of your gutters. You can also extend the spouts at the end to dump the water further from your home, preventing backup when ice forms.
Do Periodic Self-Inspections
When you are up cleaning your roof, take a look around. Become familiar with the layout and keep an eye out for obvious signs of problems. Check on your shingles, making sure they are in decent shape. Any sign of cracking, peeling, flaking, falling off, or discoloration can mean problems. Check for weak or sunken spots along your roof, and check inside your home for water stains on ceilings as well. You should report anything unusual you notice to quality roofers who will know how to address your problems.
Get a Professional Inspection
Before the months of cold and snow, having a professional inspection can be very beneficial. Trained professionals will be able to notice problems and red flags that the layman might miss. Roof problems tend to progress quickly from bad to worse, so catching them early and nipping them in the bud will save you money and grief in the long run.
Add Some Insulation
Increasing the amount of insulation in your attic or upper crawlspaces helps to prevent ice dams on the roof. It will also help keep your home warm and make it more energy efficient. The initial expense of the insulation will come back to you quickly, since it is sure to lower your energy bills each month.
If you live in a climate where the temperature drops below freezing and you own your home, there are a few roof maintenance tips that you should take care of before winter. Freezing temperatures bring a host of problems that can damage the flashing and shingles on your roof. Even minimal damage can fester and create bigger problems down the road if they aren’t caught. This could lead to costly repairs or even the need to replace the roof. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent the need for roofing replacement
Tips for Winter
Prune vegetation back. One of the biggest culprits of winter roof problems is vegetation. If your home has trees or bushes that hover over the house, then you need to trim them back for two reasons. First, a branch could fall in a storm and cause damage to the roof. Secondly, most trees will drop leaves, nuts, fruit, twigs, and more. If you don’t clear these off, then they can clog gutters and cause melting snow or rain to back up, puddle, and create leaks.
Clean out the gutters. Before winter really hits, you need to clean out the gutters to ensure that water can get through to the downspouts. Otherwise, you’ll have problems. You can clean out the gutters and downspouts with blowers, brooms, and even shooting water through them.
Install insulation. If the roof temperature fluctuates a lot, then any accumulated snow will melt and refreeze repeatedly. This can create something called an ice dam where ice builds up and prevents the water from draining properly. The water has to go somewhere, so it will find its way into your attic. You can help prevent this by installing proper insulation in the attic to help maintain a more consistent temperature.
Remove the snow. It’s best to stay on top of any accumulating snow before it gets stuck in the ice dam cycle. After a heavy storm, remove any snow from the roof line and carefully knock down icicles. You may even consider installing deicing cables to the roof to help melt the snow and keep it off the roof. This is especially helpful if your roof is difficult to get to or you don’t have the time or means to remove the snow regularly.
If you follow these simple tips, then you are less likely to have annoying roofing problems this coming winter. Save yourself the headache later. All you have to do is prepare a little extra today.
A new roof installation probably isn’t the most exciting thing you can think of to spend your hard-earned money on. However, a good roof and quality roofing installation is extremely important to not only keep you and your belongings safe and dry, but to prevent other problems like mold and mildew. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of a worn out roof that necessitates replacement of the entire roof.
In many cases, a visual inspection of your roof will clue you in that your roof is getting worn out. If numerous shingles are buckling or curled or even broken, it likely means that the shingles have lived out their life expectancy and that replacing a shingle here or there isn’t going to solve your problem. Missing shingles can also mean that the shingles are too worn out to withstand wind and rain. You may even notice large amounts of shingle granules in the rain gutters, which also means the shingles and roof are worn out.
The valleys of a roof are where the moisture flows in order to get the rain or snow to the rain gutters or off the edges of the roof. Damage and wear in the roof valleys is one of the most common causes of roof leaks, so if you notice damaged or missing shingles in these areas, it’s an almost definite sign that the roof needs to be replaced.
Chimney flashing in the past was done using tar or roof cement, which doesn’t hold up as well as newer metal flashing that is used now. If your chimney flashing is made of one of these older materials, you’re probably better off replacing the roof with a more water tight and long-term metal flashing to prevent leaks around your chimney.
It’s also important to do an inspection from inside your home by getting up into the attic. Of course, you may not actually see light coming through the roof boards, which is a sure sign that your roof should be replaced, but you may notice moisture on the insulation which means your roof has become ineffective. You may also see evidence of small animals in your roof, meaning there are holes.
Although the age of your roof isn’t a definite indication that it should be replaced, most asphalt shingle roofs do only last up to 25 years. It’s likely that if your roof is this old you’ve begun noticing other signs of wear, or perhaps even water stains or actual leaks on the ceilings.