Tips on Preventing Roof Leaks During the Winter

bucket collecting water from leaking roof

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.