With winter looming on the horizon, now is the perfect time for all homeowners to carry out a thorough inspection of their roof. With harsh and cold weather come many potential risks for your roof, and with proper winter preparation, many of them can be avoided.
Minor damages can develop into serious problems, especially when there is snow involved, which can amount to very costly repairs. Taking the time to asses and prepare your roof for the coming winter can extend the lifespan of your roof, prevent serious damages to it, and keep it functioning throughout these cold months.
Staying ahead of problems is always the best solution, so follow these essential tips and welcome the snow prepared.
1. Inspect the Roof Edge and the Framework
The first step of your roof assessment and preparation can be inspecting its edges and framework. The roof edge is in a way your first line of defense when it comes to the roof, and having faulty edges can impact its integrity and stability. The framework of your roof should also always be completely straight and stable.
You can inspect both of these aspects first from the ground. From the ground-view, you can see if there are any inconsistencies on the edges, any obvious weaknesses, or if anything is saggy or loose. Then take a look at the framework of the roof and look for any signs of dips, curves or sagging. After that, you can head to the roof to inspect everything more closely.
Some minor signs of trouble you may be able to fix yourself, but it is always best to call a professional for this matter and have your roofer do both the inspection and the repair work.
2. Inspect the Flashing
While you are on the roof, you can continue with the inspection by checking the flashing on your roof. Flashing is placed along all of the areas where the roof and parts of the roof interconnect, such as the joints, chimneys, skylights, edges, and other similar areas. The flashing is made out of aluminum or galvanized metal so it is prone to corrosion and it can also suffer some damages during harsh weather.
Its main function is a protective one – it diverts the water from your roof, and any damages to it can lead to leaks and water damages to your home. Make sure every piece is tightly sealed, that there are no missing pieces and check for signs of corrosion. Fixing these minor issues and replacing your flashing on time can save you a world of trouble later.
3. Check for Damaged or Missing Shingles
Shingles get damaged over time, due to harsh weather or even due to heat that comes out of your attic. Some shingles may even tear off and you are left with some missing shingles on your roof. But all of those are issues that your roofer can easily deal with. On the other hand, if you don’t notice these issues on time, they can lead to serious damages, water leaks, and the need for a completely new roof.
Therefore, make sure to inspect your roof for any curled, broken or missing shingles. Taking care of this problem before winter and snow come will keep your home dry and your roof in a good condition.
4. Clean Your Gutters
The gutter system is an important part of your roof structure and protects your home from a number of damages. Its main function is to lead the water away from your roof and prevent it from pooling and seeping into your basement and foundations. When gutters are clogged, they can overflow and cause the water to overflow, which leads to leaks and damages to the walls. Apart from that, during winter this overflow can also lead to the formation of ice dams.
Cleaning your gutters is, therefore, an essential part of your winter preparation. Check your open gutters for any debris, such as leaves, twigs, branches, and similar things that can clog them. Make sure to remove all of it and then check if there are any clogs in your downspouts. Flush the downspouts thoroughly using a tool such as a plumber’s snake.
While you’re cleaning and flushing out the gutters and downspouts, you can also check the rest of your roof for any signs of dirt and debris, then clean it out as well.
5. Inspect Attic Insulation and Ventilation
When your attic is not properly insulated, the heat from your house can easily escape through it and onto the roof. This will result in higher heating bills, increased energy consumption, and roof condensation. Roof condensation is dangerous and it happens when there is too much heat reaching the roof when it is cold outside. The difference in temperatures is then too big and it can lead to mold and mildew in your home, water damage when the snow melts, as well as ice dams on your roof.
Therefore, make sure not to skip the attic during your winter roof preparation. Check your attic’s insulation, if it is evenly distributed, and if there are any signs of damage. If there is no insulation in the attic, think about adding it, or at least install a ventilation system. Proper ventilation in the attic will help keep the heat from seeping out, the cold air from coming in, and will allow a healthy circulation of air inside.
6. Trim the Surrounding Trees
Tall trees with heavy branches or dead limbs that overhang your home can also present a great risk. They can crash into your home during storms, heavy rains, winds or snowfalls and damage your roof, windows or walls. They can also be the source of constant debris piling up in your gutters, causing clogs.
Trimming those trees and branches around your home can significantly contribute to the safety of your roof and your home and prevent possible troubles and potential repair work during the winter.
Being a homeowner comes with many responsibilities and duties in order to keep that home and its residents safe and secure from the elements. Taking care of your roof is one of those tasks and, even though it may be a nuisance sometimes, regular inspections and proper preparations can prevent a lot of trouble, as well as costs.
Make your roof a priority, follow these winter preparation tips, and if you notice any issues enlist the help of a professional roofer who will make sure your roof is in top shape and ready for winter.
This article is presented you by Harper Special Services, the top general contractor in Savannah, GA