How To Prepare Your Roof For Winter

Do you prepare your roof for winter? Is it one of the things that hits your mind as winter gets closer? During winter, harsh weather conditions and freezing temperatures can put a lot of pressure on your roof. If you ignore your roof, it may leak and potentially collapse or sag under the weight.

If you’re looking to protect your roof against winter’s harshest elements, then take a look at the guide below for maintenance tips to help ensure maximum protection throughout the cold months ahead. To help you and your family throughout this process we’ll be providing you with a simple checklist so everyone in your household is covered.

prepare roof for winter
Roofs during winter. Source: sunriseroofingandchimney.com

Why prepare the roof for winter?

While the winter is a beautiful season, it can affect your roof more than you might think. Cold air can penetrate through cracks, leaving your home vulnerable to ice damming. Roofing companies have reported being busier during the winter months due to wind and snow removal, which takes much longer to complete.

Don’t let the winter catch you unprepared. Have your roof checked for snow-related damages before winter arrives; after all, it takes time to complete roofing jobs during the cold season.

Before the first snowfall arrives, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare the roof for winter. This includes checking and replacing any loose shingles or failing flashing, and inspecting any ice and water shield around roof penetrations. If you forget to complete these preparations before the winter weather hits, we can’t stress enough how important it is to contact a professional roofing contractor in order to avoid potential hazards.

Common problems caused to roofs during winter

Condensation

The formation of condensation around a roof is a common problem, which will lead to interior damage if not remedied. Excessive moisture can be caused by inadequate ventilation or excessively warm temperatures, which cause the humidity near your ceiling to rise. The best way to avoid this problem is to provide adequate ventilation for your attic space.

Unfortunately, if this is ignored, it can significantly reduce the lifespan of the roof.

Flashing Leaks

Over time, many homeowners can expect some degree of flashing failure. This is natural and expected with the constant heat cycles of freeze and thaw that most buildings undergo during the year. The most common leaks occur around chimneys, skylights and vent pipes.

When preparing the roof for winter, it’s important that you pay close attention to this as it can cause severe damage to the entire roofing structure if ignored. Generally, most homeowners inspect every 6 months to help prevent this from becoming a problem.

Tree limbs

Tree limbs that overhang the home can cause damage not only to windows and siding but to your roof as well. If branches or limbs fall into the roof damage could be extensive, with leaks and even mold growing beneath the surface of the shingles. If you have a lot of trees in your yard, it’s important that you remove the overhanging branches as these can damage your roof and end up costing you a lot of money in long-term roofing repairs.

Ice dams

Ice dams are caused by melting snow and ice that freezes at the edge of your roof. They develop over valleys or where the roof pitches steeply. Ice dams can cause leaks into your home or even worse, collapse your roof. It can be one of the most devastating roof problems because they result in water damage to the interior of your home. Hence, you would need to pay close attention to this when preparing the roof for winter.

Icicles

Icicles can be a hazard, and should be removed as soon as possible. Icicles form on home roofs and gutter downspouts when the temperature is above freezing and there is moisture from melted snow, rain or ice buildup. In most cases, icicles that form on homes fall from the gutter to the ground, damaging landscaping and possibly creating a potential slip hazard.

How to prepare the roof for winter?

In most cases, preparing the roof for winter takes place when summer is coming steadily to a close. Our team at LD Roofing have put together this section to share some steps you can take to prepare the roof for winter 

Remove debris

To protect your roof for winter, you’ll need to remove any debris that may blow onto it. Debris on your roof can lead to costly damages and should be removed at the end of each season. If left unattended, pesky debris sticking to your roof over time may create a slope that will cause unwanted leaks.

Debris could include tree branches, leaves, moss and algae. Before removing any debris, check to see if you will damage shingles and use a rake or shovel instead.

Remove moss and algae

Moss and algae can cause a whole host of problems on your roof and should be removed from time to time to cure potential problems brought on by the build-up. Depending on how much moss and algae has built up, you can either use a brush or power washer method to remove it from your roof. It’s important to use the proper safety precautions when accessing your roof.

Clean attic vents

Roof vents should be kept clear of debris and cleaned to ensure proper airflow into your attic. This is especially important for homes with a closed attic, where the only source of ventilation is the roof vent. If debris is allowed to accumulate against a vent’s screen, it can dramatically reduce airflow from those vents. Vent screens also need to be kept clean, as they often have a wire mesh that can grow mold over time.

Keep the gutters clear

Maintaining your gutters is an essential part of your home’s maintenance. Clogged gutters can cause major issues for your home including water damage and mold especially during winter. For those less experienced with cleaning their gutters, we recommend using a wire brush tool to remove any large debris. Gutter guards can protect your investment as well as making sure that water drains away from your home as intended.

Conduct regular inspections

Your roof will undergo regular inspections during or after periods of bad weather, but you must also plan regular maintenance on it to make sure that it continues to operate properly. It’s true that you should stay on top of getting your roof inspected. Whether it is for a new roof install, a pre-emptive spring check up after a heavy winter, or a follow up inspection to repair damage from a storm, the team at LD Roofing will be here for you.

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