No matter where you live, winter can bring
harsh weather. Whether it is snow, ice, hail, or just cold temperatures, your
roof can take a beating in the winter. Before the cold weather starts, you
should ensure that your roof is ready and prepared to withstand winter weather.
Use these winter roofing tips to keep your roof in top shape during the winter
Your gutter system is an essential component
of your complete roofing system. In the winter, snow, ice, and debris can
damage your gutters. If icicles begin to form on the side of your gutters, they
need to be removed to prevent excess weight. If ice begins to collect inside of
your gutters, the additional weight can eventually cause structural damage.
Also, if the snow and ice clog, your gutters, it prevents them from being able
to function properly. Clogged gutters will prevent anything from moving through
your gutter system, forcing it to build up or overflow off the side.
Your gutters need maintenance all year round.
Learn more about cleaning and maintaining your gutters.
Any Damaged Shingles
If you have noticed any missing or damaged
shingles on your roof, you need to have it resolved as soon as possible. The
longer your roof decking is exposed, the higher the chances of leaks forming. Any
damage to shingles could cause water damage, additional shingle damage, mold
growth, leaks, and water damage to ceilings and walls.
Instead of going onto your roof yourself, you
should hire an experienced roofing contractor to perform a visual
inspection, especially for the hard-to-see areas.
Forget About Your Attic
The attic in your home is closely tied to your
roof. Your ventilation and insulation can have a massive impact on the state of
your roof and home.
Attic ventilation is meant to reduce moisture
build-up to prevent leaks, mold & mildew growth, and structural damage by
allowing airflow to occur between the inside of your home and outside. This
airflow also allows heat to escape to help melt snow and ice that is on your
roof during the winter.
Attic insulation is a part of the roof
ventilation system but is adding in additional insulation to create a better
barrier between the inside and outside of your home. One of the major benefits
of improving your attic insulation is improved energy efficiency for your home.
With a stronger barrier to the outside of your home, the warm air your HVAC
units are producing stays inside your home, instead of seeping through
your roof. This allows you to spend less money on energy bills and allows your
HVAC units to expend less energy over time, keeping them in better condition.
Snow From Your Roof
When there is any snowfall in the winter, you
should do your best to remove the snow off your roof with a roof rake. If snow
sits too long on your roof, the additional weight could cause harm to your
roof. It also increases the risk of ice dams forming, which can cause
additional damage to your roof.
Look At Your Flashing
Roof flashing is layers of waterproof
material, typically metal or steel, that cover susceptible areas of your roof
to direct water away from it. This can include around your chimney, any
skylights, and around vents. If your flashing is not in good shape, has become
loose, or has warped over time, that can allow snow and ice to get into your
roof. This can lead to potential leaks, which can turn into water damage over
Attention To Your Trees
If you have any large tree branches that hang
over your roof, you want to have them trimmed before winter. In the event of
snow and ice building up on the tree branch, it could potentially crack from
the added weight, then falling on your roof. If there is no snow or ice in
your area, any rough winter storms with strong winds could cause the tree
branches to crack. From the impact of the tree falling, your shingles could be
damaged, other roofing materials could be impacted, or even a hole could be
punctured in your roof. To prevent any of this type of damage, be sure to have
these tree limbs removed before winter.
Aware of Ice Dams
During the winter, ice dams can form on your
roof. Ice dams occur when there is a large build-up of snow on
top of your roof which starts to melt throughout the day from heat within the
home escaping but refreezes overnight. Once this happens several days in a row,
the water can start to penetrate its way underneath your shingles. Once the
water is underneath your shingles, it can make its way into your attic to
create water damage.
There are several ways to prevent ice dams:
Keep your roof clear of any
Utilize roof rakes to get snow off
of your roof to prevent a build-up.
Clear your gutters of snow and
Ensure you have proper roof
ventilation and insulation to have proper airflow and prevent heat loss.
Your Roof After Storms
If you live in an area where there is not
much snow or ice, you may still have harsh winter storms with strong winds or
hail. After storms occur, be sure to walk around your house and look at both
your roof and gutter system to check for any storm damage. Strong winds could lift up
shingles, leaving your roof decking exposed. Ensure there is no debris sitting
in your gutters that causes them to clog and not work properly. Check for any
tree branches that may have landed on your roof and could have caused damage
from the impact. The earlier you catch damage, the earlier you can have it
resolved and prevent extensive water damage.
Inspection Done By a Roofing Contractor
Before winter comes, you should have a
comprehensive inspection done of your roof to ensure that there are not any
problem areas on your roof that could lead to damage. During the roof inspection,
the contractor should take a look at:
The framework to check for any
signs of sagging.
The roof valleys since they are
prone to leaks.
All of the shingles to check for
any cracks, buckling, missing granules, curling, or missing shingles.
The flashing for any cracks or
The only way to prevent extensive and
expensive water damage from happening to your home is by being proactive with
roof inspections. The earlier you find a problem, the quicker it can be solved.
To ensure your roof is prepared for winter and
its cold weather, have a qualified roofing contractor perform an inspection to
identify any possible problem areas. ARAC Roof It Forward offers a free video
roof inspection so we can show you videos and photos of any damage on your roof
from the inside of your home. Our goal at Roof It Forward is to provide our
community with high-quality roofing solutions to keep you and your family safe
in your home. Schedule your free video inspection today!