A falling leaf, changing color, and a cooler temperature are signs that winter is rapidly approaching. Many homeowners across the country know that roof care and maintenance must be performed throughout the year.
What are the best ways to prepare and maintain your roof during the cold season? By following some of these tips, you won't have to worry too much about winter. By using these strategies, you will be able to prevent potential damage to your roof and ensure that it lasts for years to come. Here are some questions and answers to get you started.
Should I Examine Shingles?
During the winter, your home is battered by heavy wind and rain. A storm can easily loosen your roof's shingles. You can determine if your shingles have been damaged by checking for signs of buckling or warping. You should consider replacing damaged shingles as soon as possible or reroofing your roof, to prevent more severe roof damage.
Compromise shingles aren't too stressful on their own, but they could signal more that are at risk of decay.
How Do I Handle Debris?
The leaves are gorgeous when they fall, but they're so annoying when they stay behind. The leaves often accumulate with twigs, leaves, and other materials. They collect in your gutters and downspouts. In addition to looking unsightly, clogged gutters also create additional moisture that can damage your roof and home interior.
Objects can create a back-up of water, causing areas to rot. Gutters facilitate the drainage of rainwater and snowmelt when it rains or melts.
Several options are available to you for removing debris. You can remove unnecessary debris with a broom or a hose attachment. First, remove the most important items, then thoroughly rinse with the hose.
Whenever water doesn't drain effectively from the downspout, there is a clog. It takes effort to clean gutters and downspouts, but it will benefit your roof in the winter. Leaf guards can be purchased to reduce or eliminate leaf buildup.
What Should I Do With Nearby Trees?
Surrounding trees by your property are always something you should concern yourself with, and they pose a threat in winter as well. Heavy limbs break off and fall on top of your roof with heavy wind and rain. Branches from trees can do some damage to shingles.
Also, you leave an entryway for possible animals to get inside your home with branches on top of your roof. Keep your trees properly trimmed to avoid these situations.
What Do I Need To Know About Insulation?
Winter roof care isn’t complete without a thorough inspection of your insulation. Did you know that wet insulation can dramatically increase your heating costs? If a more significant energy bill isn’t bad enough, the wetness also creates a haven for mold and mildew to form inside your home.
If a leak exists, make sure to fix it before replacing the insulation. Proper insulation will keep your roof working to full efficiency when temperatures drop outside.
Should I Pressure Clean My Roof In The Winter?
The wintertime isn’t a reason not to clean your roof. During this time of the year, the temperature will still be above freezing. If you wait to clean your roof, even small pieces of debris can begin to rot away your rooftop. Your roof will also start to form black streaks, algae, mold, and mildew.
The combined moisture with the drop in temperature can wreak havoc. A good pressure washing job before the temperatures drop too low will keep your roof functional this cold season. It will look a lot better also!
What Should I Look For As I Inspect My Roof?
It’s not necessary to be a roofing expert to spot possible areas of concern with your roof. If you have sagging areas on your roofline, a roofing contractor can come out to give you a solution. These situations can be worsened during the winter with either heavy wind or rain. Check the flashing around the vent or chimney where water is more likely to collect.
Can I Wait To Get A Leak Fixed?
A leak can always become a problem, but it can be devastating if it happens during winter. A roof that isn’t compromised stands a much better chance in the harsh winter environment. It’s not always easy to identify a leak, so here are a few giveaways you can be on the lookout for.
-Stains from the water on the inside walls or ceiling
-Some missing shingles along your gutters or by the downspout
The good news is that fixing a leak can be as simple as replacing a few shingles. For leaks, it’s good to be on the proactive side of things.
Should I Have A Plan For Snow?
Even in areas where it doesn’t snow as much in winter, you should still have a plan for the removal. While snow looks pretty, it can create a significant burden for your roof because of the additional weight. Also, when the temperature gets below freezing, the areas around the downspouts can begin to freeze up. This situation now could create precipitation to be drained incorrectly, which could lead to further structural concerns.
What Do I Do About The Chimney?
The winter weather is a time of that year that creates more damage than the rest of the year. The excess rainfall or melting water from snow can drip down inside the chimney’s walls. This situation creates a problem because the water can freeze as it gets colder outside. The result creates cracks inside the walls that can be expensive to repair. It’s much easier to get a chimney swept and cleaned in the summer or fall. With proper care for your chimney, you can enjoy a holiday get-together around the fire without worrying about the damage the weather could be causing.
Why Should I Know My Roof’s Age?
Do you know how old your roof is? What about the last time you had any repairs or maintenance? If you know more about your roof, it will be easier to communicate an action plan moving forward with your contractor. As mentioned earlier, it isn’t too difficult to spot some visible signs of a roofing concern. However, a professional can help winterize your roof more effectively. They are expertly trained to identify weaknesses in your along with a good action plan to keep it functioning correctly.
Should I Get A Roof Inspection?
The extreme temperatures can hold your roof hostage during the winter. Just like any other time of the year, a roof inspection could save you a lot of time and headache. Spotting problems earlier will help your wallet not take a beating with expensive repairs later on. During a professional roof inspection, the contractor will carefully examine the flashing, look for damaged shingles, and do anything else that could be costly to fix. Again, it will serve you well to schedule an inspection before freezing temperatures kick in.
Should I Hire A Professional Roofing Contractor?
It’s an excellent plan to have a reputable contractor that you can put your trust in. Once you build a rapport with that company, they know every detail about your property. Many property owners rely on professionals for winter roof care. The reasons someone would usually hire an expert are twofold. First, many individuals don’t bring the same kind of knowledge about roofs when compared to a specialist. Secondly, working in a roof is dangerous work. Many of us don’t want to risk falling which could result in severe injury or death. For the elderly population, it could be physically impossible for them to ascend and descend a ladder. In summary, a roofing expert will make sure the job is done correctly and safely. Schedule an estimate before the season begins.
What Else Do I Need To Consider?
The best tip to remember when it comes to your roof is that taking action is critical. For many, their home can be one of the most significant investments they’ll ever make in their lives. The roof is an essential component to have a fully functional household. Forgetting about small repairs for a roof only becomes more exacerbated in winter.
Winter Roof Care Made Easy!
Caring for your roof during the winter isn’t the easiest, so property owners are now prioritizing before it’s too late. Proper roof care and maintenance will help you sleep a little better during the long and cold winter. A well-trusted roofing contractor that exceeds your highest expectations can go a long way for proper roof care this season. It’s okay not to try to everything on our own. Instead, APD Roofing!
MELVYN E HUCKABY II
Lead Claims Consultant, IICRC Certified
"We are Licensed, Insured and Certified"