How to Gear Your Roof Up for the Winter
It’s hard enough tackling the cold and snow down on the ground. Heavy rain, hail, snow and other harsh winter conditions can leave us struggling to get to work on time, shivering on a cold street corner, or stranded at home until it’s safe to venture out again. Despite the holidays, mugs of hot chocolate and ski trips, winter is a drag.
Up on the roof, homeowners face a whole different set of challenges in the cold winter months. Common roof problems include condensation, flashing leaks, strong winds, ice dams, and icicles. Small problems turn into big ones over time. Smart homeowners think ahead to mitigate winter weather damage.
A few simple maintenance tasks can help you winterize your roof and prevent leaks, debris build-up and other roof issues this winter. While it’s best to hire a professional for a roof and attic inspection, consider the small ways you can prepare your roof, gutters and home for the freezing frenzy lurking just around the corner.
Check leaks, flashing and vents.
Did you notice water spots on the ceiling or walls? Sorry, but you probably have a leak in your roof. It’s time to grab your binoculars to assess the damage from the ground or climb up on a ladder for a closer inspection.
Start by scouting the usual suspects: missing shingles, loose vents and poorly sealed flashing. Water loves to finagle its way inside your home through these weak, leak-prone areas.
Damaged flashing likes to linger around vent stacks, chimneys and skylights, creating a world of problems when the winter hits. Fix the problem on your own or hire a certified contractor to winterize your roof and protect your home straight from the source.
Fix the leaks fast.
More than just grow mold, small leaks can rot the insulation in your home and create a number of big problems. It’s all the more reason to act on the warning signs right away and winterize your roof ASAP.
You could probably handle a small task like replacing a shingle or flashing on your own. But even the simplest roofing jobs put you in danger of a serious slip and fall.
For less than ideal weather conditions where you lack a full grasp on the situation at hand, hire a professional to take on the risk and fix the problem.
Clean and clear the roof, gutters and downspouts.
Gutters and downspouts clogged with debris are winter weather disasters waiting to happen. Even small bits of leaves, twigs, branches and dirt can hold moisture, grow mold, fungus and mildew, break down the roof membrane and allow water into your home.
Without a place to go, water from melted snow can back up and sit on your rooftop. Clogged downspouts and overflowing gutters can spill rainwater over the edge, infiltrate your home’s foundation and damage your roof, trim and siding.
If you’re feeling confident and comfortable, grab a ladder and a broom and get up on the roof. Clean the roof, gutters and downspouts, which can buckle under large volumes of water, snow, ice and debris. Pay special attention to the valleys, which are most vulnerable to water damage.
Even better, get proactive and install gutter screens or guards early in the fall to get ahead of the winter and prevent debris build-up in the first place.
Insulate and ventilate the attic.
Your attic needs adequate airflow in order to ward off leaks and high energy bills in the winter.
Without vents at the soffits, ridges and gables of your roof, hot air from daytime sunlight can build up in the attic, melt the snow on your roof and create dangerous ice dams and leaks.
When the hot air condensates, you also risk moisture damage, mold and rot in your roof’s supports. More than just winterize your roof, a certified contractor can ensure your attic breathes better to make your home safer and more energy efficient.
Schedule a professional inspection.
You can only do so much on your own before you need a pro to jump in and do the dirty work. A certified contractor has the disciplined eye and diversified expertise to diagnose and treat the most common roof problems from open or loose seams to cracked caulking to failed sealants and more.
Hiring a pro to winterize your roof saves you headaches, hazards and wasted time. And the winter is no time to put a roof and attic inspection on hold. Snow and ice quickly turn minor roof problems into major issues. An inside-out inspection performed before and after the winter season prevents unpleasant surprises and costly damage.
Hire a certified contractor.
Need more help gearing up your roof and home for the winter? Reach out to King Quality today and discover the royal treatment for you and your home.
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