Preparation Provides Protection
With fall already upon us, winter will be here before we know it. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until serious damage occurs to think about your roof. Critical roof repairs are much more difficult during the winter, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Before it gets too cold, here are four proactive steps you can take to reduce the risk of major roofing problems during the winter while extending the life of your roof.
As leaves collect on your roof this fall, they will eventually clog your gutters. When water overflows due to clogs, it can damage your roof, trim, and siding. The additional weight of this water can also compromise the structural integrity of your gutters and roof. Because of this, it’s essential to ensure that your gutters remain clear of leaf debris throughout the fall season. If you want to take an extra step to prevent clogged gutters, fall is a great time to install gutter screens or gutter guards. By keeping your gutters clear throughout the fall season, you can be confident that they’ll be ready to drain the upcoming winter snowmelt and next year’s springtime rains.
Besides just keeping your gutters clear, cleaning debris off of the roof itself is important for maintaining a structurally sound roof system. As the autumnal winds knock leaves, pine needles, sticks, and branches onto your roof, take the time to clear it off. This debris holds moisture and can potentially rot or mold, damaging roofing material. Clearing your roof of debris also ensures optimal water flow for proper drainage.
While you’re up there cleaning your roof and gutters, it’s wise to go ahead and perform a visual inspection of your roof. Check for any missing, cracked, or damaged shingles. Look for any areas that are more prone to leaking like chimney, vents, and skylights. If the sealant is cracking or missing on any of these structures, replace it to reduce the chance of wintertime leaks. Don’t forget to also check for leaks and moisture buildup in the attic as part of your visual inspection.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you’ll be able to determine from a visual roof inspection. For homeowners, the fall is a great time to have a professional roofing company inspect your roof to avoid any winter roofing disasters. Business owners may want to schedule a commercial roofing contractor to perform a more thorough inspection, especially if you have a waterproof roofing membrane.
3. Insulate and Ventilate
While you’re visually inspecting the attic, check insulation to make sure that you’re living space keeps heat in. Heat escaping from your home can melt and refreeze ice and snow on your roof, resulting in ice dams that compromise the integrity of your roof. Make sure all pipes, vents, chimneys, and light fixtures in your attic are well insulated to protect your roof while saving money on energy bills.
Proper attic ventilation is also critical to maintaining a healthy roof throughout the winter. An attic that isn’t adequately ventilated can trap moisture in your attic which increases the chances that water damage, mold, and rot will damage your roof infrastructure. Ventilation also allows cooler air to enter the attic, reducing the chances that snowmelt will freeze and harm your roof.
Fall is a great time to invest in a roof rake for winter. The average roof can handle up to four feet of snow before compromising its structural integrity. We get a lot of snow here in Minnesota, and that snow can quickly start building up on your roof. By using a roof rake to remove snow before it packs down, you remove additional strain while preventing snow from melting and freezing on your roof.
We can cover all of your winter preparation needs from home gutter cleaning to larger commercial roofing services. If you need help with getting your roof ready for wintertime in a timely manner, contact Rainville Carlson today.