How to Prepare your Roof for the Winter Months
We’ve had a relatively mild winter so far, but that could change pretty quickly, which is why it is so important to prep your roof for the possibilities of heavy ice and snow. Both of these things can cause tremendous damage to your shingles, warp, and damage the rafters and trusses of your roof, and can add more cost to your heating bill because of heat lost through your roof, which is why it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s extremely necessary that homeowners inspect their roofs before it’s covered in ice and snow. One solution for protecting your roof is by installing an attic ventilation system. These systems make sure your roof doesn’t collect ice and snow, by circulating air into your attic. Attic ventilation systems also can save you up to 30% on energy bills, so you really can’t go wrong by having one installed.
Another major danger that is commonly overlooked is gutter systems that are jammed with leaves, branches and other material. Giving your gutters a once-over before winter sets in isn’t an easy job, but the rewards are absolutely worth the effort once it’s done.. Water, snow and ice can stand on your roof, so it is very important that water is given a proper exit from your roof through your gutters. Otherwise it’s very possible for leaks to occur. A homeowner should also inspect the fasteners on their gutters, when not properly attached; gutters can overflow and build up, resulting in the walls of your home being damaged from water leaks. Checking the quality of the installation job on your gutters is just as important, checking that there gutter fasteners are securely in place, and make sure that the gutters are attached tightly and securely to your home.
Another culprit that often causes roofs to leak is debris, limbs, and leaves that lay in the valleys of roof lines. It never hurts to do a thorough walk through of your roof; make sure all the valleys are free and clear of any debris that can add weight and act as a barrier to rain and melting snow. Valleys in roofs are often the most common place a roof leak can occur; make sure that shingles and roofing materials are adequately protecting this high-prone area for leaks. The primary cause for leaks and damage related to roofing is due to problems with flashing. Flashing is made up of aluminum sheet metal, that protects the edge of the roof, it protects your under roofing from the weather. Flashing is also used around vents on your roof, piping and chimneys. Flashing can come loose or tear if exposed to high winds or extremely heavy rains. Inspecting your flashing is very important, if it is damaged you’re at high risk for expensive problems. If during your inspection you find flashing that looks like it might not be in optimal condition, it is best to replace it, and not have to worry about having to repair or replace your entire roof during the winter months. Flashing is inexpensive to replace and the benefit of having a well protected roof.
Besides just the roof a homeowner should check windows to make sure they are properly sealed, they can also be a major problem, and leaks can stem from them. Also don’t forget to check outside doors on attic insulation, the best time to check for problems with your roof is during the Spring or early Fall before severe weather hits.