According to the Insurance Information Institute, winter storms caused 3 billion dollars in insured damages in 2018!
There is no denying that winter can be brutal especially on your roof. Keeping your roof in the best shape should be a year-round activity. However, when wintertime rolls around you need to be especially vigilant to ensure that your roof does not suffer damage.
Snow and extremely cold temperatures challenge the health of your roof. If you’re not careful you could end up with expensive repairs.
This means that during winter you need to safeguard your roof. Here is a look at the essential roof maintenance steps you need to take, to secure the health of your roof during winter.
1. Remove Snow Quickly
Once you notice that snow has started to build-up on your roof you should take action to remove it quickly. When snow is combined with ice it leaves a very heavy weight on your roof.
If you allow this ice and snow to remain it will form an ice dam. When these dams start to melt and refreeze this is when the real damage begins.
What usually happens is that the ice dam will melt during the day and then refreeze in the night when temperatures fall dramatically. This causes shingles to loosen. Once your shingles start loosening you will experience leaking.
It can be intimidating to go on your roof and start removing snow during the winter. This is because the roof is often very slippery. In order to avoid an accident, it is always best to call the professionals.
2. Check Your Flashing
One of the first things you should do even before wintertime begins is to check your flashing. However, even if you didn’t check your flashing before winter came around it is not too late to do it during winter. On those days when the snow is not too heavy, you can check if any of your shingles have become warped or loose.
If you find any faults then you should get them fixed immediately. If you allow snow and ice to remain near damaged flashing you are sure to get a leak.
3. How Are Your Gutters?
Gutters tend to be very susceptible to freezing weather conditions. This means that during winter you need to check them regularly.
This is because ice dams like to form in the gutters. If you see icicles hanging off your gutters this means that there is already a build-up that you need to deal with immediately.
One of the major dangers is that your gutters will simply become weak because of the weight of the ice. If this is the case your gutters could collapse.
When this happens you are looking at high repair costs. This is because not only will the gutters be damaged but the area that it tears away from is likely to become damaged as well.
The bottom line is that whenever you see ice dams forming in your gutters move swiftly to get rid of them.
4. Wind Damage Is a Real Concern
So far, the damaging effects of snow and ice have been discussed. However, wind damage is also a major concern in winter.
During the winter if you hear that a major storm is coming your way, or a major storm has passed always check your roof. Do not take it for granted that everything is all right.
When you perform this inspection look for shingles that are broken or missing. If you notice that there is damage one of two things can happen if you don’t deal with it at once.
The first and most obvious thing that will happen is that your roof will begin to leak. The second thing that can occur is that mold, mildew, and bacteria will start developing in the area where there is damage.
This can take your roof repair costs to all new heights, so repair wind damage as fast as you can.
5. Trim Trees and Remove Debris
As soon as wintertime comes around, one of the first things you should do is trim any overhanging trees.
Next, remove all debris from your roof and surrounding areas. This means that you should remove debris from flashing, downspouts, and gutters. When you remove debris, moisture does not have a chance to settle on them.
When moisture gets a chance to settle on debris it can cause rotting and mildew. This is why you need to act quickly. You can use a broom to remove debris prior to winter.
During winter removing debris often becomes a little more difficult. Since the roof will be wet and slippery. Proceed with caution or hire a professional to do it.
6. Don’t Forget Your Attic
A leaking attic or one that is poorly ventilated can create problems in the winter. If your attic is poorly ventilated it will become damp.
Before winter you need to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation so that moisture doesn’t accumulate inside the attic.
Ice dams love to form on attics. If there are any damaged shingles it can cause a leak, so when conducting your pre-winter inspections as well as inspections during winter, do not forget to take a look at how well your attic is holding up.
Final Tips on Roof Maintenance During Winter
Roof maintenance during winter is essential. When freezing weather conditions begin, it can take a toll on your roof.
The best thing you can do is to be proactive. Start doing roof inspections long before winter arrives.
However, if you did not get a chance to perform your inspections before winter, you can still prevent damage to your roof by being observant. This means that whenever you see ice dams forming on your roof you should investigate them immediately.
Remove these ice dams from your gutter as well if they start forming. If a storm is about to pass or has passed through your area perform an emergency inspection.
If you would like to have your roof repaired, please contact us.