Winter is fast approaching, and now is the time to make sure your roof is in good condition. Your roof protects your family from the harsh winter elements, and it’s important that it can tolerate heavy rain, wind, ice, and snow. Here are a few tips that will get your roof ready to withstand the winter season.
1. Examine Your Roof Shingles
Roof shingles will show wear and tear over time. It’s important to examine your roof as closely as possible, especially if your roof is older. A visual inspection can be done by the homeowner from ground level. Missing or loose shingles should be addressed immediately. Replacing and repairing damaged shingles is a fairly simple job for a roofing professional, but if you let it go, it can lead to roof leaks or a complete roof replacement. Other visible signs of worn shingles are curling on the edges and finding loose granules in your gutters.
2. Check the Roof and Chimney Flashing
The strip of metal between the chimney and the roof is the chimney flashing. Other points of flashing are around skylights, on the joints, and along the intersections.
Like shingles, flashing will show wear and tear with time. Made of water-resistant material such as galvanized metal or aluminum, flashing is important for helping to prevent leaks. It’s additional protection that directs water off the roof and keeps it out of your home. Inspect all flashing to ensure none of it is loose or damaged and any caulking around it hasn’t deteriorated. Leaky flashing may cause a leaky roof.
3. Look for Water Damage in the Attic
Now that you’ve checked the shingles and the flashing, check the attic. Often, this is where you’ll see the first sign that you have a roof leak. Look for wet roof decking, walls with water spots on them, and puddles on the attic floor. If you see any signs of water, it’s time to schedule an inspection with a professional and get your roof in top shape before the winter storms hit.
4. Check the Insulation and Ventilation in the Attic
An attic that isn’t adequately insulated and doesn’t have proper ventilation can lead to damage such as the formation of ice dams on the roof. Without proper insulation and ventilation, heat will leak out and cold air will enter the attic space. The heat that escapes may cause shingles to curl.
Also, as the heat melts the snow, conditions will be prime for the formation of ice dams. The water behind the dam will cause damage to ceilings, walls, and insulation. Additionally, an attic that isn’t properly maintained will result in higher energy bills.
If your attic isn’t properly insulated and it lacks sufficient ventilation, contact a professional.
5. Trim the Trees Around Your House
Trees with branches dangling near your roof will contribute to the collection of debris in your gutters and on your roof. Clogged gutters can lead to roof damage if water and melting snow can’t drain properly. Leaves, twigs, and other debris left on your roof could cause a soggy mess that can lead to water damage beneath the accumulation.
In a worst-case scenario, either high winds from a winter storm or heavy snow can break off branches that fall on your roof and damage shingles. Squirrels and other critters can gain access to your home’s attic using tree branches. Make trimming overhanging branches close to your home part of your regular roof maintenance. If you can’t safely perform these tasks, it’s best to call a roofing expert and an arborist.
6. Get a Professional Inspection
Your roof is such an important component of your home, that it’s best to schedule a roofing inspection with a professional when you have concerns. A professional can spot problems that the untrained eye can’t. If leaks and other issues are found, a team of professional roofers can take care of them before the approaching winter weather can grow the problems into much bigger ones.
If your roof needs any repairs, our team of roofing professionals at Clark's Gables Roofing in Roseville can restore your roof and prevent further damage from winter’s wrath. We use the latest high-quality shingles and offer other roofing material options as well. We address flashing leaks, dry rot, and more. Call us for a roof repair or full roof replacement if needed.