Temperatures have already dipped below freezing in some places, so you know what that means. It’s only a matter of time before the first snow of the season arrives, if you haven’t gotten it yet. Prepping your roof for a long, cold winter takes planning. Even if your home is new, there are preventive measures you need to take prior to the first snowfall or freeze. Here are four places you need to check to make sure your roof is ready for winter.
Your shingles are the first place you need to check, and you need to check them prior to the first snowfall. Look for shingles that are cracked, peeling, raised, warped, or completely missing. While some shingles repair are easy to fix, others may need to be repaired by a professional roofer who can also identify any impending structural damage as well. Shingles are your home’s first line of protection against water and other damaging forces, so make sure they’re doing their job.
You also need to make sure your gutters are free of debris. When the temperature drops, it’s not uncommon for small animals to take up residence inside. Unfortunately, if this happens, your gutters will not drain, which can lead to a variety of issues.
If gutters are not kept clear in the winter, ice dams can potentially build up. Ice dams can cause serious damage to both the interior and exterior of your home. As they block fill the gutter and block water from draining, they can trap water on the roof. As the ice affect the lay of the shingles as well, water can find its way into the house. If it gets bad enough, you may need to contact a contractor who offers residential roof installation services for repairs.
Roof flashing is a galvanized material that’s used to direct water flow off your roof. It’s usually installed around chimneys and vents. When functioning properly, it keeps excess water from accumulating on your roof. Take note of the flashing and inspect for areas of disrepair. Any areas of separation and buckling need to be addressed immediately.
Though not really part of the roof, your chimney also needs inspected and cleaned prior to winter. Just like your gutters, your chimney is another place for birds and other small animals to hibernate. Clear out any nests or other debris prior to turning on your heat for the first time. This is even more important if your home is heated by gas and uses the chimney as a vent.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so now’s the time to prep your roof. If you do identify any issues and can’t repair them alone, enlist the help of a qualified roofer before Old Man Winter makes his debut.