As the winter season quickly approaches, it’s important to take the necessary steps to prepare your home for the cold weather. One of the most critical areas to focus on is your roof, as it protects your home from the elements. A quality roof also offers insulation, which keeps your home warm.
Here are a few tips on how to properly prepare your roof for winter:
Inspect Your Roof
The first step is to inspect your roof and look for any damage or leaks. Having a professional inspection from an expert such as Roof Plus ensures that all issues are detected and addressed accordingly. However, you can also independently inspect the roof for damage or wear. Some of the issues to look out for are:
- Out of place or missing shingles
- Accumulated debris
- Signs of squirrels
- Rusted or curled shingles around chimneys
- Missing, dry, or cracked caulking around vents, skylights, and the roof eaves
After the inspection, address all the issues to ensure the roof is in excellent condition for winter.
Cleaning the gutters is an essential step when preparing your roof for winter. Leaves and other forms of debris can back up into the roof drains, causing flooding. This can cause extensive damage, which will require professional help to fix. As you clean the gutters, remember to remove debris on the ground directly below the gutters as well. Doing so ensures that nothing is blocking the drains, which can cause water to back up into your roof. Additionally, remove any leaves or debris that may have accumulated on your roof during autumn. Leaves can cause extensive damage to your roof over time. They can get caught in shingles and gutters, leading to clogging and water backing up into your home.
Insulate Your Attic
Having an insulated attic space will keep your home warm during winter. You can independently add the insulation or hire a company to do it for you. The insulation will reduce your energy bills as there will be little to no heat loss. Proper insulation also prevents condensation buildup, which can cause water damage if it freezes. Adequate insulation also keeps pests out of the attic – one of the biggest causes of roof damage.
Add Extra Support to Your Roof
Another crucial step in preparing your roof for winter is providing extra support where needed. Roof support is vital if you have an area on your roof that is particularly vulnerable to heavy snowfall. Installing extra support in the vulnerable areas will help reduce damage caused by snow, such as leaks, cracks, and falling shingles. Ways to reinforce the roof include:
- Adding roof insulation
- Installing snow guards
- Reinforcing roof trusses
- Installing ice and water shield underlayment
Cut Low Hanging Branches Near the Roof
Cut any low-hanging branches away from the roof to avoid damage from winter weather. Heavy snow and ice can easily cause branches to snap and fall onto the roof, which can cause extensive damage.
Pay Attention to the Chimney Flashing
Chimney flashing creates a waterproof sealing protecting the roof and the chimney from water damage. Inspect the flashing and replace or repair any damaged areas. This is especially important if you notice that water leaks into your chimney. Ensure that the chimney stack cap (the top) is securely fastened as well.
Winterize Your Sprinkler System
If you have a sprinkler system on your roof, make sure it’s winterized before the first cold hits. Having a winterized system will protect the system from damage caused by cold weather. You can winterize the system yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. To winterize the system:
- Shut off the water source
- Drain the water from the pipes
- Remove the sprinkler heads and store them in a safe place
- Replace any broken or cracked pipes
- Cover the valve box with insulation
Preparing Your Roof for Winter is Important
Preparing the roof for the colder weather not only keeps your house warm but reduces roof damage over time as well. You’ll have more peace of mind and avoid more costly repairs, prolonging the roof’s life and saving you money in the long run.