10 Tips for Winter Roof Maintenance
While it is important to maintain your roof all year long. It is especially important when temperatures drop and you want to be inside more. A well-maintained roof will prevent you from, as most of our parents would say; “heating the whole outdoors!” Because a well-maintained roof is an energy-efficient roof. So how do you keep everything in shape in colder weather? Below we will discuss 10 tips for winter weather maintenance.
Tip #1: Remove Snow As Soon As Possible
As pretty as a snow-covered roof may be, snowfall is hard on roofs. It creates added weight and the constant moisture can cause a slew of other issues like ice dams (discussed below). Water can become trapped in between shingles and cause them to loosen or become damaged. This loosening not only weakens your roof but exposes you to a higher risk of indoor leaks. In extreme cases, enough accumulated snow can cause a roof to cave in under the stress of the weight! If you can safely get up there with a broom or shovel and clear it, do it.
Tip #2: Ice Dams
Ice dams are where the snow melts when temperatures warm up (usually during the day) but refreezes when the temperature drops again (usually at night). This causes the ice to form a dam around your gutters. If the water freezes there the snow has no place to go when it melts increasing the risk of leaks. Not to mention standing water is a general no-no in terms of home maintenance. Since it can eventually cause rot and damage that can leak inside. If you find yourself with ice dams there are tools to help break them into smaller pieces but it’s much safer to avoid them in the first place.
Tip #3: Check for Icicles
Again they are pretty but can be a sign of serious issues. Icicles are often the result of backup from the aforementioned ice dams. Even if your gutters aren’t damned up, the extra weight puts unnecessary stress on your gutters and joints from the weight. The water expanding can also speed up wear and tear on your gutters costing you more in the long run. So if you see icicles check for ice dams.
Tip #4: Check Shingles and Repair Flashing
No matter how well your roof was installed, normal wear and tear can loosen shingles and flashing over time. Flashing are the long strips of metal roofers place around the corners, front edges, and ridges of your roof also around your chimney and skylights if you have them. They are there to ensure those corners and holes are sealed uptight. Shingles or flashing loosening can allow more water and moisture to seep in. This can eventually cause interior leaks. Often these interior leaks cost much more to fix than the initial repair.
Tip #5: Check Your Attic
A well-maintained attic with proper ventilation can seriously help the longevity of your roof. Poor ventilation and insulation can expose your roof to more risks for things like ice dams. Also since heat rises your attic is the warmest part of your home. You don’t want to lose out on heating due to poor airflow.
Tip #6: Clear Debris
Snow and ice aren’t the only things that end up on the roof. When autumn hits or before an expected storm, go up and clear off things like leaves, pine needles, the neighborhood kids’ frisbees, and just overall dirt that accumulates on your roof and in your gutters over time. These bits of debris if left unchecked can actually make snow damage worse. These small pieces get trapped in the water and ice and can start to rot. This rot can seriously damage your roof long term leading to leaks and other damage.
Tip #7: Wind Damage
Now, this isn’t an issue unique to winter but it can be exacerbated by cold and wet conditions. Winter winds have a nasty habit of ripping shingles off, this can lead to snow leaks causing water damage. Any holes will be much more apparent when a cold chill goes whipping through your home. Again costing you on heating. The good news is ripped-off shingles tend to be easy to spot against the white of the snow.
Tip #8: Trees
Winter winds are great and ripping apart trees. The added weight from ice and snow can weigh down these limbs until they break. Whatever the cause, falling limbs are dangerous to both humans and roofs. The weight and impact of the fall can cause serious damage and even cave-ins. To try to avoid this keep nearby trees well maintained. A healthy limb may still fall but it’s less likely to than a dead or dying limb.
Tip #9: Condensation
When the cold air outside meets the warmth of your home condensation occurs. This build-up of moisture in the air can lead to interior damage like mold and mildew. Which is the last thing you want when you are stuck inside since both can cause serious health issues. Another reason why attic maintenance is so important since, while this can happen in any part of the home, attics are a prime target. Especially if they are poorly insulated or have bad airflow since this exacerbates the problem. This can also lead to mold and mildew on your roof itself. While less hazardous to your health it is unsightly and can cause long-term damage.
Tip #10: Hire a Professional
We get it, heights are scary and not everyone wants to go up onto a roof with a broom or shovel. If you are concerned about the integrity of your roof, a professional inspection is never a bad idea. They can see potential leaks and warps much better than the average homeowner. When in doubt ask a professional. Your roof is probably going to cost less than your medical bills. It is also more easily replaced than you!
Give us a call today at (636) 699-0449 or request your free inspection today. If you’re in the St. Charles County area and looking for an experienced roofing and siding contractor, we are bringing forth over 20 years of experience in the roofing industry. That’s something you can trust and especially if we’re in your neck of the woods.