How to Prepare Your Roof For Winter

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Are you considering winterizing your home in preparation for the cold weather?

Not preparing the roof for winter could be a costly oversight. When preparing your house for winter, ensure that you start by preparing your roof for harsh winter conditions.

With proper roof maintenance, you can ensure that your home stays warm, dry, and comfortable before the cold weather sets in. It also prevents expensive, unexpected repairs that may be caused by leaking and ice dams.

Below are six tips to help you prepare your roof for winter:

Repair All Damaged Shingles

Any missing, loose, or damaged shingles from your roof could be disastrous during winter. That’s because they expose your home to water damage and leakage if they aren’t repaired before winter. If you have broken shingles, water may slip through and find its way into your house.

On the other hand, if there are any loose shingles on your roof, strong winds could blow them off, leaving you with an exposed roof. While it’s easy to repair several damaged shingles on your roof that are easy to reach, it’s advisable to contact a roofing technician if the damage is too extensive.

A roofing company will have highly experienced professionals to help you manage the repair process.

Trim Tree Branches Near the Roof

Winter is often quite harsh, with strong winds and falling snow. If you still have untrimmed trees near your roof, you could incur roof damage once the strong winter winds, snow, and ice arrive. No matter how much you love those trees, any overhanging branches near your roof could be risky to the roof’s overall structure.

For example, if there are any bad storms during winter, the overhanging tree branches near the roof could break off and hit the roof, inflicting severe damage to your home. When trimming the trees, ensure you hire a professional to do the work. Handling such a task without the necessary qualifications is a recipe for disaster.

Improve Your Attic Ventilation

Your roof sits right on top of the attic. Therefore, improving attic ventilation is an essential tip to get your roof ready for winter. This is because proper attic ventilation will reduce the risk of ice dam formation on the roof during winter.

The first step to improving ventilation is checking whether you have enough air flowing into the attic. The best way to do this is by closing up all the openings in the attic. Then hold a small piece of tissue towards your exhaust vents.

The tissue should help you see whether there is any air movement coming from the vents. Lack of air movement means that the ventilation in your attic is blocked by either the accumulation of dust or insulation. In some cases, you may notice that the vents have been painted shut by the previous homeowners.

Fortunately, the solution to this problem is easy. All you need is to remove insulation to unblock the vents. This is an easy project that you can carry out yourself as long as you have the right tools for the job.

Clean Downspouts and Gutters

Most people don’t know why you should clean the downspouts and gutters when preparing your roof for cold weather because they aren’t a part of the roof. However, cleaning and clearing the gutters will help you prevent clogging, resulting in disastrous ice dams on the roof.

When ice accumulates on the eaves and gutters, it often forms damaging ice dams. Unfortunately, the continuous freezing and thawing of the ice dams may result in roof damage. As the cycle continues, it blocks your roof drainage and leads to the separation of shingles from your roof.

This creates spaces that act as the entry point for water and moisture. Cleaning the downspouts and gutters is an easy process that you can handle yourself. However, if you’re not up to the task, it’s advisable to contact a reputable roofing service near you and have a professional handle the job.

Additionally, if you live in a two-story or taller house, it’s safer to contact a professional.

Add Insulation

When you’re checking for proper ventilation in the attic, also remember to include roof insulation. You could be living in a home with damaged or missing roof insulation that could lead to ice dam formation on the roof.

During winter, hot air from the house will move to the attic space because of a lack of insulation to block the heat transfer. The hot air will melt the snow on your roof after hitting the roof deck. Once the temperature drops at night, the melted snow turns into ice.

To prevent this, ensure you replace damaged insulation and install missing ones. Unfortunately, this requires the skill set of a professional as it’s too dangerous to handle on your own.

Install a Heat Cable

Have ice dams been an issue on your roof before? Adding a heat cable will be helpful, especially if your roof is prone to ice dams. A heating cable is useful for preventing ice dams on your gutters and downspouts too.

Fortunately, adding a heat cable isn’t a difficult task; you can do it as a DIY project at home. However, this is only practical if you live in a one-story building. Two or more stories require you to call in professionals to handle the job as it’s quite dangerous for you to do it.

Additionally, you should hire a snow removal service to help you get rid of snow on your roof during winter. Accumulated snow could be a major risk factor for roof damage, ice dams, and leaks.  

Follow the Above Roof Maintenance Tips

Roof maintenance is an essential part of preparing your home for winter. With the onset of the winter months, the weather becomes colder, and the winds become stronger. Once this happens, there is no denying that the roof will be put to the test against the harsh winter conditions.

Fortunately, following the above helpful tips for winter roof maintenance will ensure that your home is ready by winter. It will also give you confidence that you and your family will be safe in your home throughout winter.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out other posts on our site for more informative tips.

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