Harsh winter weather can bring with it home damage, especially when it comes to your roof. Your roof is a key element of your home, offering protection, increasing comfort and making sure your house is structurally sound. Once problems start with your roof, they can quickly move to other areas, wreaking havoc on your home. The last thing you want is to have to get repairs done to your roof mid-winter, so take a look at 5 steps to winter-proof your roof before the snowy season arrives!
1. Trim Your Trees
Before we’re hit full force by winter, make sure to trim any tree branches that are close to your home. Severe winter weather like high winds and hail can cause branches to fall off your trees and hit your roof, leading to extensive damage. All tree branches should be trimmed before winter, but be especially wary of ones that are overhanging or that actually touch your roof.
2. Check Your Gutters to Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams can occur when your gutters are clogged. Since gutters hold water and moisture, when the cold weather strikes, the water freezes, which can lead to significant problems. The ice can damage your roof over time, and also prevents snow from fully melting and running through your gutters. Check your gutters to make sure they’re clean and that water isn’t blocked from running through them. Another step you can take to help prevent your roof from ice dams is installing proper attic venting and insulation. Warm air coming from your ceiling can cause the snow to melt, run down the roof and freeze, creating havoc-wreaking ice dams.
3. Deal With Existing Leaks
If you’re aware of any existing leaks in your home, especially ones in your attic or roof, it’s crucial to fix them as soon as possible. Check to see if any shingles are damaged, cracked or missing, and if so, make it your top priority to replace them. Head to your attic and use a flashlight to look for signs of water stains or dripping. Fix any leaks you find, or else moisture from the snow can get into your house causing water damage to your home.
4. Check the Shingles and Flashing
Your roof’s shingles and flashing can both be culprits of leaks. Check your roof for any shingles that need to be replaced, and inspect the flashing to ensure it’s in good condition. The flashing is what connects your roof to other features of your home such as skylights, chimneys, windows and vents. If you find that you need to replace any flashing, ensure that it’s properly installed by a professional, or else you run the risk or more leaks in your home.
5. Check for Sagging Roof Areas
Another important thing to do before winter weather hits is check your roof for sagging areas both inside and outside your home. Look at your roof line and check if there are any areas that are bending or sagging. Also take a look from the inside. When you’re in the attic, can you see the roof sagging inward? The extra weight of snow and ice on your roof will only make the issue worse, so make sure to check before winter, and if you notice any sagging, get a professional in to inspect your roof and offer a solution.
Make sure your roof is winter-proof! Take these preventative measures before the snowy season hits!