As a homeowner, you should understand the importance of the roof. From protecting your interior from the outdoor elements to being a key component in your home's construction and overall appeal, your roof is one of the most essential parts of the house. Unfortunately, you may not realize how much time and energy should go into maintaining your roof. Considering that winter can wreak havoc on your home, preparing your roof for the freezing temperatures and possible wintry precipitation is imperative. With this guide, you will know where to start prepping your roof for the harsh winter season.
Trim the Trees
You may be wondering what the trees in your yard have to do with your roof, but focusing on your landscape will help you protect your roof through the winter. Freezing rain, snow, ice, and wind gusts that are common in the winter will weigh down trees, causing limbs and branches to fall onto your roof. In addition, trees that are already weak from age, pests, or disease will likely fall, increasing the risk of roof damage, leaks, and costly water damage. Most homeowner's insurance policies will cover the cost to repair any damage, but you may need to pay a deductible of up to $1,000.
To protect your roof, walk around your home and inspect all trees and large shrubs that may fall. Use pruning shears to trim trees with haphazard branches and limbs before they fall onto your home.
If you have a smaller lot and your neighbor's trees are leaning onto your property, discuss the risk of damage with them. Work with your neighbors to remove and trim any trees that could become problematic.
Inspect Shingles for Distress
You should also inspect your roofing shingles before the winter weather starts. If you are uncomfortable climbing onto your roof, consider hiring a roofing contractor to complete this task.
If any shingles are missing, loose, or warped, your roof will be at risk of leaks that can cause serious water damage inside your home. Water damage is not only devastating to the construction of your home; it can also increase the risk of mildew or mold growth. This growth of mildew or mold can affect you and your family's health dramatically, causing serious allergic reactions and breathing difficulties.
You and your contractor should also inspect the vents and flashing on your roof. If the vents are loose or clogged with debris or your flashing is not properly sealed, your home will likely experience roofing leaks, especially during the harsh winter.
Repair Roofing Issues
In the fall, leaves, pine cones, and pine needles will fall from trees onto your roof. Make sure to clean all of this debris off your roof before the winter weather begins. Replace any shingles that are missing or damaged, as well. Make sure to check the surface under the shingles for signs of water damage. If it feels wet or you are able to push your hand through the surface, your roof is already leaking. Also check the interior of your home for signs of leaks. Spots, stains, and bubbling on the ceiling or walls are sure signs that there is a leak that needs to be addressed immediately.
Focus On Gutters
Last, but not least, you must clean your gutters and downspouts after all the leaves, pine cones, and pine needles have fallen from the trees around your home. If your gutters are clogged, water will not be able to run off your roof and away from your home's foundation.
After rain, water will puddle up on your roof, increasing the risk of a leak. When temperatures drop in the winter, this water will freeze, increasing the weight on your shingles, which will most likely result in a leak.
With a few simple steps, you can protect your roof from serious damage this winter. Contact your roofing contractor to schedule a full inspection before you experience stressful leaks and expensive repairs.