If your roof has any known problems, you are probably a little nervous right now. With winter just around the corner, you know that your roof is going to take a pounding. We should mention that those who live in areas that are warm year-round might want to go ahead and skip this article. This one is intended for those of us who need to worry about the snow and ice of old man winter, and he is a crabby old man indeed.
Let’s look at seven of the best ways to protect your roof during the winter. These are precautions that you can take right now to ensure that you don’t end up with a collapsed roof and a living room full of snow.
1. Get An Inspection
As a first step, you should get a roof inspection. This is likely to cost a little bit of money, but not nearly as much as a collapsed roof. Thus, you should look at this as a wise investment. If you cannot afford such an inspection, then you should do a little research and do the inspection yourself to the best of your ability. We do not recommend that you climb onto your roof and attempt to fix things yourself. That is highly dangerous and should be done by professionals. However, if you insist on doing things the hard way, at least follow these safety rules.
2. Check And Repair Any Loose Shingles
Regardless of who does the inspection, the first thing you want to check for is loose shingles. When a roof is beginning to deteriorate, loose shingles will often be some of the first signs. If you find any shingles that are loose, it goes without saying that you should re-attach them or replace them if necessary.
Once you have done that, you need to take a look at the area underneath the damaged shingles. Go into your attic and inspect the area from below. It is possible that those shingles came loose as a result of strong wind or incorrect installation, but there could also be a problem with the roof underneath. If you don’t check for this, make sure your inspector does.
3. Make An Emergency Plan
We made a joke earlier about the possibility of a roof collapsing from the snow. Although that was a joke, it can actually happen in certain circumstances. If you combine a dilapidated roof with very heavy snowfall, the result could be disastrous.
Even though a full collapse is unlikely, it pays to be prepared. Make sure that you know what to do in the event of such a catastrophe. You will probably need to have an alternate place to live while the repairs are being made, and you will need to make arrangements for repairs to begin as soon as possible. Talk to a trusted roofing contractor and ask them about setting up some kind of a quick-response plan.
4. Add Some Extra Insulation
During the winter, you need to be stingy with your home’s heat. Rather than allowing it to drift away through the vents in the attic, you should try to hold onto that warm air as much as possible. Of course, a home still needs good ventilation, even in winter, so what do we do about this?
The answer is to double up on insulation. You don’t need to plug up your vents, but you might want to cover them partially. By adding an extra layer of insulation to the attic, you will help your home to keep its heat locked in, which should produce a nice little discount on your electric bill.
5. Clean Out All The Gutters
There’s not much need to explain this one. If your gutters have a lot of leaves and debris in them, guess what? It’s going to freeze in place when sub-zero weather arrives. Just try getting it out then! All jokes aside, you need to get those leaves and debris out of there so that meltwater from the roof can flow properly.
6. Trim Any Nearby Trees
You should not be allowing any tree limbs to grow right next to your home, but many people do it anyway. Trees are much more likely to drop their branches in the winter, and a large enough branch can certainly take out your roof. All you really need to do here is walk around outside, take a quick look, and trim any limbs that might hit your house if they fall. Most homeowner’s insurance will cover tree damage, but no one needs the hassle.
7. Change Your Attic Windows
Since you have already improved the insulation in your attic, you might as well go ahead and finish the job with some energy-efficient windows. When your home loses warm air, the heating unit will have to work harder in order to make up the loss. That’s why you can lower your electric bill with better insulation and energy-efficient windows. It is a fact that windows and doors are the biggest escape points for warm air. It is estimated that up to one-third of all the heat you produce will be lost in this way unless you install some well-sealed windows to combat the problem.
When you read the above steps, you can see that most of them are not particularly hard. Although you will need to make a project of this, it shouldn’t take very long to get all seven of these issues addressed. At the same time, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk to a roofing contractor that you trust (if possible) to get any additional ideas.
If you come to a point where you feel as if you are wasting your time and effort, just think about how much it would suck to wake up and find your bed filled with snow from a collapsed roof? Worse yet, imagine if it falls on you, and you don’t wake up at all? That might be a morbid thought, but it should get you motivated, and that’s the whole point of this article! If we have succeeded in motivating you, please fill out the contact form below.