Winter can be a magical time of the year for most people, but for some homeowners, it can be a nightmare in the spring. Getting your roof ready for the winter is no different than having maintenance done on your furnace before old man winter arrives. A few hours of maintenance and simple repairs on your roof before winter approaches can save thousands in costly home repairs in the springtime.
For homeowners who live in snowy regions, pre-winter maintenance for your roof is even more paramount. Neglected roofs that are subjected to heavy snow, freezing rain, and ice are ten times more likely to have a variety of problems. Water leakage can occur during the winter months when the sun’s temperature is warm enough to melt ice and snow or toward the end of the season as it melts away for good.
However, the damage caused by a lack of maintenance far exceeds just water stains on your ceilings. The damage can create some hidden dangers in your attic as well. Wet insulation and framing members provide the perfect home for mold and bacteria to grow. Additionally, the damage can extend from fully renovating a room to replacing attic and wall insulation, roofing materials, fascia boards, and gutter systems.
To avoid potential damage to your roof and home, use the five winter maintenance tips below:
Tip #1: Clean the Debris Off
If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder and walking your roof, you should hire a professional roofer for your winter maintenance. On the other hand, if you’re not bothered by heights, use a broom and clear off any pine needles, leaves, and other debris. Removing debris is very important because it can create a water dam and cause water to pool. Areas such as valleys, skylights, chimneys, and vents are more likely to collect debris and need to be cleaned off before winter arrives.
Tip #2: Cleaning Your Gutters
If you’re not fortunate enough to have a leaf-guard gutter system on your house? There’s no doubt by the end of fall, there will be debris trapped in your gutters. It’s important to remove the leaves, pine needles, and small branches as well as the heavy sludge settled on the bottom. Once the leaves have been removed, you can use a garden hose and spray the sludge toward the downspouts. Neglected gutters can create a host of problems such as interior leaks, ice dams, loose fascia boards and detachment of the gutter system itself from the house.
Tip #3: Make Necessary Repairs
Once the roof and gutter system is properly cleaned, this is a good time to fix any loose fascia boards and hangers supporting your gutter system. Instead of using the same size screw that backed out of the hole, use a slighter longer screw in its place or start a new hole for better reattachment. For your roof, replace any missing or damaged shingles and look for breaches in sealants around fixtures such as skylights and chimneys. There are a variety of silicone sealants that can be used to fill gaps and cracks to protect your home against leakage.
Tip #4: Inspect Your Attic
Climbing into an attic may not be a pleasant experience for most homeowners; however, a simple inspection can tell you if the integrity of your roof has been compromised or not. Using a good flashlight, inspect the trusses and plywood for signs of moisture and black or green mold. You should also look carefully where the fixtures go through the roof for signs of daylight. If you do see a breach, it should be repaired immediately, and there’s also a good chance the insulation underneath the breach will be wet and replaced as well.
Tip #5: Check for Proper Ventilation
If you don’t have adequate ventilation in your attic, your chances of roof leaks occurring greatly increases. You will also be paying a lot more to heat your home in the winter or to keep it cooler in the summertime. When the sun hits your roof in the winter, it will heat the air trapped in your attic. Without proper ventilation in the gable ends, soffits or ridge, the hot air will condense, which can create moisture problems such as rot and mold damage on your framing members. Ventilation is key to having an energy-efficient roof as well as proper insulation.
How to Get a Worry-Free & Energy Efficient Roof
The best method for getting a worry-free and energy-efficient roof is to consult with a professional roofing contractor. Most roofing contractors offer routine roofing maintenance as a part of their extended services. You can expect to pay a set amount annually for these types of services; however, not only will they keep your roof in top shape? They can also help to make your roof more energy-efficient, saving you time and money.
If you want more information on winter maintenance tips or help with a variety of roofing services? Please take the time to fill out the contact form below, and your inquiry will be answered shortly.