The early morning frost on the grass means that winter is right around the corner, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to start preparing your home to endure harsh weather conditions. Over the next few months your home and its roof will likely endure high winds, heavy rain, snow, ice, and rapidly increasing and decreasing temperatures. Many homeowners will either forget to inspect their roof or will simply neglect to do so for one reason or another. However, right now is one of the most important times of the year to ensure proper functionality of your roofing components.
We expect a lot out of our roofs, we expect them to always be there and to shield us from the elements, but how often do we stop and think about them or take the necessary steps to make sure they are in perfect working order? Unfortunately, when roofing failure occurs it can cause several headaches and inconveniences for your family and home, and those headaches only get worse as the temperature drops.
Before the ice and snow hit we recommend taking these steps to prepare your roof…
Check your roof for signs of damage
The single best way to prevent damage to your roof and the underlying substructure is to perform a thorough roofing inspection. It is possible to do this yourself as long as you know what to look for and are capable of safely scaling the pitches of your roof. A thorough inspection of your roof can help identify any existing damage and or trouble areas and will let you know areas need attention before they turn into major problems. We recommend checking for missing, damaged, cracked, curled or other imperfections to your roof’s shingle layer and fixing or replacing any compromised areas.
Next you will want to check the flashing surrounding your chimney, vents, and exhaust pipes. Oftentimes the rubber boots or surrounds can become cracked, and compromised allowing moisture to enter into the wooden structure of your roof. With many months of wet weather ahead, you’ll definitely want to make sure that these areas are leak proof by replacing the flashing and or temporarily repairing with waterproof caulking.
Ultimately, a roofing expert can help you identify any problems and fix these issues quickly so you’ll be ready to go for the winter.
Inspect Your Attic & Insulation
Another area that is often overlooked or neglected is the attic. It is equally as important to prepare the inside of your roof as it is the outside. We need to make sure it’s structurally reinforced and able to withstand the added weight of snow buildup. It’s also important to inspect the ventilation systems, ensuring there is no moisture buildup. plywood sheets and support beams should be closely inspected for signs of moisture and any damage that may have occurred as a result. If the physical structure of your roof becomes damaged or compromised it is only a matter of time before roofing failure occurs.
Next, we’ll need to make sure that your insulation is in good shape and shows no signs of wear due to elemental factors. Discolored insulation is often indicative of a leak and a good indicator that something needs to be repaired or further inspected. You don’t want your furnace heating your attic during the winter. When you have poor insulation in the attic, moist air gets trapped. This can cause problems like mold and wood rot. If your attic is already insulated, check to make sure the insulation is holding in place well and hasn’t been damaged by insects, rodents, or other critters that like to use insulation for nesting.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Fall is nearly over and the remaining leaves are finally dropping. Unfortunately for your roof and gutter systems, leaves, dirt, twigs, and other debris can cause clogging and flow disruption. In more extreme cases, downspouts can become blocked causing water to pool and fill up the gutters completely. When gutters hold water, they become heavy and can weaken the support brackets causing them to loosen or break. Also, pooled water can cause problems by overflowing the gutters and soaking the wood frame of your home. In the winter time this becomes even more problematic as freezing temperatures cause solid ice to fill your gutters making them dangerous and ineffective. Leaks and other problems are much more likely in the winter when you have clogged gutters, so make it a priority to clean them during the fall.
If you would like a roofing professional to help inspect and prepare your roof for winter weather, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our roofing professionals specialize in complete and thorough roofing inspections both inside and out and help keep you warm and dry throughout the winter.