Falling leaves and cooler weather bring lots of new things to add to your to-do list. With all the gift shopping, meal planning, and decorating for the holidays, who could possibly have time to do anything else? You pull out your snow boots, break out the holiday decorations, and make sure that your home and family are ready for winter, but one thing that is often forgotten around this time of year is the importance of winterizing your roof.
By taking a few simple steps to avoid winter roofing problems you can save yourself the time and headaches of winter roofing emergencies, giving you peace of mind that your home will remain safe and dry during the cold winter months.
Check Your Roofline
It’s important to check your rooflines and make sure they are straight and show no signs of dipping, curving, or sagging. If your roofline begins to show any of these signs, you should investigate immediately! A sagging roofline can be caused by framing issues or by a saturated roof deck both of which are major problems waiting to happen.
The added weight of snow and ice buildup on a structurally compromised roof can cause failure to the roof of your home. However, not all sagging rooflines are an immediate cause for concern, but if accompanied by a leak or other signs of deterioration, a repair may be necessary.
If you suspect your framing or roof deck is warped or sagging please contact a certified roofing professional to inspect your roof.
Check Chimney & Skylight Flashing For Leaks
Flashings are the strips of metal that are placed along the front edge, corners, and ridges of your roof and around your chimney and skylights. They are meant to create a watertight seal where your chimney and roof intersect. Weathered or damaged flashing that is subjected to a violent storm can start to pull away from your roof and lead to water intrusion. Oftentimes, homeowners will mistake a leaky flashing for a leaky roof when in fact they are two completely different issues.
We recommend checking to make sure your flashing doesn’t appear to be loose or damaged, and that the caulk holding it in place hasn’t cracked or deteriorated. Also, make sure to look for any signs of water intrusion near the chimney or inside the attic. If you see any signs of water inside or around your flashing, you will need to get the flashing repaired asap to avoid further damages.
Check The Attic For Signs Of Water Damage
Water damage is usually easy to see as long as you are looking in the right places. The attic is the first place inside the home that water damage may be visible. Noticing mold or water spots on the attic walls, attic floor, attic insulation, or the underside of the roof decking and trusses, are all signs of water damage caused by a compromised roofing system. Needless to say, these issues should be addressed immediately by a professional roofer so that you can get your roof back into top condition before the winter storms arrive.
Remove Debris & Clean Gutters
It is common for leaves, twigs, and other debris to accumulate on your roof and in your gutters during the fall, but if that debris is left on your roof all winter, it will collect and become waterlogged, causing clogs and water unwanted retention. If this problem is allowed to persist, you run the risk of leaks in and around your soffits that can eventually run down the inside of your walls. You can safely remove debris with a leaf blower, or with your hands, but please always remember to use every safety precaution before getting up and working on your roof.
Trim Low Hanging Branches
Winterizing your roof also involves preparing the trees near your home. Overgrown trees and foliage can cause impact damage to your roof in many ways. Broken or falling branches can puncture your shingle and underlayment and may even cause structural damage. Limbs that constantly rub the surface of your shingles or soffits can cause unwanted wear overtime and may introduce leaks that otherwise wouldn’t have formed.
Trees with low-hanging branches covered in snow and ice can snap under the additional weight and land on your roof. Trimming or removing these branches will eliminate the risk of branch-related damage all winter long. Again, as a rule, please consult a professional to help with the job and ensure that you and your roof remain safe during the process.
Get Your Roof Professionally Inspected
Roof damage can go from needing a simple repair to requiring a total roof replacement very quickly, so if you have any concerns about your roof, schedule a professional roof inspection by a certified roofing company. Professional roofing inspections will bring to light any existing problems with your roof that aren’t visible to an untrained eye.
Big League Roofing Can Help With Your Winter Roofing Needs
Winterizing your roof is a necessary step to take, but it doesn’t guarantee that your roof won’t be affected by snow and ice throughout the winter. Keep an eye out for signs of roof damage, especially after heavy storms so that you can take care of it as soon as possible, and hopefully avoid the need for more extensive repairs later on.
If you find yourself in need of a professional roofing company this winter, we’d be happy to help! Our certified team of expert roofers are highly trained and qualified to identify all roofing damage and to conduct all necessary repairs to your roof. Please don’t hesitate to schedule your free inspection today!