It’s common knowledge that harsh winters can have a negative effect on the integrity of your home. And this is especially true for your roof. In general, keeping up with your roof’s maintenance should be done year-round. However, it’s even more vital for you to ensure its stability when winter comes. There are certain winter roof maintenance tips that all homeowners should know to protect their roofs during this time of year. If you don’t pay enough attention, you may face some expensive repairs. Of course, there are things you can do even before winter arrives as precautions. For instance, installing snow and ice guards can be very beneficial for avoiding leaks during winter.
1.Remove snow right away
The first of the winter roof maintenance tips we will cover is also the most important. The biggest problem when it comes to winter roof maintenance is snow. Depending on where you live, it can pile up quickly and cause many issues over time.
Aesthetically speaking, it can look stunning. But, if you let snow sit on your roof for too long, it can start wreaking havoc on your roof. Snow is heavy, and even though it may not look like it, a pile-up of even a few inches can be a substantial load for your roof to carry.
To avoid any possible damage, you should clear your roof of snow at least once a week. Of course, if you notice that it’s building up at an even faster rate, you should try and keep up.
2. Keep an eye on your gutters
Unless they have some protection installed, gutters are usually very vulnerable to icy weather. This is why it’s crucial for you to check them as often as possible during this period. The biggest reason is that ice dams can easily form in them.
The upside of this is that it’s very easy to spot this problem. All you have to do is to look up every once in a while. The biggest tell for this are icicles which are hanging off your gutters. If you see them, you already know there is an ice buildup that you need to treat immediately.
The most common way that this can cause damage to your roof is by weakening the gutters. If they buckle under the weight of the ice, not only will you have to replace them, but they’ll also likely damage the area that they tear away from.
3.Work on your flashing
One of the most essential winter roof maintenance tips is to fix your flashing whenever you see a problem. It’s very common for people to forget about this. Roof flashing is generally very sensitive. Even if it was installed as recently as a couple of years ago, it could easily become loose or warped.
Broken or warped flashing allows snow and water to get into your roof. This will lead to leaks on the inside of your home. You can hire a roofer to check your flashing before the cold weather brings large amounts of precipitation.
This is especially important for first-time home buyers. Even seasoned homeowners sometimes forget about the flashing of their roofs. If you don’t know the current state of your roof or aren’t sure when the flashing was last replaced, it’s better to just get it inspected by a pro. This isn’t something people can do on their own without risk, especially if you are new to this and plan on setting up your first home on your own.
4.Your attic is a good tell
Checking the state of your attic is a great way to keep an eye on the condition of your roof. Your attic will be the first part of your home to show signs of leaks and other issues. So if you check it regularly, you’ll be able to spot the problems before they’ve even caused any real damage.
Another of the best winter roof maintenance tips regarding your attic is to ensure your attic’s ventilation and insulation are properly working every once in a while. Both of these things can be a big help in preventing potential issues. When executing roof maintenance, you should get up to your attic and ensure that the routes for its ventilation are clear and that your insulation is properly working.
5.Consider your risk of wind damage
In certain parts of the country, winter usually brings significant storms. Whenever a storm like that hits your area, you should check your roof. Wind damage can happen in a variety of ways. Branches that have broken off nearby trees can hit your roof and damage the shingles. Strong winds might lift your shingles away from your roof or even break chunks of it off.
If you don’t inspect and repair your roof right away, two main types of damage can occur:
- Your roof can begin to leak;
- Growths such as mold and mildew can start to develop in the damaged areas.
6.Repairs should be done right away and handled by professionals
The winter months can be very treacherous for your roof. This is why it’s imperative to fix any issue that may come up as soon as possible. With all the snow buildup, even a tiny leak can cause a lot of damage. However, you must call professionals to do any repairs that are needed. DIY roof repairs come with many risks, even when the roof is not slippery from all the ice and snow.
You can easily create an even bigger problem because of a mistake, and you can even get seriously hurt.
Determining what type of roof you have is crucial for deciding which winter roof maintenance tips you’ll prioritize over others. For instance, metal roofs are sturdy and well-suited for surviving the winter. So, regular cleaning might be more than enough. But, if you have a weaker or older roof, you might have to check everything once a week. Whatever your situation is, as long as you work on maintaining your roof properly and fixing every issue as needed, you are sure to get the most out of your roof and extend its lifespan to its absolute limit.