The time to prepare your roof for winter is now while we are enjoying our crisp fall days, not the day the weatherman tells you that there will be snow on the ground when you wake up tomorrow. Investing time now on these steps for winter roof preparation can prevent a lot of roofing headaches as the winter progresses.
Start preparing your roof for winter by playing detective inside your home. Check for signs inside your house of damage caused by past winters. When you move outside don’t forget to check the caulking around windows and doors, as well as any damage to siding, brick, or stucco.
What to Look For Inside:
There are several different areas inside your home that need to be looked at when checking your roof for winter. Start by looking at your ceilings, interior, and exterior walls for any signs of leaks. Roof leaks could show up as discolored areas or bubbling of the paint or wallpaper, flaking paint, or actual water dripping when it rains.
In Your Attic
Roof Structure - Look to see if there is any sagging or twisting to your rafters, trusses, or roof decking. These can show where the weight of previous snow has weakened your roof structure and created the potential for roof leaks.
Attic Insulation – Make sure you have an adequate blanket of insulation in your attic, helping heated areas retain their warmth. Replace any wet or damaged insulation currently in place.
Attic Ventilation System – While it may seem odd that you would want outside air flowing through your attic in the winter time, allowing the attic air to circulate maintains the health of your home while it lessens the chance of snow and ice building up on your roof.
What to Look For Outside:
Gutters – Make sure the gutters are free of all leaves, branches, and any other debris. Debris can cause water, rain, and snow to back up under your roof’s surface.
Gutter Fasteners – Fasteners can become rusted and weak due to water, ice, and past snow conditions. Faulty gutter fasteners can cause problems in the coming winter season if not repaired or replaced.
Soffit and Fascia – Check for signs of deterioration or damage. Exposed damage on soffits and fascia can lead to moisture infiltrating your roofing system and causing it to fail before its time.
Debris - Remove all leaves, pine needles, and any other types of debris, paying particular attention to the valley areas of your roof. Debris acts as a barrier to rain and melting snow and can cause the materials of your roof to break down.
Roof Surface – Inspect the materials of the roof itself for loose, broken, cracked, or other damage roofing materials. If possible have these repaired prior to the first snowfall.
Flashing – Check the flashing around your chimney and any skylights or roof vents you may have for any deterioration, breaks, or cracks in the sealant. Faulty flashing creates areas where your roof will leak, causing water damage inside your home.
While these are things that a do-it-yourselfer can do, remember that roofing professionals can be your greatest ally when preparing for winter. Roofing professionals know what to look for and can deal with small defects before they become major problems.
Midwest Exteriors Plus has Home Maintenance and Handyman Services available and can help you get your roof ready for winter. Contact us today to find out how we can help.