It’s time to prepare your home and roof for winter. Minnesota homeowners are eager to take advantage of the crisp fall days before the not the day the weatherman tells you that there will be snow on the ground! Investing time now on these steps for winter roof preparation can prevent a lot of roofing headaches as the fall season progresses.
Start preparing your roof for winter by checking inside your home for any signs of water damage.
What to Look For Inside:
There are several different areas inside your home that should be looked into. Start by checking 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 water dripping during or after a rainfall.
If the ceilings and walls look okay, it’s time to move to the attic if it is safely accessible:
Roof Structure – Is there 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 to retain their warmth. Replace any wet or damaged insulation for optimal energy efficiency.
Attic Ventilation System – Adequate attic ventilation helps to keep your roofing system protected from excessive heating and cooling cycles which can lead to ice dams and premature deterioration. 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 is an integral part of a well-built home.
What to Look For Outside:
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. Some portions of a thorough inspection may require a close look at the roof. If you cannot safely attempt this, please call in a professional contractor.
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 upcoming winter season if not repaired or replaced.
Soffit and Fascia – Check for signs of deterioration or damage. Exposed damage on soffits and fascia 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 – The flashing around your chimney and any skylights or roof vents should be free from any deterioration, breaks, or cracks in the sealant. Faulty flashing creates areas where your roof will leak, causing water damage inside your home.
Be Safe – Professional Services Available
While many of the items listed above are a simple task for some homeowners, remember that roofing professionals can be your greatest ally when preparing for winter. Roofing professionals know the early warning signs and can repair minor defects before they become major problems.
For roof repair inspection and services in the Twin Cities region, contact our team at Midwest Exteriors.