With the winter season fast approaching, is your roof ready to handle the wrath that Old Man Winter brings with him? Here are four things you can do to start preparing your roof for the winter season:
1. Perform a Full Inspection of the Roof.
Before you can determine what preparations are necessary for your roof to tackle winter weather conditions, you first need to perform a thorough inspection. Keep an eye for any damage that occurred between your last inspection and now. Make a quick note of any damage that is seen. Look for cracked flashing, blistered shingles, broken shingles and cracks.
You can inspect the roof from the ground and/or from the roof itself. However, if you get on the roof, make sure to be careful, wear rubber-soled shoes for better grip and consider having a safety rope on-hand. Don't forget to also check inside the house for wet spots on the ceiling and damage to the underside of the roof from the attic.
2. Waterproof Your Roof
Some homeowners don't even realize that they can waterproof their roof. However, this is a good thing to do before the rain, ice and snow come in and pound your roof. Usually, the best way to waterproof your roof is when the roof is installed or replaced with an underlayment that is put down underneath the shingles. However, if this isn't in your near future, you can also waterproof the top of your shingles. You will use a roller to roll or a sprayer to spray the waterproofing compound over the shingles.
3. Clean Your Gutters
Over the fall months, there were pounds of leaves falling and not all of them made it to the ground. Instead, some of them could be sitting in your gutters. If your gutters are full of debris, including twigs and leaves, they need to be thoroughly cleaned before winter strikes. Try to keep them clean throughout the winter months because they can back up pretty quickly, resulting in serious damage to the roof before you even know what hit you.
While you're cleaning your gutters, make sure that they are all securely fastened and that the drains are properly in place to drain the water away from your home's foundation. You may also want to consider gutter guard systems that can keep debris from ever entering your gutters. If interested, speak to your roofing expert to learn more.
4. Inspect and Repair Flashing.
Flashing, the metal strips on your roof, are an important part of the structural integrity of the roof. These metal pieces of flashing are what keep your skylights, chimneys and pipes from leaking and causing damage inside the house. Therefore, you need to thoroughly inspect the flashing on your roof and ensure that it is secure. If not, it is crucial that these pieces be repaired or replaced before the weather gets too bad.
Roof maintenance is always important, but it seems to be even more vital in the time leading up to the winter months. This is because this is the time of year those most roofs take a good beating and suffer damage. If you do not feel equipped to handle the aforementioned steps on your own, contact a roofing professional in your area.