3 Simple steps to Prepare Your Roof for the Winter
It’s essential to protect your home’s first line of defense during its most vulnerable season, the winter. If you live in a climate that entails heavy snow, hail, and sleet you should take extra care when preparing for the harsh weather. However, no matter where you live, your roof will take a beating during the winter months. Learn how to prepare your roof for winter with these three simple steps every fall.
Clean Your Roof
The first step in preparation is to clean. You should clear your roof of leaves and branches. If this junk stays in place, it will facilitate mold and mildew when left in contact with moisture. If you are able to walk on your roof, you’ll have no problem cleaning it off with a broom or leaf blower. If your roof is steep or you are uncomfortable being up there, hire a professional.
Additionally, you’ll have to rid your gutters of the same debris. If your gutters remain clogged, the water that runs off of your roof during rain and snow will flood the drainage system. A flooded gutter will cause puddles to form on the roof. Water sitting on your roof will cause irreversible damage to your shingles and will cause leaks and depressions. This can be a DIY project if you’re comfortable but, you can also have this done professionally.
Check for Exterior Damage
You’ll have a better view of the condition your roof is in after you have cleaned it. With the cold, wet weather approaching, be sure your roof is in tip-top physical shape by checking for damage on your roof. The two most visible signs of damage will be missing, cracked or stripped shingles and cracked, rusty flashing (the sheets of metal between shingles and around chimney/vents).
You can tell if your shingles are damaged simply by their appearance. If they are not all the same size, color and texture, the odd ones out are likely weathered. While shingle reparation is better off done by a professional, if you do your research, you can do it yourself. The flashing that supports your roof can be impossible to see but if your roof allows, make sure it does not have dents or cracks.
Check Interior Insulation
Check your insulation because heating your home is expensive! During the winter, you will lose money on heat as it seeps out of your home. That makes the fall season an ideal time to probe your insulation for weak spots. Grab a flashlight, head to your attic. If you have visible insulation, ensure there is not any damage or holes. If you can’t see, you should feel. Feel your insulation to make sure it is not harboring any moisture, as this can be a sign of an active leak or water damage. Your roof protects your house, so protect your roof!