Maybe it’s the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Maybe it’s the harsh weather conditions. Or, perhaps it’s that the rest of the world is frozen in time, deep in hibernation. Whatever the reason, it seems like the exterior of our homes is often overlooked and forgotten during the winter months.
Even though it’s not the top of our “winter bucket list,” winter roof care should at least be on your radar this winter. Because it’s so often neglected, there are a lot of folks who don’t really know the first thing about winter roof care. Just like the other three seasons, there are a few important things to remember. Here is our list of do’s and don’ts of winter roof care.
Do Remove Leaves and Debris Before Snow Falls
Before those winter storms roll in, make sure your roof is clear of leaves, pine needles, and other debris. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that when a storm hits, the moisture won’t have an extra grip on your roof. If debris is allowed to accumulate on the roof, all of those little pieces can become water-logged and will eventually rot. This leaves your roof vulnerable to leaks and other damage like mold.
Don’t Ignore Your Gutters
If your gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris, water will accumulate. When temperatures dip again at night, the trapped water will freeze. First, this is problematic because if they’re filled with ice, your gutters can become weakened, unable to hold all of the weight of the ice. This often results in the gutters tearing away from the home, creating structural damage and a major repair bill come spring. Keeping gutters clear in winter is also important because clogged gutters lead to ice damming in your downspouts and gutters. Ice dams keep constant moisture around your home, which can damage your home’s siding and foundation. One rule of thumb is that if you see icicles hanging off the gutters, you likely already have debris build-up that needs to be corrected ASAP.
Do Repair Flashing and Shingles
Even if the flashing on your roof was fine last winter, take a look at your existing flashing. Over time, flashing can become warped or loosened. Improper flashing can allow snow and other precipitation to more freely enter your roof. If too much excess moisture builds up, you might discover an interior leak in the coming months.
These repairs also apply to shingles. If you find any shingles that are beginning to crack or have become loosened, repair this as soon as possible. Left in disrepair, broken shingles will allow moisture to build up and seep into your ceiling.
Don’t Let Snow Accumulate on Your Roof for Too Long
A sparkling snowy rooftop makes for a beautiful wintery photo-op. Unfortunately, snow left on the roof for too long can cause a major headache later on. Too much snow accumulation on the roof can create a heavy weight that can compromise the integrity of the roof. In addition, snow left on the roof can create an ice dam. When the snow finally melts and begins to roll off of the roof, it finds its way to the gutters. As temps drop below freezing at night, the water refreezes, backing up any runoff precipitation. This can loosen shingles and create a greater potential for leaks. You can remove snow from your roof with a roof rake. Be sure to use extreme caution while you’re working – snow can make your roof very slippery! Call a pro to tackle roof snow removal if there is too much snow for a rake.
Do Call a Professional for Help
Above all, play it safe! Any kind of roof work can be dangerous, but winter roof care in particular poses its own hazards. Whether you want a full roof inspection to get a baseline idea of the health of your roof, or you want some help repairing existing damage before it becomes a major problem, calling a local roofing company for help is a great idea. The roofing professionals at E3 Roofing & Remodeling have the experience, knowledge, and tools to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and most of all safely.