How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter Weather
As most residents of the tristate know, winters in the northeast can be brutal. Last year’s December snowfall was well above averages according to the government’s data. It may be tempting to try to avoid thinking about winter preparations but do your future self a favor. The best time to begin roof maintenance is long before the cold season approaches. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your roof for winter weather and avoid costly repairs due to common winter related infrastructure damage.
Do Some Research
Sometimes the best preparations don’t involve touching your roof at all. Make sure to check your roof’s warranty and insurance policy to see what it covers. Find the contact information for a reputable roofer in your area so in the unfortunate case of an emergency repair, you aren’t left scrambling for someone who may give you inflated prices or bad service.
Spring cleaning gets a lot of recognition but cleaning your roof for the winter is just as important! Start by inspecting your roof on a day when the weather is good, to minimize falling or slipping risk. Remove any unwanted debris, such as fallen branches, windblown leaves, or tools forgotten from a prior cleaning.
Then clean out your gutters. Your gutters are an essential part of your home’s water management system. Clogged gutters can’t properly divert water away from your home and snow gets trapped. This snow then freezes, and combined with the weight of the debris, can weaken your roof and risk your gutters tearing away from your roof.
Inspect and Repair Flashing
Flashing is a crucial measure that prevents water from seeping into your roof’s most vulnerable points – such as areas around chimneys, vent pipes, and skylights. However, over time, the normal wear and tear can cause flashing to crack and become ineffective. When you prepare your roof for winter weather, check whether your flashing is intact and if not, determine whether sealant is enough to repair the problem or if you need to replace the entire flashing. Oftentimes, the latter is recommended for long term results.
Check Your Insulation
Insulation is one of the most neglected parts of a commercial or residential property. Inspect your attic’s insulation to see whether you need to replace it. If you notice mold, stains, or other signs of damage, it’s best to tear out the old insulation. If it seems fine but it’s been a few years since its initial installation, consider adding additional filler. Besides simply making the interior of your home cozier and warmer, proper insulation can prevent ice dams from forming. When snow that can’t slide off your roof melts due to the hot air rising from the attic and then seeps underneath the shingles, it often leads to wood damage and leaks.
We’re big supporters of preventative maintenance. While emergencies happen and can be unavoidable, if you can spend just a few hours today to inspect and prepare your roof for the upcoming winter season, you will find that your roof will last much longer and that you can avoid the headache of unexpected repairs. If you need a trusted resource for your all your roof needs and questions, including the best ways to prepare your roof for winter weather, contact Greene Roofing today. We have been serving our communities for over 80 years and we’re proud to continue our commitment to quality roofing services at a competitive price.