7 Ways to Prepare Your Roof For Winter

Written by Heins Contracting

On November 24, 2020

Winter’s just around the corner. It won’t be long before snow, ice, and freezing rain are making their way to your roof.

And while your roof is designed to protect your home against these elements, it’s not perfect. As such, before winter sets in, you need to take some measures to prepare your roof.

Curious as to what these measures are? Then read on. Here are 7 winter roof preparation tips.

1. Make Sure Your Gutters Are Clear

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your gutters are clear. If they’re not, they could trap water and snow, exacerbating the symptoms of ice dams later on into the winter.

After all, if the snow melts and slides down into dirty gutters, it will have a hard time flowing toward the downspouts. This will result in a buildup of water which will eventually pool back onto the roof. Once there, it can dish out a great deal of destruction.

Get on your ladder, grab a trash bag, and make sure that those gutters are pristine. The less residue you leave in your gutters, the better your roof’s drainage system will function, and the safer your roof will be.

2. Check Your Flashing

Roof flashing is the portion of the roof that sits in the seams. It’s generally made of metal, though can also be made of plastic, rubber, or felt. Its responsibility is to close up the areas in which different portions of the roof meet.

Unfortunately, over time, flashing can deteriorate. When this occurs, it allows water to seep through, resulting in damage to the underlying roof structure. As such, before the winter winds start blowing, you need to make sure that your flashing is doing its job.

After all, snow and sleet subject a roof to substantial amounts of moisture. If your flashing isn’t secured, this moisture will run straight down into the core of your roof. The repairs for this would be extraordinarily expensive.

3. Clear Your Roof of Residue

There are all sorts of things that can cling to a roof, from leaves to trash to algae and more. All of these things have the same thing in common: they trap moisture.

As such, when the winter rolls around, and snow is falling on a regular basis, these pieces of residue can have quite a negative impact. By trapping the moisture that comes from snow and sleet, they increase the deterioration that the roof experiences, leading to a quicker demise.

Because of this, it’s important to remove any residue from your roof prior to the winter season. Bag up leaves and trash, scrub off algae, and ensure that everything is spic and span. You’ll be adding years to your roof.

4. Insulate Your Attic

While dirty gutters can contribute to the problem of ice dams, the factor that most influences them is a lack of attic insulation.

Why is this?

Because when an attic isn’t properly insulated, its heat rapidly melts the snow upon the corresponding roof, allowing the water to spill down quickly and collect in the gutter area. When that water freezes, ice dams form and wreak havoc on the roof in general.

As such, before it gets too cold outside, you need to get up in your attic and make sure that it’s properly insulated. Not comfortable doing this on your own? Call in your local roofing company to handle the task.

5. Trim Your Trees

A common cause of roof damage during the winter months is falling branches. Trees freeze, causing branches to become brittle, leading them to snap and fall down from great heights. If this occurs, and if the branches hit your roof, they could cause serious damage to your shingles, spurring on either a repair or a replacement.

For this reason, before the winter season goes full throttle, you need to trim up your trees. Trimming your tree branches strengthens them, allowing them to withstand even the most severe of freezing and thawing. If possible, trim any branches that hang over your home.

If you need help with this endeavor, call up a tree care specialist. He or she will prune your tree in an optimal manner.

6. Make Sure Your Roof Is Complete

Roofs fall apart for a variety of reasons. Shingles can go missing at any time. But when they do, they leave your home vulnerable, particularly when it comes to rain, snow, and frigid temperatures.

So, before winter kicks in, make sure to take a look at your roof to ensure that it’s in one piece. If there are any parts missing, you’ll want to replace them as soon as possible.

7. Have Your Roof Inspected

There is a lot that goes into a roof that isn’t seen by the untrained eye. It’s these little-known components that can pose a major danger come wintertime, as they can allow snow and ice to melt down into the roof’s structure. This can, of course, lead to serious water damage.

For this reason, before winter begins, it’s wise to have a professional inspect your roof. He or she will ensure that everything is up to snuff and that your roof is built to withstand the harsh conditions ahead.

Yes, an inspection will cost you a little money upfront. However, it could go on to save you thousands of dollars in the long-run.

Need Help With Winter Roof Preparation in Madison, Wisconsin?

And there they are, 7 winter roof preparation tips. Need help putting these tips into action? In the Madison, Wisconsin area? We here at Heins Contracting have you covered.

We’re well-versed in the maintenance and preparation of both commercial and residential properties. Regardless of your needs, we will prepare your roof for the harsh winter months.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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