Just before the seasons change is the perfect time to start prepping your home for winter – and that includes your roof. Out of everything you own, your roof is what protects you the most. Especially if your roof is older, a few preventative measures can mean the difference between a cozy, peaceful winter and an unpleasant surprise.
Check for Sloping or Sagging
After a heavy snow, your roof is holding significantly more weight, and if temperatures stay low, that snow might not melt for days or even weeks. The last thing you want to do is ask an already vulnerable roof to withstand many pounds of extra weight. Just an inch of ice is equal to the weight of 1 foot of snow, so some of the weight your roof carries is invisible. If your roof appears imbalanced or uneven, get it looked at in autumn.
Repair Damaged Shingles
It’s a simple roof maintenance tip, but one that often gets forgotten in our hectic routines. Fixing a cracked or broken shingle may be last on your to-do list, but if left alone, compromised shingles leave your roof wide open for more serious damage. Scan your roof for shingles that are cracked, curling, or completely missing.
Check Nearby Trees
In heavy storms, large trees can fall and severely damage your home’s structure. But even smaller tree branches can fall onto your roof, scratch and break shingles, or spread termites. Make sure no tree branches are growing into or rubbing against your roof.
Clean the Gutters
It’s another task that makes the average homeowner groan, but gutter cleaning can prevent water damage, frozen debris, mold, and mildew. Clean gutters will also protect you from leaf buildup, which can attract rodents that are looking for a winter home. Clearing out any clogs, leaves, and sticks will make it harder for heavy ice dams to form on the sloped part of your roof.
Check the Flashing
Winter months can bring a mixture of snow, rain, and sleet – a lot of wetness for your roof to withstand. How well your roof handles this has a lot to do with your flashing. Go outside and look for areas on your roof that are covered with thin metal sheets. They should look relatively clean, undamaged, and firmly sealed against your home. If they’re not, the flashing should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Get Your Chimney Cleaned
If you use a fireplace frequently in the winter, a chimney cleaning is a good way to fireproof your house before cold weather sets in. Soot and other flammable substances like creosote build up on the walls of your chimney, making it a growing fire hazard if it never gets cleaned year after year. Believe it or not, small chimney fires can occur without homeowners even realizing it, creating a slow burn that eventually spreads to the walls of your home
If you suspect your roof needs repairs, or if your roof is old and needs to be replaced, Phil DiBello’s team of certified roofers can be on the job quickly. With more than 40 years of experience, our roofers have seen it all and will walk you through the process of getting your roof fixed at an affordable price.