Preparing Your Roof for Winter
If you want to protect your house, start with the first line of defense: the roof. If your roof isn’t in good shape, it could cause more problems for the rest of your house. Preparing for the harsh reality of the impending winter isn’t something you may want to think about, but it’s a crucial task that shouldn’t be missed. Many of these tasks you can tackle on your own provided you have the resources and know-how to do so. Other tasks should be handled by a professional, of which there are many reputable roofers in your area.
If you’ve been neglecting your roof all year, fall is the time to get serious about it again. This is because winter is on its way and you want to fix any problems before the snow and cold settle in. Conducting a yearly inspection isn’t too difficult or time-consuming, but it must be done. You should start this inspection with leak detection.
Head up to the attic and take a look at the ceilings and walls. Do you see condensation, staining, or dripping? Leaks could indicate ice dams or even actual holes in your roof. While up there, check out the insulation and make sure it’s in place and doing its job. US News and World Report say you could see a 20 percent decrease in your energy bill when you have quality, properly-fitted insulation.
Check that all your vents and rafters are properly insulated as well you don’t want the heat to head straight out through the roof, which is easy to lose in this manner. If you’ve got any furnace heating ducts, protect them with additional insulation so no build-up occurs.
Moving on to the ventilation system, make sure all bathroom fans are working as they should, as moist air as a result of showers, for instance, can cause damage to the roof or your insulation.
Make sure there’s no debris clogging up your vents adjacent to gables and ridges. And don’t get so overeager with insulation padding that you cover soffit vents restricted air flow could result.
Now it’s time to grab the binoculars and head outside. You don’t even have to get up on the roof to perform a visual inspection, which cuts down on possible serious injuries. Inspect the shingles have any come loose? What about the gutters are they secured to the home properly?
Clear out any debris from the gutters at this time. Is your flashing around chimneys and vents secure? If you see anything that needs repair, call in a qualified professional to tackle the job before winter hits.
Late to the Party?
Have you waited for just a little too long for your yearly roofing inspection and Old Man Winter has already made an appearance? If ice dams have already formed and you have snow accumulation on your roof, it will be harder to make any repairs and you may have to wait till spring. Try to remove snow before it builds up too much, though, which could result in roof leaks and other structural damage. While you may be tempted to remove the snow yourself with a roof rake, this is another job best left to the professionals.
By starting in the fall, you’re preparing your roof for the long, harsh winter ahead. Tackle problems now before they get out of hand.