The roof is the part of your home most prone to snow and ice damage. Winter storms can adversely affect it. Therefore, every homeowner must prepare their roof for the upcoming winter weather to avoid costly repairs and possible damage to personal property within their houses.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your roof against winter damage. There is no sure way of completely eliminating the possibility of damage, but a few preventive measures can minimize the likelihood of damage.
Be sure to take these steps before the winter season sets in.
1. Pre-Winter Roof Inspections
The first step you should take before winter is hiring a professional roof inspector?. An inspection will help you find out any points of weakness within your roofing system like missing shingles, loose joints, potential leakages, and misplaced flashing.
Damages and problems discovered during the roof inspection should be fixed before snowing begins to avoid the condition worsening due to the freeze and thaw effect. Fixing these problems also reduces the chances of winter damage due to the eradication of weak points from the roof.
It is also important to have another roof inspection just after winter to check if there were any damages to the roof during winter. Any such problems should also be corrected in due time.
It could be a little costly to hire a roof inspector, but it is helpful. It may even prove to be much cheaper in the long run since you will avoid the costs of correcting massive winter damages.
2. Use A Roof Rake
You may want to use a roof rake if there is heavy snowfall on your roof. Heavy snow and the accumulation of ice on the roof definitely increases the loading on it. This can make the roof collapse.
Ice dams may start forming on your roof if snow builds up on it then starts melting and refreezing. When they melt, they can cause massive water damage to your attic or even your entire home.
You can use a rake to prevent all this damage. Use one with a telescoping handle to prevent the buildup of snow and ice on the roof. It makes snow removal easier since it can be used from ground level. Leave about 2-5 cm of snow to avoid damaging the roof with the roof rake.
There is a common temptation to use chemicals to melt away the snow. These chemicals may further damage the roofing materials, so it is highly recommended to stay away from this method.
3. Prune Branches On Trees Around Your Home
Trees can be a very good source of shade for your home during the summer. However, they may be a threat to your home when heavy winter storms strike. Excess branches can scratch and damage roofing materials. Leaves or fruits can also cause mold to build upon the roof when they fall and rot on it.
All these damages can be avoided by removing hanging branches from the trees around your house that pose danger during winter. One way to handle this is to work with an arborist— this makes sure the pruning is done with environmental sustainability in mind and that your tree isn’t permanently damaged in the long run. Make sure to trim and remove any branch that is hanging above the roof.
4. Prevent Ice Dams from Forming
When warm air from your living space rises, it warms the roof and causes snow to melt at the point of contact between the snow and the roof. The melted snow runs down the roof to the eaves, which are colder since they are not above a living space, and refreezes. The resultant ice backs up water on the roof which is subject to freezing and thawing multiple times. This may happen repeatedly and cause leakages to form on your roof.
Ice dams can be prevented by treating the eaves with brine to prevent the formation of ice, cleaning the gutters, and clearing snow from the eaves before it freezes. Another technique you can use is insulating your attic.
5. Attic Insulation and Ventilation
Heat gathers above the living space, leaving the rest of the home cool. The rising and collection of heat in your attic increases the likelihood of an ice dam forming on the roof. This is bad news for your roof!
To prevent this, install the right kind of insulation in your attic and have proper ventilation. Check if there are any air leaks that may jeopardize your insulation efforts.
Installing the right insulation for your attic is a technical task because the goal is to make the temperatures inside your home more or less the same as those on the outside of the home. You, therefore, require the services of a professional to check your insulation and find energy leaks that go into the attic.
6. Remove Dirt and Leaves
As time goes by, your roof may collect and hold dirt, debris, and leaves. These materials hold moisture and may accumulate on your gutters and cause the growth of mold on your roof.
Clean your roof regularly to prevent the buildup of debris and to promote proper water drainage. Gutter screens and guards can also help prevent the accumulation of debris. You need to understand the type of roof you are dealing with before you pick the best cleaning technique.
Asphalt shingles, for instance, use cleaning products devoid of bleach. Do not power-wash them. Wood shingles should be cleaned often because they are more susceptible to attacks by mosses and lichens. Since roofing tiles are fragile, avoid walking on them unless it is really necessary.
Your whole livelihood is probably being protected from weather elements by your roof. The roof is, therefore, an important part of your home that you have to give much thought to.
During winter weather, you most importantly want your roof to be sturdy and not to succumb to the problems that come with the season. Use the tips discussed here to protect your roof during winter.
Has the roof inspected before winter storms start striking your area? Remove snow from the roof to prevent excess accumulation of the same as it may interfere with the structural integrity of your roof. Prevent an ice dam from forming on your roof. One of the ways to effectively do this is through proper ventilation and insulation of the attic. Your roof protects you from the dangers of inclement weather, show it some love so it can continue to do its job properly!
Follow Home Inside for more informative articles.