Get Your Roof Ready for Winter

Get Your Roof Ready for Winter

Winter Approacheth

The leaves are changing color, and you’re giving thought to digging out the snow tires for the car – you need to get it ready for winter. An equally beneficial time investment can be made on your home’s roof; it needs to get ready for winter too. Don’t worry, it won’t take long; mostly it’s just a simple visual inspection. And you want to have it done now before snow and frost gets on the roof. It’s best to call a professional roofing contractor – not many of us know all the safety precautions regarding ladders and working on high/sloped roofs, and many contractors offer a flat-rate fall roof “tune-up” to cover many of the items mentioned below.

You’ve likely been busy golfing and camping all summer and haven’t been up close with your roof since spring, so the first thing you want to have checked is….how does it look? Any missing shingles (some sides of your roof are hard to see from the ground, so get all areas checked)? Any exaggerated sag in the roof ridge line? Any other damage from nearby or fallen trees/branches? If so, you should arrange for repairs before winter sets in – before those damaged areas are concealed by snow, and your home’s interior is at risk of water entry.

While the pro is up there looking over the shingles, remind them to kneel down and take a closer look at the areas where shingles meet flashing, bricks, plumbing stacks, antenna mounts, etc. These areas often have a bead of sealant as an additional watershedding aid, and over years this sealant can weather and crack, so you should repair/re-seal any such weathered spots with a suitable roofing sealant.

And since the ladder is leaning right up against the roof gutter, ensure the contractor takes a look in there. It is not uncommon for gutters, unless they’re protected by a gutter guard/filter, to accumulate some leaves and other debris (and maybe a tennis ball or two). This debris should be cleaned out to ensure rain water and snow melt water drain quickly and easily off the roof. Once you’ve cleaned out all the stuff, give the gutter a quick flush with a garden hose to make sure there is free flow through the downspouts as well.

By the way, it’s not uncommon to see some of the shingle granules in the gutter. Don’t panic – the way shingles are made, an excess of granules are used to ensure complete coverage, and some of the excess granules fall off once the shingles are installed. Look at the shingles themselves – as long as the shingles are still covered with granules, they’re fine.

Lastly, it would be a good idea to have a quick peek in the attic. Make sure you have a good amount of evenly distributed insulation (ensure it’s not blocking any roof vents, especially near the edges of the attic, where the soffits are). Adequate insulation helps keep your home’s warm air in the home where you need it, and not wafting up under your shingles where it can be a factor in the formation of roof ice dams.

See, that didn’t take long. And now that you’ve had your roof checked and confirmed it’s ready for winter, when the January and February storms come you can relax inside by the fireplace, planning next summer’s golfing and camping trips.

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