As the days get shorter and the winter months begin, it is important to prepare your roof for the cold and inclement weather to avoid damages. A few preparations can prevent unnecessary disruptions or hassles during the cold-weather season.

Here are a few tips to keep your home safe and secure this winter: 

1. Clean Out Your Gutters

Your gutters are put in place to make sure your roof is able to properly drain and move water away from your home, ultimately preventing leaks and standing water inside your home. 

Clogged gutters, however, can lead to issues, especially during the winter season. If you do not clear the pathway for rain or melted snow to travel downward and away from your home, the water can have several negative impacts on your home. This includes pooling which could lead to leakage and water damage, or with the freezing temperatures, the water could freeze and cause ice dams.

Making sure that your gutters are free and clear of debris before the first snow fall is one way to prevent potential damages to your roof. 

2. Trim Branches Nearest Your Home

To further prevention of debris and clogged gutters, take it one step further by trimming any low hanging trees that may be dropping leaves, branches and other debris onto your roofing system. 

While it is inevitable to have debris land on your roof, especially during stormy weather, maintaining trimmed trees and branches may help to avoid heavy debris accumulation and damage to your roof or gutter systems. 

It is important to keep in mind, too, that the bigger the branch/tree, the more potential for detrimental damage to your home. If you are noticing a dead tree or large dead branch, call your local tree/branch removal business to have it removed safely before a storm has the opportunity to damage the exterior of your home.

3. Examine Your Shingles and Flashing

Your roofing system can show wear and tear over its lifetime. It is important to notice and take care of any small damages prior to the winter months to avoid bigger problems after the snow flies. 

It is not uncommon, especially with older roofing systems, to see loose or missing shingles. You may also notice small granules from your shingles in your gutters which may be an indicator of loose or faulty materials. Lastly, you may even see debris wedged between or underneath shingles, or curling at the edges. All of these are signs that your roofing system may need to be replaced. 

Located at all joints of your roof, flashings are an most important part of your roofing system that helps to prevent leakage into your home. 

With the colder temperatures and storms, your flashings could easily be damaged. In order to prevent bigger problems it is important to examine all the flashing to ensure that everything is in working order. 

4. Inspect Your Attic and Install Ventilation

The attic is an integral part of your roof inspection and winter preparation. It can greatly contribute to the formation of ice dams on your roof and subsequently cause water damage and energy waste.

When the attic is not properly insulated, or if there is no proper ventilation, the heat from your home will seep out and the cold air will come in. 

This will increase your heating needs, as well as your energy waste and utility bills. The heat that seeps out from the attic can also cause the shingles to curl as well as lead to the formation of ice dams on your roof as the snow melts from the heat. 

Therefore, check if your attic has a good, evenly distributed insulation or at least a ventilation system that allows the air to circulate. 

This will help keep the heat inside, prevent it from reaching the roof, as well as reduce the amount of energy your home uses for heating. 

If you don’t have an attic ventilation system or you’re not sure whether it’s functioning properly, don’t hesitate to call your roofer to assess the situation.


Conclusion 

Preparing and inspecting your roof for winter is an essential part of your home maintenance and you should always make it your priority. 

The roof is there to keep your home safe and protected from the elements, so keeping it in top shape will save you a lot of trouble and aggravation in the future. 

If you are not sure that you can conduct the needed assessments yourself or if you don’t have the time, you can always enlist the help of a professional roofer in your area.