With the cold snowy months just around the corner, now is the perfect time to make sure your entire home is ready to welcome the winter. And one of the most important aspects to prepare is your roof. Roof inspections are vital in maintaining your roof in top shape and even prolonging its lifespan. Professionals always recommend to have your roof inspected at least twice a year – and one of those times is before winter.
It is very important to take care of even the slightest issues that you notice on your roof because in the cold and harsh winter weather they can develop into very serious problems. In addition to that, inspecting, repairing, and replacing your roof during winter can be more complicated and inconvenient both for you and for your roofer. Therefore, in order to be prepared and stay ahead of trouble, make sure to check your roof by following these six essential steps.
Inspect the Framework and the Roof Edge
One of the first steps you can and should take is inspecting the edge of your roof and its framework. The first part of this task can be done safely from the ground. Simply take a look at the edges and see if they are all even and straight. Any faults in roof edges can impact the stability of the entire roof and lead to leaks and more serious structural damages. Therefore, if any part is hanging, saggy or loose, make sure to have it fixed as soon as possible.
When it comes to the framework of your roof, this part can also be observed from the ground, but sometimes, you can get a clearer picture if you observe it from a higher point of view – from the ladder for instance. However, we always advise being extra cautious when climbing and if you can, avoid it. It is always better to call a professional roofer to do this part.
What you can notice from the ground are dips and curves in your roof, sagging parts, and similar faults that point out an uneven roof framework. This is an issue that should be checked out by your roofer and fixed as soon as possible.
Check the Gutters and Downspouts
While observing the edges of your roof from the ground, you can continue to inspect your gutter and downspout system as well. These parts should also be even and tightly fixed to the exterior of your house. If there are any cracks or loose parts, this can lead to water pooling around your home, seeping into your basement, the foundations, and causing serious damages.
Another important aspect to check is whether your gutter system is clean and unobstructed. Any clogs can lead to water pooling on top of your roof and causing water damages and leaks. During winter, this pooling can also lead to ice dams forming on your roof, which pose serious risks for the roof and, if they fall unexpectedly, for the residents.
Therefore, make sure your gutters are clear of any debris such as leaves, twigs, and branches as well as that the water flow through the downspouts is unobstructed.
Look for Damaged or Missing Shingles
Ideally, a roof should never have broken or missing shingles as these areas become the ideal entryways for leaks into your home. However, shingles can get broken due to harsh and severe weather, aspects that you cannot control. What you can control, on the other hand, is how you care for your roof. Your roof should be professionally inspected twice a year and after any severe weather event.
One of the recommended times to have your shingles inspected is just before the winter. Any shingles that are broken or missing can then easily be replaced or repaired before the snow comes. Once the snow covers your roof or when the leaks from melted snow reach the interior of your home, the damage will be much more difficult to repair.
With your shingles in top shape, on the other hand, you will be safe and protected throughout the winter.
Inspect the Flashing
Flashing is located at all intersections of your roof as well as around all penetrations on it such as the chimney, skylight, etc. It is made of impervious materials and its main function is to keep the water from seeping into your home and to direct it off of the roof. Therefore, whenever that flashing is loose, broken or missing on some parts of the roof, your home is at high risk of leaks and subsequent water damages.
If you’ve noticed such issues with the flashing or are not sure if it is properly sealed, make sure to call your roofer and take care of it before the winter comes.
Check Attic Insulation and Ventilation
In the absence of proper ventilation or insulation in the attic, your roof will heat up more easily. The heat from your home will seep out onto your roof and cause the snow to melt. Once this melted snow reaches the colder edges of your roof, it will turn into ice and ice dams will form. Your attic insulation and ventilation play a big part in preventing this from happening. In addition to that, they also help decrease the energy waste, keep your home warmer, and your utility bills lower.
Your roofer will be able to determine whether your attic insulation is evenly distributed and whether your ventilation is working properly. And in case you don’t have either of them, the roofer will install them and help keep your roof in top shape for the winter.
Trim the Surrounding Trees
Tall trees with big branches overhanging your roof can pose certain risks for your roof and the gutter system, leading to potentially very serious issues. For example, leaves, twigs, and other debris from these trees will continuously fall onto your roof and into your gutters, clogging them and making it hard to keep them clean and unobstructed.
Entire branches could fall off if the tree is old or if the weather is severe, which can lead to damages and punctures to your roof and home’s exterior. All of this, in turn, can lead to leaks and both interior and exterior water damages.Trimming those trees before winter and making sure they don’t pose any such risk is a great idea that will keep you and your home safe and protected.
Make sure to call in an expert who will do this efficiently, safely, and thoroughly.
The roof is your first line of defense against the outside elements, it is what keeps you warm and protected inside your home and should, therefore, always be in top shape. Inspecting your roof before the winter should be one of your top home improvement priorities as it can prevent a lot of potentially serious issues and save you both money and stress.
Call your best local roofing company to assess your roof and welcome the winter and the holidays ready and stress-free!