Three Critical Roof Maintenance Tasks You Must Do To Prevent Winter Damage
Winter can be the most brutal time of year for roofs because the snow and ice can do significant damage to shingles, flashing, and other areas if you aren't vigilant about your winter maintenance. Here are three crucial things you must do during the winter months to ensure your roof is healthy and ready to go when spring and summer rolls around.
Clear Out the Snow Quickly
If you live in an area that gets quite a bit of snow every winter season, then be prepared to go out on a regular basis to remove the cold, fluffy stuff from your roof. While a snowy rooftop may give your home a magical quality, the water produced by melting snow can cause a number of problems.
For instance, snow that melts and then refreezes may create ice dams that prevent water from draining off the roof correctly. This could lead to damaged shingles and water finding its way into your home.
Another issue caused by snow is potential cave-ins. It may not look like it, but snow can add quite a bit of extra weight to your roof. In fact, saturated snow adds 20 pounds of additional weight per cubic foot to the top of your home. If you have soft spots in your roof, these excess pounds could put too much pressure on them and cause them to collapse, leaving you with a giant hole in your attic.
Thus, it's better to take an hour out your day to clean your roof after snow storms. If you have more money than time or energy, you can pay a professional to do it for you or install snow melting equipment such as heat cables. However you decide to go about it, this small investment can pay off big dividends in reduced repair bills.
Clean and Repair Gutters
Gutters play an important role in keeping your roof healthy. These instruments safely whisk away water from rain and melting ice and snow and deposit it in areas where it is least likely to damage your home. Without gutters, the water would fall willy-nilly around the perimeter of your house, which could result in unfortunate flooding.
However, gutters need to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Debris left inside of them can create clogs that allow the water to back up onto the roof. This water may freeze in the cold winter air and cause shingles to lift and let water seep inside the home. Frozen water is heavy. So, if your gutters are weak enough, the ice may cause them to detach completely from the roof, resulting in an expensive repair bill.
Clean out your gutters before winter hits, inspect them for rusting and holes, and make the appropriate repairs. Keep an eye on them during the winter time. If you notice that water isn't draining properly or that there's blocks of ice in the trays, have a professional take a look at them to ensure they're properly slanted.
Clip Your Trees
Although trees aren't part of your roof, they can have a big impact on it. Trees are one of the top sources of roof debris, so trimming back the branches can reduce the amount of work you need to do to keep your roof clear.
Tree branches also provide critters, such as squirrels and mice, with access to your roof, and then it's just a matter of time before they find their way into your home. If you don't want to share your home with these critters over the winter, hire an arborist to cut back any and all branches hanging over your roof.
For more tips on winter roof maintenance you should be doing or to have other roofing issues addressed, contact a local contractor.