When you’re winterizing your home, there’s one crucial oversight you don’t want to make. One of the most important steps when you’re winterizing your home is preparing your roof for the harsh season ahead. Performing routine maintenance tasks before winter sets in can help your home stay warm, comfortable, and leak free and prevent expensive repairs caused by ice dams and other common forms of damage. Not quite sure how to winterize your roof? Here are some simple but effective roof maintenance tips for winter.
Maintenance Tips for Winter Repair Existing Damage
In winter, a damaged roof is prone to sustaining even more damage. Missing, damaged, or loose shingles can expose your home to roof leaks and water damage if you don’t fix them before winter. If your shingles are broken, water can seep underneath them and make its way into your home. Loose shingles, on the other hand, might end up blowing off during a strong winter snowstorm. If you only have a few easy-to-reach shingles, you might be able to repair or replace them yourself. If the damage is extensive, it’s better to hire a professional contractor to do the work for you.
You’ll want to repair any damaged flashing, too. Roof flashing protects your home from water damage. Pay special attention to the chimney, roof valleys, and overhangs. Make sure they’re in good condition. As with your shingles, you can choose to tackle the damage by yourself or to hire a professional.
Trim the Trees
The winter is known for its harsh conditions. To prevent excess damage to your home during snowstorms, you’ll want to trim any tree branches that are hanging too close to the home. During extreme weather, branches might break and fall onto your roof. Depending on the size, you’ll walk away with a few chips and scrapes—or end up with a huge, gaping hole in your roof. You might be able to reach a few branches on your own, but for higher ones, it’s better to hire someone who’s been trained to trim trees.
Clean Your Spouts and Gutters
Another essential roof maintenance tip for winter is to clean out your spouts and gutters. They’re not technically a part of your roof, but they play huge roles in its maintenance. One of the most important things you need to do before winter arrives is to clear them of debris. If your spouts and gutters are clogged, you’ll need to watch out for destructive ice dams. When ice accumulates around gutters and eaves, it can form an ice dam. This dam can block roof drainage, leading to a freeze-thaw cycle that separates shingles from the roof deck and creates an entry point for moisture.