Is your home's roof up to the task of keeping your home warm and dry during cold winter weather? Unfortunately, wintertime presents a number of hazards to your roof. During winter, ice dams can form on the edges of your roof, which trap water on your roof and prevent it from draining. In addition, the weight of ice and snow can make overhanging tree branches more likely to break, which can cause severe damage to your roof. To help you make sure your roof can stand up to the upcoming freezing weather, here are four things you should do.
1. Ensure That Your Attic's Insulation Is in Good Condition
In addition to keeping your heating bills low during the winter, the insulation in your attic is also important for protecting your roof. When your attic's insulation is in poor condition, it creates hot spots on your roof where ice and snow will melt faster. The water from the melted ice and snow run down towards the edges of your roof, where it can freeze again and form ice dams. Ice dams trap water on your roof and prevent it from draining off, and the standing water can quickly cause your roof shingles to deteriorate.
Before winter comes, you should check the condition of your attic's insulation. If it has become damp due to a roof leak or excess humidity in your attic, it won't function as well. It also may have been destroyed or damaged by pests. If your insulation is damaged, you'll need to hire a professional to fix it — you'll keep your roof in good condition along with lowering your heating bills.
2. Clean Your Gutters and Make Sure Water Drains Properly Off of Your Roof
Clogged gutters and drains can cause ice dams to form on the edges of your roof. With nowhere for melting snow and ice to drain, it gets stuck on the edges of your roof and refreezes, causing an ice dam to form. In order to stop ice dams from forming, clear out your gutters and drains, making sure that water runs freely through them and properly drains from your roof.
3. Trim Overhanging Tree Branches to Avoid Damage Caused by Falling Tree Limbs
When ice and snow collect on a tree branch, the added weight can cause the branch to snap off of the tree. If the branch is over your roof, the weight of the branch combined with the weight of the ice and snow can easily cause severe impact damage, destroying shingles and seriously damaging the structural integrity of your roof. Before the temperature dips below freezing, trim any tree branch that's overhanging your roof — you'll prevent damage to your roof caused by falling branches.
4. Seal Holes and Gaps in Your Roof That Pests Can Use to Invade Your Home
Fall is the best time of year to have a roofing professional inspect the integrity of your roof, making sure that there are no entrances that pests can use to invade your attic. When the weather becomes cold, animals like squirrels, rats and mice will naturally look for someplace warm to build a winter nest, and your home's attic is very inviting to them. In order to prevent pests from taking up residence in your home, have your roof inspected by a professional so that any holes and gaps in your roof can be sealed.
Finally, it's a good idea to have the entirety of your roof inspected by a professional in order to ensure it can stand up to the weight of ice and snow. This is especially true if you have an older roof or one that has been damaged by wind and rain. In order to make sure that your roof will stand up to the harsh winter weather, call a professional roofing service and ask for a full inspection — a professional roofer will examine the condition of your roof and make any necessary repairs in order to bolster your roofing for the upcoming winter.