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winter roof maintenance

Winter Roof Maintenance

As a homeowner, your roof might be the least of your maintenance worries, but caring for your roof in the winter is key to avoiding costly damage and ventilation issues. If you live in a cold climate and get a significant amount of snow in the winter months, it’s worth investing the time and money to take care of your roof.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters must have no debris, especially in the winter when snow will melt from your roof and go right into your gutter. All of that water can get blocked up if debris is preventing it from properly draining away from your house. This can lead to your gutter breaking due to the excess weight of the debris and water. 

You also have to keep in mind that if the melted snow has no way of flowing out of the gutter, then it will just freeze up again once the temperatures drop, leaving you with an even bigger problem. Not only will you be cleaning out debris, but you’ll also have to deal with the large chunks of ice lining your gutters. Make checking and cleaning your gutters a part of your yard work to-do list now, and save yourself from potential gutter damage in the future.

Repair Existing Damage

Before the winter months hit, it’s a good idea to repair any existing damage to your roof. Whether it’s damaged shingles, faulty flashing, or broken seams, it’s crucial that any roof damage is taken care of before winter weather strikes. 

Additionally, it’s probably in your best interest to hire a professional to fix your roof damage instead of trying to tackle the project yourself. No matter how skilled of a handyman you are, trying to repair your own roof can be dangerous and costly. Enlist in the help of a professional to make sure the job is done right. That way, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your roof is in the best possible condition and prepared for winter.

Inspect Your Attic

Most of your winter roof maintenance will take place outside, but arguably the most important area to inspect isn’t the roof at all. Climbing up into your attic and looking at your current insulation can help you in multiple ways. First, doing so will help you determine if you need to install more insulation to keep your home heated evenly and efficiently. Taking a few minutes to inspect your attic could end up saving you money on your heating bill. 

On top of this, ignoring an improperly insulated attic increases the likelihood of ice dams. Cold climate roofs are ventilated in a way that doesn’t allow heat to enter through the attic. This, in turn, protects the roof as well. If the roof stays cold, then the snow on top will not melt. As long as the snow isn’t melting, you are free to remove the snow. If your roof is not properly ventilated, however, heat can escape into the attic and heat the roof. Depending on the material of your roof, this could cause snow to melt and eventually freeze, leading to ice dams.

Trim Your Trees Back

Trimming your trees is a smart idea no matter the season, but it is especially important to trim protruding branches in the winter. If branches from a nearby tree extend onto your roof, you leave yourself vulnerable to damage. As the snowfall accumulates, weak tree limbs won’t be able to handle a lot of snow and are likely to snap and land on your roof. If these branches are heavy enough, they can damage your roof.

Being proactive and making your roof a priority during the winter months is the key to preventing snow-related damage to your home. It’s worth it to invest the time, effort, and money so you can have peace of mind knowing you are doing everything you can to make your roof safe when the snow starts to fall.