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5 Ways To Prepare Your Roof for the Winter Season

Published On December 28 , 2023

Your roof is your first line of defense against winter, shielding your home from the cold. Before winter hits, check your roof in the fall for any issues. It’s easier to spot problems after cleaning the gutters. Get a pro with ladder skills to inspect and fix your roof. We’ll guide you on what to look for.

Fall is also a good time to check your attic and make sure your decorations or Christmas lights are up. There’s a lot to do before the snow comes. Here’s how to prep your roof for winter.

1.Fall Gutter and Roof Cleaning

In Canada and the northern United States, autumn showcases the beauty of falling leaves. However, these leaves can accumulate in your gutters. Once the majority of leaves have fallen, it’s crucial to clear them out. If you’re unsure how to clean your gutters, you can check out our guide or opt to hire a professional for the task.

When you’re preparing your gutters for winter, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for signs of animal infestations. Animals like squirrels, raccoons, birds, bees, bats, wasps, and hornets might make your roof their home. For safety, consider bringing in a pest control specialist to remove any active animals.

Keep in mind that signs of infestation may be out of reach during your gutter cleaning. During your winter roof inspection, a roofing professional can check for signs of animals in your attic.

Tired of the annual pre-winter gutter cleaning routine? Think about installing gutter guards. They won’t affect your roof’s performance but will stop leaves from clogging your gutters.

2. Before Winter Roof Inspection

Nobody desires a roof leak, yet many overlook the fact that they can avert such issues through routine inspections. Getting a spring roof inspection is a prudent move, allowing you to detect problems and address them before the rainy season arrives. Similarly, a winter roof checkup is advisable to spot minor issues that might escalate into leaks if ignored. Regular inspections prove to be wise investments, potentially saving you on repairs and the need for an early roof replacement in the future.

Why opt for a fall roof inspection over other seasons? During fall, roofing professionals may experience a decrease in workload after handling emergencies and summer reroofing projects. Seizing this opportunity, some may provide free or low-cost inspections to attract business, potentially saving you money. However, don’t delay until the season’s end; you’ll want ample time to address issues before snowfall begins.

Resolving roof problems before cold weather sets in is crucial. While winter repairs and installations are possible, they pose greater challenges for roofing professionals and discomfort for homeowners.

When scheduling a fall roof inspection with a professional, what should you anticipate? Recognize that a thorough inspection can’t be done from the ground. The roofing professional will ascend their ladder and meticulously traverse your roof, examining every visible part to ensure it’s in optimal condition.

Your winter roof inspection should cover the following:

Shingles: The roofing professional will check for missing, damaged, or improperly installed shingles. They’ll inspect sections that appear sunken or have a damaged sealant bond. If a shingle is loose but in good condition, they may opt to seal it.

Flashing: Roof flashing, a thin metal sheet around features like chimneys, is examined for signs of bending, rusting, or other damage to prevent leaks.

Valleys: The roof valley, vulnerable in winter, is inspected to ensure correct installation and good condition. Cleaning may be required to remove collected pine needles and leaves.

Gutters: Beyond cleaning, the roofer checks for leaky, sagging, or misaligned gutters.

Sealant: Asphalt sealant, vital for roof features, is inspected for adequacy and to ensure it hasn’t dried out or cracked.

Signs of damage: The roofer scans for various signs of damage, including animal infestations, algae growth, tree damage, and more, ensuring a comprehensive examination of your roof.

3. Fall Repairs and Replacements

After your fall roof check, you might find your roof needs repairs or replacement, especially since colder weather can affect shingle sealant. If you’re getting repairs or new shingles in the fall, ask your roofer how they’ll ensure the new ones get enough sun to seal properly. Follow our tips to prep for a roof replacement.

Consider choosing a new shingle type that better withstands your local climate. For instance, Aluminum Shingles provide increased protection against severe weather. If you face harsh winters with hail and high winds, Aluminum Shingles could be a suitable choice for your roof.

4. Check Attic Insulation and Ventilation

As the temperatures drop, it’s crucial to stay warm, cut utility costs, and safeguard your roof’s integrity. Achieving this involves ensuring good attic insulation and proper ventilation. Insulation retains heat, reducing the need for constant furnace use.

Effective insulation also keeps shingle surfaces cooler, crucial for preventing ice dams and their potential damage. If you experienced an ice dam last year, consult a roofing professional to review your insulation and ventilation, assessing the need for replacement. They may also suggest adding more ice and water protector during a new roof installation to fend off ice dam damage.

While inspecting your attic, your roofing professional may seize the opportunity to check for leaks, signs of animal infestation, and assess your attic ventilation. Proper ventilation facilitates moisture removal, preventing its buildup and condensation on various surfaces. Inadequate ventilation can lead to moisture accumulation, potentially causing damage to your home’s framing and other components.

During an attic checkup, your roofer may encounter challenges accessing it, especially in recently constructed homes where the entry point may be in the master bedroom or its closet. Opening the attic access point for the first time might create some mess, so be prepared for a bit of vacuuming afterward.

Despite the inconvenience, maintaining proper attic insulation and ventilation is worthwhile. It can enhance your home’s warmth during winter and mitigate the risk of roof ice dams.

5. Put up Fall and Winter Decor

Excited for fall holidays and outdoor decorations? If hanging fall decor is a yearly tradition, avoid nailing anything to the roof. Never add extra nails or use the roof to support heavy items like blow-up decor.

Fall is a great time to put up your winter holiday lights. Avoid the treacherous task of using a ladder in the snow, as it can be slippery. Learn how to safely hang Christmas lights in the fall.

Prepare Your Roof for the Winter

Don’t underestimate your roof. Each fall, take the time to get it ready for winter. This small effort preserves your roof’s excellent condition and helps catch minor issues before they turn into problems

Connect with a roofing professional using durable materials like metal to arrange a fall roof inspection before winter sets in.

About The Author

Meet Cris – a seasoned construction industry professional with over 15 years of hands-on experience in building and managing residential, commercial, and industrial projects. He started as a laborer and worked his way up to become a project manager. Cris is passionate about sharing his knowledge and insights with others who are interested in building construction. He has a degree in architecture and is constantly reading and researching to stay on top of the latest trends, materials, and techniques. His aim is to help people better understand the complexities of the industry and make informed decisions when it comes to building their own structures.

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