We’ve all heard the declarations; “winterize your car”, “winterize your pool”, “winterize your boat”, “winterize your roof”, wait…what…? Winterize your roof? Who does that and what does that even mean? We’re going to figure that out along with key pieces of information that will help keep your roof lasting a long time and your house free from leaks.
Until you’ve actually been forced into knowing a lot about the roof on your house, you’ve probably taken it for granted. However, it's important to realize that there are many aspects to your roof that if neglected, can lead to much bigger problems throughout the rest of your house. Before we talk about winterizing your roof we have to understand its makeup. Your roof is made of over a dozen different parts, that when combined, provide you with a house that's consistently clean, dry and well ventilated.
Today, we’re just going to go over the steps you’ll need to know to get your roof ready for the Winter. The first few steps are fairly obvious and involve doing a visual inspection. It’s important to get a close look at your roof to see if you have any damaged shingles or debris from falling branches that may have accumulated on your roof. The next step would be to check your gutters. It's very important to ensure that your gutters are always clean, clear and free of debris. Not doing this can lead to major ice dams that can severely compromise the integrity of your roof.
Once you’ve done that, look around the perimeter and the top of your roof. Are there any low hanging branches that could possibly cause damage in the event of a heavy snowfall? If so, these branches should be removed by a professional. It is not uncommon for falling branches to severely damage roofs due to the weight of heavy snow along with the weight of the falling branch.
The next step would be to check your attic for damage from pests. Damage can come from insects, birds or even small rodents looking to get out of the cold. If they find a way into your attic through your roof, they will most certainly use it. We recommend calling a professional, such as, Manny Tenecota from MJT Roofing to come out and show you how to do these inspections and exactly what to look for.
Once the visual inspection of the roof is done, we need to look deeper into the structure of the roof. This means visually inspecting the caulking and flashing around your chimney. Any caulk that looks like it is loose or coming apart, should be replaced. The flashing around your chimney is an integral part of keeping water out of your house. If your flashing is not in perfect condition it should be repaired or replaced before winter sets in.
The last thing that you would like to visually inspect would be your ceilings. What you're looking for is any sort of discoloration of your ceiling which would indicate water damage. Prior to doing any repairs anywhere on the structure of your house, it is imperative to ensure that any areas of concern where you think water may have entered at one time, are addressed.
Once you have going through all of the steps and notated any areas of weakness within the structure of your roof, it is important to contact a roofing professional such as MJT Roofing, so that the information gathered maybe used to make repairs.
There is one last piece of advice that we feel is very important to consider. Throughout the winter, if it does snow, it is very important to know when and how to remove the snow from your roof to prevent ice dams from forming. An ice dam is when heavy wet snow accumulates on or around your gutters and freezes overnight. The next day, if the temperature goes above freezing, as the snow above the dam starts to melt, it cannot be disbursed from the roof and ends up traveling backwards up the pitch of your roof and under your shingles. This water can literally sit there for days at a time, rotting away your roof.