Winter is near, folks. Cold weather may seem overdue after this year’s exceptionally hot summer, but cozy scarves and St. Nick bring some less-than-desirable conditions along with them. If you haven’t performed any of the necessary maintenance chores, snow, ice, and frigid temperatures could mean bad news for your roof. To make things easier, we’ve put together a quick checklist of the things you should do before the first snowfall to make sure your roof is properly prepared for winter:
- Inspect the roof for existing damage. There’s no worse time to find out you have a leaky roof than in the dead of winter. A visual inspection is one of the best ways to make sure your roof is structurally sound. If you feel comfortable, get on your roof and look around for missing or damaged shingles, sagging or uneven areas, or any other signs of damage. If you notice anything of concern, have a contractor come out to fix it as soon as possible.
- Clean the gutters. Autumn means that leaves are falling and collecting in your gutters, along with branches and other debris. If gutters are clogged with debris, winter precipitation has no way off the roof, which can lead to leaks and ice damming. Before winter hits, give your gutters a thorough cleaning or hire a professional to clear them for you. At this time, it’s a good idea to also make sure your gutters are attached to your home properly and will be able to support the weight of the winter elements.
- Check the flashing. Flashing is the aluminum or metal material that is placed over roof edges, piping, vents, skylights, chimneys, etc. to prevent water from seeping into the interior of the home. Problems with flashing are the most common cause of roofing leaks and are usually caused by high winds, hail damage, heavy rain, and other severe weather. If you notice any warped, torn, or loosened flashing, contact your contractor right away.
- Consider removing threatening trees/branches. Inspect any trees near your home, specifically those with twigs or branches that extend over your roof. During winter storms, snow accumulates on branches, causing them to become very heavy and break. A fallen tree branch can cause significant damage to your roof, so it may be best to remove the branch or, in some cases, the entire tree before snow falls,
- Do an interior inspection. Inspect all interior walls and ceilings for stains that indicate a leak. Even if it seems minor, trust us, you’ll want to have these sealed and repaired before the winter months arrive.
If you don’t feel safe or properly equipped to prepare your roof for winter, don’t hesitate to call a professional contractor to assist you. The most important thing is to not procrastinate, as any problems with your roof will become apparent and much worse when the temperatures drop and it begins to snow. For free damage assessments and other quality home exterior services, contact the experts at Blackstone Exteriors!