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Preparing Your Roof For Winter

The health of your roof is important all year round, but especially during winter. The opportunities for water to seep into your home and heat to escape increase with whipping winter winds and the onslaught of piling snow.

 

Here’s what you can do as a homeowner to kick-start your roof winterization.

 

Start Roof Winterization Early

Don’t wait until leaves start to fall to begin preparing your roof for winter. Get in touch with a roofing professional in late summer to schedule a roof inspection for August through November. Most large roofing projects are completed between April and August, so your contractor’s schedule should be more flexible.

It’s always a good idea to involve a professional. But if no major problems arise, any homeowner with a ladder, some tools, and elbow grease can complete the tasks below to prepare their roof for winter.

 

Roof Winterization Checklist

 

1. Clean your gutters.

 

Clogged gutters become a nightmare as snow begins to melt in the midday sun. If the water can’t escape, it will find its way into your home causing leaks, mold growth, and sometimes collapse. Completely clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves, rocks, and shingles. Check out our guide for removing gutter debris for more helpful tips.

2. Clear debris.

 

 

Clear debris like sticks, branches, leaves, and loose shingles from the surface of your roof before wet winter weather washes it into your gutters, putting them at risk for leaks. If you’re not comfortable scaling your roof, this is no problem for a professional.

 

3. Inspect the attic.

 

What you observe from the outside may not tell your roof’s entire story. Before cold weather returns, it’s important to inspect your attic. Check for active leaks or remnant moisture, identify the source and repair. Ensure your roof is evenly insulated, preventing heat loss and ice dams formed by trapped heat.

 

4. Inspect and repair flashing.

 

Flashing around chimneys, vents, skylights, and roof valleys is a frequent source of leaks and should be inspected once or twice per year, especially before and after heavy storms. You may need a professional to help you with extensive flashing repair. If you just need a little guidance, check out our quick guide to repairing chimney flashing.  

 

5. Continuously monitor your roof.

 

As a crucial part of the integrity of your home, it’s important to keep an eye on your roof all winter (really, all year) long. When it comes to heavy ice and snow, roof collapse is a threat. Don’t let suspected problems persist. Call a professional for winter repairs on icy, slippery roofs.

 

Gift yourself some peace of mind

Between HVAC, sprinkler systems, and insulation, home winterization can feel overwhelming. Hire a professional to help if you feel preparing your roof for winter is a bit out of reach. Remember to keep roof inspection at the top of your priority list because, without it, all you really have is four walls.