How to Get Your Roof Ready for Winter

Old Man Winter is ready to make his entrance again. With it he’ll bring winter storms with snow, ice and wind that can cause major damage to your roof. Predictions are that this winter is going to be worse than the winter of 2018-2019, which seemed like it would never end!

Precautions Now May Avoid Headaches Later

While we can’t stop the cold seasons in their tracks, it is possible to get your roof ready for winter. Preparing may help you avoid potential problems that might lead to a roof leak or worse. Restoration RX provides expert roof replacement and roof repair in Sioux Falls, SD and the surrounding area. We’d be happy to take a look at your roof and offer you our professional assessment. We’ll even provide you with a free estimate on the total cost of any roofing project you might need, including installing a new roof if warranted.

Remove Debris

Debris such as branches, leaves, pine needles, dirt or even toys (anyone seen Jr’s baseball glove?) that are left lying on your home’s roof, can breakdown or encourage water to pool, causing mold and mildew growth on your roof’s membrane. If these items roll around enough, they can damage asphalt shingles. Eventually they will penetrate the membrane and allow water to seep inside your structure. If they are blown into downspouts and clog them, water may be forced back up under your shingles.

Clear Out Gutters and Downspouts

While you’re at it, make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris. If your gutters appear to be sagging or you cannot safely remove the accumulated waste, contact a professional to assess them or clear out the gunk. When snow, rain or ice flow over the roof edge or gutter system, water can seep into your foundation and flood your basement.

Check That Your Insulation is Dry

If your attic insulation is damp or wet, you may be surprised by how high your heating bills climb this winter. Moisture in your attic’s insulation may encourage bacteria and mold growth, which can make your family sick. Damp or wet insulation must be replaced in order to halt damage. Make certain to identify what is causing the moisture and have the problem repaired immediately.

Ventilation is a Must

Since you’re already in the attic, check to see that vents are not obstructed. Improper air flow may cause heat loss, which allows ice to build up on the eaves of your roof. This can lead to ice dam formation. Ice dams force water to backtrack up the roof beneath the shingles, where it may then leak into your house.

Check the Roof Edge

Your home’s roof edge is an important part of your roofing system. It helps protect the entire structure from damage in the winter months. Improperly installed, ill-fitting, or worn fasteners can weaken or degrade your roof edge, making it susceptible to damage from wind, rain sleet or ice.

Be sure to inspect the roof edge from both the ground and the roof itself. Looking from both angles will help you to notice problem areas. Problem areas might include loose metal, popped nails, slack fasteners, standing water and any other issues you might find on this checklist.

Inspect Other Areas of Your Roof

Framework

Having a roof inspection annually by a professional is a good idea. In addition, as you prepare for winter storms and blizzards, be sure to perform a visual inspection of your roof line. You should be looking for sagging, and call a roofing contractor if something doesn’t look right. A drooping roof may not be able to handle its original snow load, despite the roofing materials used.

Valleys

Areas where one portion of a roof meets another tend to accumulate debris. This can cause snow and ice to build up, adding weight to the framework and possibly causing damage to an asphalt shingle roof, tile roof or even metal roofing.

Shingles

Winter storms often bring high winds, blowing snow, and ice. All of which can work your roof’s shingles loose. Look your shingles over for loose granules or curling edges, which can easily catch in a stiff breeze and be torn off. Consider hiring a roofing contractor to determine if it’s possible to replace a few shingles or if a new roof is in order.

Develop a Plan of Action

While it’s common for wintery weather to cause damage to a building’s roof, some issues may develop gradually. This is why it’s important to monitor your roof regularly throughout the cooler months. Inspecting it once a week for visual changes is a good idea, and charting those variations will help you to remember how things appeared earlier. Also, you may want to take a few photos on your phone to compare. Watch for accumulating snow and learn your roof’s weight-bearing capacity. Always call a professional if you are in doubt of how much snow is too much.

Ready, Set, Snow!

Getting your roof ready for winter can spare you from some ugly surprises in the months ahead and help extend the life of your roofing system. When you are looking for a reliable roofing contractor to perform a roofing inspection, make roofing repairs or for new roofing installation in Sioux Falls, SD and the surrounding area, please call Restoration RX!