Today’s residential roofing systems are built to protect homes against different types of weather conditions. It also keeps your home and its interiors safe and comfortable, even during the winter season. But to ensure that they stay effective, they’ll need regular care and maintenance by experienced roofing professionals.
Your roof can easily withstand the natural elements as well if it’s built and maintained by a trusted contractor. But with winter already here, there might be a chance that your roof gets damaged from the ice and snow. If you want to avoid unwanted winter damage, you’ll need to take safety precautions to protect your roof from the cold weather. Here’s what you need to do:
Conduct a Thorough Inspection
Aside from routine maintenance checks from professional contractors, make it a habit to do a quick inspection of your residential roofing system on occasion. One of the reasons why this is necessary is that there might be minor damage on your roof that wasn’t there during the maintenance check. This can mean it might have been overlooked during routine inspection (which seldom happens), or the damage happened sometime afterward. Either way, the sooner the damage has been identified, the sooner it can be addressed.
Your roof will always be susceptible to damage if it isn’t properly managed. During the winter season, certain elements, such as snow and ice, can become the main causes of damage if precautions weren’t taken. And if they’re not repaired immediately, the damage worsens and can get costly to repair especially during the season.
Clear Out Unwanted Debris
There will always be debris found on your roof and gutters, which can contribute to winter damage if they weren’t cleared out properly. Fallen leaves and branches can keep moisture that can slowly penetrate your roof if left sitting. The moisture leads to mold and mildew buildup within your roofing system, which can affect your home’s ventilation system via the ductwork. It can also cause rot to your roof’s wooden components and compromise its structural integrity.
Other objects tossed by the wind can also cause damage to your roof by dislodging the tiles or shingles. Nuts and berries can also land on your roof and attract squirrels, birds and pests that may cause damage to your roof’s surface. You also want to look for “dips” or depressions on the surface as you clean your roof. These are places where water can potentially pool once the ice and snow melts. Don’t forget to check and clean your gutter installation as well as it will have clogs and debris left from the fall season. Clean gutters mean your roof dries faster as the water runoff is directed properly into the drain.
As you clear out the debris thoroughly, make sure to do so carefully and with proper safety equipment. If you don’t want to risk an injury or accident while cleaning your roof, you can always call in a trusted contractor to do the job for you. The pros will even be more thorough in cleaning, so you can be confident your roof’s ready to take on the winter weather!
Check Your Shingles and Siding
If you have an asphalt shingle roof, it’s important to closely check for damage. Cracked or loose shingles can easily get ripped off by strong winds, which can make parts of your roof vulnerable to winter damage. You can also check your attic for holes where slivers of light are shining through them. These must be patched to prevent snow and ice from getting inside your property. Repairing broken shingles and replacing what’s missing also prevents moisture from seeping through your roof.
Your siding and gutters must also be inspected for signs of damage. Any damage to your siding can have an impact on your roof, especially in the areas where the two meet. Make sure to check for loose panels and rotted soffits, and address them as soon as possible. Damaged gutters must also be repaired by a professional to prevent winter damage as they can cause water to leak in the wrong places and seep in between the panels of your siding.
Clear Out the Excess Snow
Your roofing system will have a weight limit on how much it can hold. Most residential roofing systems can handle around 20 pounds of snow per square foot on average, but don’t take your chances if you don’t want yours to sag or collapse under the weight. Freshly fallen snow shouldn’t sit on your roof as well as it can become slushy and icy and become “old snow”. This weighs more than fresh snow, so make sure to clear it out with a snow rake and a ladder. Keep in mind you must do this carefully with safety equipment to prevent falling and getting injured.
Address and Prevent Pest Damage
It’s nice to have squirrels and birds making a home for themselves in the trees surrounding your home, but they can also be attracted to the warmth of your home during the winter season. If the branches are overhanging your roof, squirrels and other small animals can easily jump over and find a way into your roof just to stay warm and cozy. This often means unwanted damage to your roof as well as additional pest problems.
Other animals can seek refuge in your roof for warmth as well, including birds, bats, mice and even rats. They’ll claw or chew their way inside even if it means damaging your roofing material. They’ll also damage part of your siding, insulation and wiring, which can lead to moisture damage to the inner components of your home’s exteriors. You’ll eventually notice weird smells coming from your ventilation system, which can be unsettling.
If there are signs of pest and animal infestation on your roof, we recommend having it cleared out by a professional. Doing it yourself isn’t worth the trouble, and you may get bitten and injured if you don’t have the right equipment. All the damaged areas and entry points must be covered and sealed tightly to prevent future animal infiltrations from happening.
When it comes to reliable roof maintenance and siding installation, our professionals at Northeast Gutters and Remodeling get the job done professionally! Talk to us today at (860) 899-7878, or just fill out our convenient online form.