Preparing Your Roof For Winter

preparing-your-roof-for-winterBay Area winters are relatively mild compared to those experienced in other parts of the country. Even so, it is still necessary for homeowners to ensure that their roof stays intact through the coldest season. Low temperatures and wind can cause severe damage, even without icy precipitation.

Follow these tips to get your roof ready for the cold season:

Get Debris Off Your Roof.  Debris on your roof like leaves, branches and pine needles must be removed. If you leave them there, they can start to rot. Accumulated rotting vegetation will damage your roof over time. In addition, a buildup of debris from the fall and summer can become heavy enough to cause a roof to cave in, especially after rain. Getting debris out of roof valleys is particularly important.

Get Debris Out Of Your Gutters.  Debris like the aforementioned leaves, branches and pine needles can get into your gutters and clog them. Clogged gutters combined with rainy Bay Area winters results in backed up, stagnant water. This can produce mold and algae, which may damage the gutters or your roof. Clearing your gutters also helps to prevent ice dams. Ice dams can cause water to go behind your siding and wind up inside your home.

Inspect For Damage.  It is a good idea to inspect for damage before the arrival of winter. You will want to look for issues like missing shingles or discoloration. The condition of your roof has a lot to do with its ability to survive an ice storm.

Remove Overhanging Branches.  With the right amount of wind, branches that are hanging near an asphalt roof can cause damage. Over time, they can expose the underlayment. In some cases, branches can actually rip the felt beneath the shingles thus exposing the plywood.

Replace Worn Flashing.  Your flashing plays an important role in keeping your roof watertight. It is a good idea to have flashings inspected regularly to see if there are any signs of wear. It is especially important that they be in good condition heading into winter. An inspector will focus on flashings along your chimney and skylights.

Check Attic Insulation.  Getting your roof ready to handle freezing temperatures involves more than just your shingles and gutters. You will want to pay attention to what is going on inside your home as well, especially in the attic. Poor insulation and airflow in your attic can result in your utility bills being higher than they should be and can shorten the lifespan of your roof. You should have the right amount of insulation and its volume and height should be consistent throughout your attic space. Your attic vents and fans should also be working properly.

Have Your Roof Inspected By A Professional.  While you might be able to detect some problems easily from the ground, others can only be discovered by an experienced roofer working on the roof. Loose flashing and curling shingles are just some of the issues that a roofer can find and fix. Keep in mind that winter can make these problems worse, so you should get them fixed while the weather is still mild.

These are just some of the steps involved in winterizing a roof. To learn more about getting your roof ready to handle the worst that winter weather can throw at it, contact us today.

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