Simple Roof Care Tips for the Winter

Winter is one of the toughest periods for your roof. With freezing temperatures and heavy rain/snow, it’s certainly not a great time to be experiencing damage or leaks.

To help prevent costly damage, check these simple roof care tips, most of which you can do quickly yourself.


1. Look out for ice dams

Ice dams can wreak havoc on the structure of your roof, and interior. Over time snow can melt and refreeze when the temperature drops at night. This cycle can repeat several times until you have a build-up, where a dam like ice block holds the snow in place, making the problem worse.

When this water starts seeping through your shingles that’s when the problem starts.

Don’t assume ventilation and insulation will stop the problem!

While a lot of advice would lead us to believe that properly insulating our home is the key to preventing the heat from escaping and therefore melting the snow, this isn’t always enough.

Many homes have heating ducts which run through the attic, contributing to the melting. And even with insulation, since heat rises, your attic may still hold some heat.

Note – Ice dams can form with or without gutters.


2. Too much snow? Consider removal

Most roofs can cope pretty well with normal levels of snowfall, without the need for any action. When heavy snowfall occurs (which is not uncommon here in the northeast), it can pose a risk.

Depending on the age and condition of your roof, the weight of heavy snowfall can and does cause structural damage. If your roof isn’t too high from the ground (single story or low roof) you may be able to remove some, or all the snow with an extendable roof rake. Never take unnecessary risks, if you can’t easily remove the snow from the ground or with a ladder, do not attempt to scale the roof yourself, consider hiring a professional.

Note – If you are unable to remove all of the snow from your roof, you could still be at risk of an ice dam. If you cannot push it off yourself, it may be best to hire a professional.


3. Watch out for wind damage

Wind can be as much a powerful force, if not greater than snow and ice. After heavy winds, it is good to inspect your roof from the ground, looking for any missing or damaged shingles and roof materials. If left untreated these small vulnerabilities can quickly lead to even greater problems, especially if snow, ice and water is allowed to enter your home through gaps in the roof!

You’re specifically looking for missing, broken, or damaged shingles or other roofing materials.


4. Repair damaged flashing

Loose and warped flashing is an easy entry point for melting snow and ice. Before you know it you could be looking at an internal leak. Flashing is affected by constant changes in temperature, shifting shingles and debris caused by high winds. These can all cause the flashing to shift out of shape or become damaged.

Pre-winter checks

  • Visually inspect your roof for signs of damage/missing shingles – A professional roof contractor can give you complete peace of mind.
  • Check condition of and clear your gutters
  • Check your attic has sufficient airflow – Good ventilation is one of the key factors in protecting against winter roof damage.

Every situation is different. this is meant only as a guide to help inform you of general roofing situations and maintenance. this is not a complete and exhaustive list or statement of every possible scenario and problem that could arise. we will not be held liable for any damage or injury sustained directly or indirectly from the information provided in this article/post.

Copyright © 2018 JPW Building, LLC – All Rights Reserved.

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