When it comes to roof maintenance, forgetting to prepare the roof for the cold winter months can be an expensive oversight. Having routine roof maintenance tasks performed before winter takes hold will help your home stay warm and cozy as well as avoid expensive roof repairs caused by leaking and ice dams. Read on for 7 key maintenance tips to get your roof ready for winter.
1. Have Trees Trimmed
Trim any tree branches that are too close to the roof. Ice storms and heavy snowfall break branches, which in turn can cause structural damage to your home. Trim back tree branches to about 15 feet away from your house. Limbs should also be high enough above the home so that they don’t brush against shingles during high winds.
2. Remove Debris
High winds and snow cause tree branches to drop leaves and other debris on the roof. In time, massive amounts of leaves and debris end up accumulating and clogging the gutters. Pine trees also cause severe problems by trapping moisture, causing direct damage to the roof and stimulating the growth of moss or mold.
3. Clean the Gutters and Downspouts
Clean gutters and downspouts help water drain from the roof as ice and snowmelt. If water collects in the gutters, it can cause serious problems as the temperatures drop during the night. Clogged gutters end up causing ice in the gutters and downspouts. The constant moisture and standing water damaged the siding and the home’s foundation. Clearing the gutters regularly prevents clogs and can help you avoid costly roof repairs.
4. Inspect the Roof for Shingle Damage
Have the roof inspected for shingle damage, etc. Roof inspections are best left to professional roofers. These inspections can help you prevent expensive repairs in the future.
5. Attic Ventilation
Because the roof is located on top of the attic, proper attic ventilation is critical when it comes to preventing ice dams on the roof. If you have an attic ventilation problem, roofers recommend improving it by adding more roof vents and removing insulation that may be blocking them.
6. Clear Away Snow
Removing snow that’s within 4 feet of gutters and drains will improve your drainage. While you may be tempted to do it yourself, this is a task best left to roof experts. It’s a potentially dangerous job and you may cause more harm than good. Clearing snow from roofs could actually cause more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing.
7. Have the Roof Inspected
Snow and ice make the roof slippery and hazardous so avoid climbing on the roof during the frigid winter months. Instead, make sure your roof is in tip-top shape by hiring a roofing company to perform a roof inspection.
There are several things you can do to keep the roof safe this winter. Being proactive is the best way to start, along with contacting an experienced roofing company with the right safety equipment and tools.