How to Prepare Your Roof For Winter

Written by Posted On Sunday, 01 November 2020 05:00

As cold winter months approach for many places in the United States, many homeowners are thinking about all the projects they need to do to prepare their homes. Your roof takes the brunt of the winter ice and snow, and you’ll want to make sure that it is in good condition and free from leaks before the cold wet months approach. We are going to cover a few easy things you can do to make sure your roof is prepared for winter.

Remove Debris From Roof & Gutters

According to Redwood Roofing Repair, one easy thing homeowners can do is to remove debris from their roof. When branches or leaves from trees fall on your roof it can cause water to pool as leaves will often clog drains for flat roofs and prevent your gutters from draining. As water sits on your roof surface it increases the chances of a leak occurring. Also, on membrane roofs sharp branches can even puncture the material. If you have a flat membrane roof you might want to check and make sure fallen branches haven’t made any holes in the roof.

Check the Flashing Around The Chimney

One major issues seen by Pioneer Roofing is leaks occurring around chimneys. Your chimney can act like a dam that traps snow and ice and causes it to build up rather than slide off the roof. If the flashing around the chimney isn’t secured and sealed properly this snow and ice can run down the side of the chimney into your home. If necessary you might want to reseal around chimney flashing with silicone caulking. If the flashing isn’t laying flat against the chimney you might need to drill into the chimney and secure the flashing with fasteners.

Inspect Vents & Pipe Flashings

On older roofs vents might be made of plastic which can crack or break over time. It’s a good time to check your vents to make sure they aren’t cracked or damaged. If you do see any breaks you should remove the vent and replace it with a new aluminum vent. These can be bought at any roofing supply store or Home Depot and Lowes.

For pipe flashings, make sure the flashing fits snugly around the pipe. If you see any kind of gap or break you can probably fill it with silicone caulking. If the break is big enough, you might need to remove the flashing and replace it. Again, these can be purchased at any home repair store.

Add Heat Cables to Problem Areas

We mentioned how snow and ice build up can cause roofs to leak. A roof is meant to direct water off of your home but it isn’t meant to be 100% waterproof. Ice and snow build up can cause water to flow underneath shingles and other roofing material causing leaks. If you have an area of your roof that has problem with ice building, you might want to add heat cables.

Heat cables are thin cables that you can run along the eaves and valleys of your roof, along with anywhere else that ice builds. These cables keep the temperature warm enough to prevent ice from building up on top of your roof. Installation is fairly simple, but you may want to hire a roofing contractor to install them.

These are a few easy things you can do to make sure your home is protected this winter. If you have already had leaks you might want to call a roofing professional to fix leaks before cold wet months cause further damage to your home.

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