Winter is here; fortunately for homeowners here in the north it isn’t too late to protect their roofs against the damage the season can bring. Below is a simple guide for homeowners to follow in order to protect their roofs from damage while helping to lower overall energy bills.
One of the most important things that you can do for your home during the spring and fall seasons is to clean out the gutters around the home. The gutters will take a thorough beating throughout the winter if accumulated debris builds up. Not only will the gutters crack, split and start to peel away from the roof the winter weather can wreak havoc on the trim and siding because of damage being done to the homes gutters.
Gutters that become clogged are not effective in letting water runoff drain from the roof. The most often resulting in ice dams which if left untreated can turn into leaks within the interior of the home. It is crucial during the winter season that the gutters stay free of debris to allow the water to flow and divert the water away from the home protecting the home inside and out.
Debris doesn’t only wreak havoc with the homes gutter it also can cause damage to shingling. Extra fall leaves left building up on the roof retain moisture and then will freeze and thaw throughout the season. This process will eventually lead to cracking and a reduced life expectancy to the asphalt shingling on the roof. It is important to trim trees that hang over the homes roof. The constant back and forth of branches scraping on the homes roof can lead to wear thus wearing away the materials that the roof is composed of. This can lead to roof damage and leaks.
It is important that homeowners take time to repair damage to a home’s roof before the winter weather strikes. Small cracks in shingling will only become extreme issues if left to go through the freeze, thaw, and melt cycle that occurs throughout the winter. These issues turn from small, minor repair issues into expensive full roof replacements depending on the strength of the winter storms that occur throughout the season.
Another aspect of maintenance to perform on roofing before the winter season is in full swing is to re-caulk joints and flashing that is showing signs of wear. These areas on a roof are already highly susceptible to leaking. The winter weather adds another element of wear to an already fragile point on the roof.
It is important that homeowners don’t neglect the exterior of their homes during the winter season, especially the homes roof. Winter weather is particularly hard on a home’s roof. From heavy snow to ice dams there are many warning signs for homeowners to look for to prevent damage to the homes roof. Small roofing problems can easily be repaired before they turn into an expensive new roof needing to be installed. Continue reading for information on what you should be looking for to avoid winter roofing hassles.
Damage Ice Storms
After your area has gone through the experience of an ice storm it important to have the homes roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor. It is hard for the inexperienced eye to spot the damage that occurs from hail and ice but for a roofing contractor it is pretty evident. Ice damage occurs in many forms including deep dimples in the roof surface, cracked shingles, loose asphalt granules and missing roofing aspects.
Ice Dams and Heavy Snow Buildup
Snow always appears so light and fluffy as it falls from the sky. The reality however is that after snow has settled on your roof and had time to thaw from any temperature difference the melted snow is incredibly heavy. This weight puts a great deal of pressure on the roof which can lead to pressure cracks and in turn leaks. A similar concept occurs when snow melts and refreezes around the edge of the roof creating ice dams. Water that would normally run off of the roof has nowhere to go and in turn continues to freeze along the edge. This leads to weight damage on the roof or interior leaks.
Harsh winter weather is notorious for the damage that it does to the roofs flashing. Flashing is the metal that is applied over the roof joints to help direct the flow of water. It is also used around skylights, dormer windows, vents and such. Although it is a durable material the winter weather can take a toll on it. If flashing damage goes untreated homeowners can expect to experience leaks and interior water damage.
Winter weather varies a great deal from location to location. Winters here in the north alone vary a great deal. One day we are dealing with temperatures in the upper forties and the next we are experiencing two feet drifts of snow. With this in mind it is important that homeowners get into a routine. Roofing contractors can be hired to do bi-yearly screenings of your homes roof, during the spring and fall to pinpoint problem areas before they become bigger issues. Homeowners should become familiar with their roofs as well in order to perform periodic checks for damage that is above and beyond normal wear and tear.