5 Steps to Protect Your Roof This Winter

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A missing shingle, an icicle haven, or a clogged gutter.

These may seem like benign and innocuous matters that might not create significant harm to your rooftop. Unfortunately, these might be the beginning of a serious problem in the future, one that will cost you plenty in repair and replacement costs.

So, what should you do? Well, skip the extra slice of pumpkin pie and concentrate on your roof.

Here are five tips for protecting your roof this winter:

1. Put Down the Pumpkin Spice Latte – and Clear Those Gutters

Before Old Man Winter makes his triumphant return in a couple of months, it is important to be proactive in the autumn by paying attention to your gutters.

A packed gutter – rain or leaves, ice or snow – can boost the odds of ice dams, which can create a whole host of problems this winter. The less gutters drain, the more they will collect snow, increasing the likelihood of rotting, threatening the integrity of your rooftop.

Not only should you clean them, you need to make sure they drain properly, something that can be done by maintaining an adequate slope.

So, put down your pumpkin spice latte, put on a sweater, and head outside and clear those gutters.

2. Inspect the Integrity & Structure of Roof

There are two things you can do in the weeks leading up to winter: hire a professional roofing company or apply some do-it-yourself (DIY) methods. Considering how serious your rooftop is, we would recommend hiring a roofer who has been in this business a long time.

What exactly do need the experts for?

That’s easy: to inspect the integrity and structure of your roof. By having a pair of professional eyes, these expert roofers can determine if your rooftop can withstand the harsh elements of winter: heavy weights of snow, the accumulation of ice, and sufficient insulation in your home (see below).

3. See Icicle Havens? Check the Insulation

Every year, you have likely noticed that your rooftop collects icicles. In fact, your rooftop is potentially a haven for those iniquitous icicles! But while they may seem benign, they may be a sign of something more nefarious in your home.

What could be the problem? Well, there might be inadequate insulation in the attic or there could be an improperly ventilated soffit occurring. Moreover, without any remedies, the icicles can pose a safety risk and can create ice dams through the steady drip along the edge.

It can be difficult to forecast what could go wrong.

Solution? Hire a roofing contractor and study the issues.

4. Look for Damaged Shingles

Your shingles go through a lot all year long. From the torrential downpours to the oppressive temperatures to the heavy snowfall, it’s amazing how long your shingles can live.

Unfortunately, not every shingle is eternal, which is why it’s recommended that you should search for deformed, cracked, or even missing shingles on your rooftop following every storm.

Prior to winter’s unwelcomed return, you should replace any damaged shingles. If you refuse, then the leaks will inevitably happen, and the underlying wood sheathing will rot once the snow melts.

5. Take Plenty of Photos

Does the little man inside of you have a feeling that roofing damage is about to happen?

One of the best things you can do is to snap plenty of photos. This is important for either explaining to a contractor what you think the problem could be or to show to an insurance claims adjuster. A before and after photo is extremely helpful in any case.

Your roofing takes an enormous beating between November and March (sometimes heading into April or even May). Should damage take place, then you will incur an exorbitant bill from a roofing company to repair or replace it. It is better to take precautionary steps now to avoid a headache in the future.

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About Author

Hi, I'm Bryan! I'm the guy who writes most of the home improvement tutorials in Step By Step House. If you have any questions about what I've written, just contact me and I'll get back to you. Thanks!

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