It’s that time of year again. The leaves begin to change color, the weather becomes cooler, and we all begin to think about getting our homes ready for the winter months. Did you know that in addition to your porch, lawn and flowerbeds, your home’s roof also needs to be tended to before the snow flies? This is particularly important when you live in a region that sees a significant amount of snowfall, as we do here in Central NY - and as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. However, colder temperatures will cause any roof to become more brittle and damage more easily, so it is important to perform regular seasonal maintenance even on roofs in regions that don’t see a great amount of snow. Not only is it easy to make sure your roof is ready for the cold and ice, but it may also save you a lot of hassle and money in the end.
Here are 5 ways to make sure that that your roof is winter-ready:
Mid to late fall, clear fallen leaves, branches, and debris from the roof with a broom. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, have a roofing professional come out and do it for you. Additionally, clean out the gutters and downspouts to make sure that they don’t get clogged up over the winter, causing ice buildup. As you enter the cold season, your gutters should be free-flowing and drain roughly three feet from your foundation so as to avoid potential water buildup there.
Inspect - Outside...
While you (or a professional) are on the roof, inspect it for obvious damage like loose or missing shingles or vents, poorly sealed flashing, and cracks or wear around the chimney. These are the most common ways that water finds its way in and wreaks a lot of havoc. Again, if you are comfortable making these repairs yourself, they are fairly easy. However, if you are not, it may be best to have a professional come out. Either way, this minor maintenance is inexpensive and could save you from having to pay for major water damage repairs later on.
Your inspection should also be carried out inside your home, particularly in your attic. Look for signs of previous water leaks, such as water stains on the ceiling. This could mean that you have had past damage to your roof that needs addressing. Also, check the insulation in your attic. Poor insulation in this part of your house leads to heat escaping, which can cause water and ice to create weakened areas on your roof. Not to mention it also leads to higher energy bills for you! Areas that could need increased insulation are pipes, vents, and around light fixture bases and chimney systems. While sufficient insulation will keep heat where it belongs- inside your living area- also make sure that your attic is properly ventilated. Proper ventilation ensures that cold air is allowed to circulate, preventing warm air from melting snow and ice on the roof and causing problems. It’s easy to take care of these issues before the snow and ice arrive.
Get Your Guard Up
Gutter guards and snow guards are great ways to prevent problems from happening in the first place. Installing gutter guards prevents leaves and debris from getting trapped and causing water or ice buildup. These are especially helpful as winter storms blow debris onto your roof and getting up there to clean it out may be next to impossible. When snow does arrive, and for those who get a lot of it, snow guards will help to prevent large slides which can prove very damaging, not only to your roof, but potentially to someone below.
Schedule a Professional Inspection
It’s always a good idea to get a roofing professional come in at least once a year to do a thorough inspection, and now is the perfect time. He or she can spot even the most minor problems that can be easily fixed before they become major issues, and a drain on your budget. J. Lindsley has years of trusted experience getting roofs ready for winter. If you are in the Central New York area including Syracuse, Clay, Cicero, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, Onondaga County, Oswego, Fulton, Hannibal, Cato, Mexico, Phoenix, Bayberry, Radisson, Penneville, Sterling, Fair Haven and Oswego County, J. Lindsley can serve you! Call (315) 453-ROOF