Is Your Roof Ready for the Snow?

roof covered in snow
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Despite what quarantine might make you believe, everyone loves staying at home in winter. Hot cocoa in hand beside the fireplace, gifts under the tree, and a roof over your head. We all want to enjoy the holidays with our loved ones without having to deal with any hassle. That’s why it’s best to get ready now before everything is on full Christmas mode.

Most of us have probably tried shoveling the driveway after heavy snowfall. But not a lot of us have tried maintaining and preparing the roof for winter. Here are a few ways to keep your family and roof safe in winter.

Inspect the Shingles

Before doing anything too drastic, check the shingles. It’s a good place to start, especially since they’re on the outermost part of the roof. Damaged shingles are one of those repairs that can easily be put off until damage has been done. Many homeowners are guilty of this.

Replace damaged shingles to prevent leaks. This also prevents the loose ones from causing any property damage. Using a ladder, inspect faulty or damaged shingles. It’s important to remember that being on the roof during winter can be dangerous, so limit this as much as possible. Best do this inspection before the first snowfall of late autumn.

Check the Gutters, Downspouts, and Vents

While you’re up there, check whether the gutters, downspouts, and vents are clean and clear of any debris. Having clogged gutters and downspouts is a recipe for getting ice dams. Ice dams are formed by ice ridges that form near the roof’s edge.

This can prevent melted snow from flowing off the roof and cause mold and mildew instead. To remedy that, you can attach a heating cable to areas on your roof that keep forming ice dams. Ice dams are considered a safety hazard and can become a rather expensive repair job if left unchecked.

man installing insulation foam

Insulate Your Home Properly

Speaking of ice dams, make sure to inspect your house’s insulation. Inspect the weatherstripping of doors, windows, etc. make sure to replace faulty weatherstripping as soon as they’re detected. Extra cost on utility bills isn’t the only problem a homeowner will deal with when it comes to faulty insulation.

During winter, it’s crucial to prevent heat transfer in and out of the house. Having faulty insulation can cause heat to seep through your roof and melt the snow on top. At night, the melted snow freezes and forms ice daggers hanging from your roof. It’s another safety hazard no homeowner wants around their home.

Clean the Roof of Snow Regularly

Clean the roof of accumulated snow regularly, especially that the weight of snow can add up over time. Roofs collapsing due to severe snowfall is more common than you think. To add, water seeping into your property and creating water damage is likely when there is too much snow on your roof.

To prevent accidents, avoid standing beneath the area you’re removing. It’s also advisable to remove or trim tree branches hanging over your roof. This minimizes the risk of having them break, fall, and damaging your property. Cleaning up after can also be more of a hassle.

When all is said and done, consult an expert contractor, engineer, architect, or service provider in your area. There is always a limit to what you can do with your untrained hands, and searching on the internet can only get you so far. Since you’re dealing with one of the most important parts of your home, dealing with the roof sometimes means needing construction supplies homeowners don’t normally have in their garage or shed.

Different parts of the country also have different building codes for the winter. Your home may be in an area with special topographical needs. That’s why it’s best to turn to a reliable service provider. Nobody calls someone from New York for their Southwestern needs. Check with a local expert to see if your house is up to code and secure for the weather.

In the end, Christmas is a time for us all to relax, unwind and spend time with our loved ones. It’s not a time to be running around town looking for a handyman to clear up our clogged gutters. They’re probably on holiday too. Get everything set up before snow season comes at you full swing.

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