6 Point Checklist: Roof Well Being in Winter
For homeowners, the winter months always bring about a mixed bag of emotions. While the cold winter months never fail to inspire thoughts of cozy fireplaces and mugs of warm drinks, homeowners are fully aware of the potential amount of damage that the cold weather and snow can cause to a home, especially in subzero temperatures often experienced in Calgary, Alberta during the winter months.
If you’re not careful, what seems to be a minor leaking issue the rest of the year can turn into a full-blown water damage problem during the winter months. While some homeowners prefer to wait to save up for major repairs and maintenance to their home, it is significantly less costly to perform preventative maintenance on your home. Not only that, but it can be difficult and more costly to carry out repairs and maintenance during winter, so, as much as possible, these repairs and preventative maintenance should be taken care of before the snow hits
One of the most important structures that need your attention before the winter months come around is your home’s roofing. While your roofing’s condition is undeniably important during the rest of the year, it is something that cannot be overlooked when the winter months are nearing. After all, your roofing will be protecting you and your home from the cold winds and snow from the winter weather, and the smallest damage can turn into a major inconvenience when winter hits.
If you do not attend to your roof maintenance during the warmer months, the cold can cause severe damage to your roofing, which can cost you thousands of dollars to repair, and, it is important to note that it is a major hassle to get your roof repaired during the winter, hence, the higher cost of repair services. Performing your maintenance and repairs before winter comes is a good way of keeping a roof in good condition and strong enough to handle the cold weather without having to shell out too much of your home’s budget.
What kind of roof damage can you expect in the winter?
As a homeowner, it’s important to be aware of the potential roof damage you could be facing during the winter. Understanding the extent of the potential damage that your roof could be facing in the winter months is a good way of recognizing what areas of your roof need immediate attention before winter sets in.
The most common form of roof damage you could be facing in the winter is wind damage. Winds during the winter months in Calgary can get very strong, and if your roof isn’t secured, it can see a lot of damage as a result.
The accumulation of snow on your roof can hurt a roof that has been weakened by prior damage. Leaking due to snow buildup sits on the lower end of inconveniences when it comes to damage, but, worst case scenario, your roof could collapse on you in the middle of winter because of the weight of the snow.
The subzero temperatures will also cause all kinds of damage to a weakened roof, such as the formation of ice dams, icicles, and moisture that leads to water damage. With all of these potential forms of damage, it’s best to take the necessary steps to prevent these issues during winter by performing these repairs and preventative maintenance services.
Perform a visual inspection and look for areas of damage
The very first thing that you need to do to guarantee a solid roof during the winter is by performing a visual inspection of your roof a few months before winter and identifying any areas of damage. This allows you to determine what areas of your roof could be potential weak points during the winter.
Take a look at your roof line. If it’s sagging, then your roof will likely not be able to hold up to the added weight of snow and ice. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be looking for in your roof’s visual inspection, you should look into hiring a professional roofing contractor in your area to help you identify these areas of damage so that they can be addressed right away.
Watch out for leaks
Leaking is one of the most common forms of damage that you’re going to run into, regardless of the season. The problem with leaking during the winter months is that these leaks are going to get worse because of the added weight of snow on ice on your roof, which can lead to a roof collapse. Not only that, but because of the ice, the leaking can get worse and even spread to other areas of your roofing. Any roof leaks should be completely plugged up before winter hits.
Inspect your flashing
Roof flashing refers to thin sheets of metal that are shaped and installed onto your roofing to help control the flow of water and move it away from the joints and seams of your roof. These areas are especially prone to leaks and water damage, and the roof flashing helps keep water away from them.
Due to the nature of their design, the areas where your roof flashing are installed are also some of the prime locations for leaks to occur, so these need to be inspected carefully as well. If the leaking is bad, then the flashing will need to be replaced in order to get your roof in good condition before the winter.
Avoid ice dams in your roof with the right preventative maintenance
Cold winter temperatures can cause damage to your home like no other season can. Not only is the snow and ice bad for leaks and the structural integrity of your roof, but the cold temperatures that come with it can cause unexpected and hidden problems within your home.
One of the biggest issues with winter temperatures is the formation of ice dams in a clogged gutter system. Since your gutter holds water, the clog can freeze when the cold sets in, which forms a dam of ice. Not only will this ice dam cause damage to your roof, but it can lead to the buildup of snow on your roof, since the gutter is unable to direct the snow away from it.
You want to make sure that there is no buildup in your gutters and that water can flow through them with no issues. Proper venting and insulation of your attic is also a plus, as the warm air coming from your ceiling will go a long way in preventing the formation of these ice dams.
Cut your trees back
The strong winds and cold temperatures of the winter months can cause tree branches to break off, and if these branches are close to your roof, then they will land on your roofing. This will easily lead to serious damage.
Part of your checklist of roof maintenance should always include trimming back trees and other forms of vegetation away from your roofing. This is also helpful during the other seasons, as leaves can fall into your gutters and cause blockages, so this form of roof maintenance should always be performed, regardless of the season.
Your roof is an essential part of your home, and if you want to make the most out of it, then it’s important to put in the time and resources to keep it in good condition. With harsh winter conditions, roofing damage will be even more drastic, so you can never be too prepared. One of the best ways to make sure that your roof is ready for the winter is by enlisting the services of a professional residential roofing company. They will work with you to identify and handle any damages or issues with your roof so that it holds up against the winter conditions and keeps you and your home safe against the cold.