5 Ways to Prepare Your Roof for Winter
If you happen to live in an area that features relatively mild winter conditions, like southern California, for example, you might not be terribly worried about the prospect of damage to your roof due to winter storms. However, most of the world has to deal with inclement weather conditions during the colder months, including rain, sleet, snow, hail, and high winds, all of which can do a number to your roof, especially if you aren’t property prepared. Since you likely aren’t keen on the idea of letting the outside elements in over your head, it’s a good idea to take the steps necessary to ensure that your roof is in ship shape before winter weather hits. So here are just a few ways that you can get your house’s hat in fighting shape to face the storms that are coming.
- Inspect and repair. The smart homeowner will conduct a roofing inspection at least annually, and unless you’re somehow incapacitated, there’s no reason you can’t do this on your own. You’ll have to inspect both inside and out. On the inside you’ll be looking for indications of leaks, such as staining, mold, rot, and actual water. And on the outside you’ll want to look for roofing that is peeling, curling, cracking, or missing, as well as any signs of wear and tear around chimneys, vents, skylights, and so on (problems with flashing or seals, for example). You should document your annual inspection with digital photos so that you can keep up a running comparison to chart changes. And should you discover any issues, you’ll certainly want to institute repairs before the full force of winter weather comes to bear on your household.
- Clean the gutters. The fall season may be punctuated by beautiful leaves falling all around, but a fair portion of them are bound to find their way into your gutters and downspouts, potentially clogging the main waterway designed to funnel the elements off your roof and away from your house. So it is imperative to clean them at least once (although perhaps more frequently) before the rain, sleet, or snow of winter starts to fall.
- Test water tightness. Even if everything looks pretty good with your roof upon inspection, you might want to test it out before bad weather arrives. So haul a hose up to the roof and run it over the entire surface, paying particular attention to areas of possible ingress like vents and skylights. Then check the inside to make sure no leaks are occurring. You should also take this opportunity to make sure your gutters are draining properly and that they haven’t sprung a leak.
- Plastic wrap. If you’re worried about the possibility of water getting in through areas like skylights, consider adding an extra layer of protection with heavy-duty plastic secured to the outside of the windows. As a bonus, this could also provide an additional layer of insulation.
- Call in the pros. Whether you’re able to find issues with your roof or not, you may want to consider calling a professional roofing inspector to come out and take a look. With a click here and a click there you should have no trouble finding qualified candidates in your area (although trusted referrals are your best bet). And this service provider can ensure that you didn’t overlook any glaring issues that could come back to haunt you in the dead of winter.