Preparing your roof for winter is one of the best tasks you can do to help your home stay dry this winter. Shingle and gutter damage allow moisture to seep into your home through various modes of entry, and a little preventative maintenance can help you avoid serious damage to your home later on. Here are some tips to help you prepare your home's roof for winter before the snow and ice arrives.
Clean and Inspect Roof and Gutters
Before the weather is wet or icy, safely get upon your rooftop to inspect and clean it. Wearing rubber soled shoes while you do this can help prevent slipping.
Check for any debris and branches left upon your roof and remove them. Debris left on your roof over winter can trap moisture on your shingles and cause moisture rot. Large branches left on your roof can also scratch and damage your shingles. Pick up large debris, then sweep smaller debris with a broom, sweeping downward over your shingles to prevent damage. You can also spray debris from your roof with a garden hose and a nozzle attachment.
Remove debris from your gutters by scooping it out with a garden trowel or your gloved hands, or spray them clean with a pressure washer or your garden hose. Removing this build-up inside your gutters helps ensure your gutters flow freely and don't clog or overflow, especially when the spring thaw occurs. Clear gutters and a clean roof also help prevent ice dams.
If water drains improperly from your gutters onto the soil around your home's foundation, it can cause soil erosion and moisture intrusion into your basement and foundation. Make sure your downspouts have diverters that deliver water at least five feet from your home's foundation to additionally ensure your foundations stay dry.
Spray water from your garden hose into your gutters to check for any cracks, gaps, or holes. Repair any leaks with a gutter repair kit, which you can find at most home improvement stores. You can also hire a professional gutter installer to repair or replace your damaged gutter lengths.
Inspect and Repair Roof Damage
After you have cleaned your rooftop, inspect your shingles for any cracks, tears, and for any missing shingles. Also look for any evidence of hail damage on your roof, which appears as dents or holes in your shingles and also spots of missing granules from your shingles. Areas of damaged or missing shingles should be replaced before winter, as they can allow moisture to seep below your roofing layers. Overtime, the moisture can find its way into your roofing deck and attic, leading to dry rot and moisture damage.
Complete your shingle repairs on a warm sunny day if at all possible. The sun will soften the shingles, making them flexible while you lift and bend back surrounding shingles to make your repairs. Completing this on a cold, cloudy day can cause you to accidentally crack surrounding shingles when you bend and manipulate them during repairs.
To remove a broken or damaged shingle, use a pry bar to lift up the shingle directly above the damaged one and remove the roofing nails holding them both in place. Pull out the damaged shingle and slip a new one in its place, attaching it through its middle and along its top section with new roofing nails.
If you do not have any replacement shingles, you can buy a box of shingles to match at a roofing supply store or home improvement store. Contractors from a roofing company like Drey Roofing can also inspect and repair your roof.Share
6 November 2017
I spent weeks researching metal and shingle roofing to try to figure out what would be the best material to use on my home. I weighed the costs, the length of life, the amount of maintenance required and how well each type would hold up to high winds and strong storms. After compiling all of the information that I needed to make an educated decision about the roofing for my home, I created a blog. This blog is meant to help other homeowners decide which roofing material would be best for their homes now and many years into the future.