Prep Your Roof for Snow

Fall is the best time to prepare your roof for winter before snow and ice cause damage.

6 Tips to Winterize Your Roof

Don’t wait until the first winter storm to see if your roof is prepared for the colder temperatures. Fall is the best time to winterize your roof before snow and ice cause expensive damage.

It’s one of the busiest times of the year with all the holidays coming up, and it can be easy to forget about checking on your roof. However, you don’t want to be caught in the middle of winter with snow and ice buildup on your roof, which can cause leaks, ice dams, or mold to develop.

Before your first guests of the season arrive, take a moment to do a quick roof check with these tips to winterize your roof.

1. Clear Gutters and Downspouts

Your gutters are key to preventing roof problems, particularly in the winter. As a general rule, your gutters and downspouts should be cleaned out twice a year to discourage clogging, especially after autumn leaves have fallen.

Failing to clean out your gutters can lead to ice dams formed by melted snow that refreezes. Ice dams cause a backup and can create leaks and other damage to your roofing materials.

2. Clear Overhanging Tree Branches

Tree branches can only handle so much weight, so when snow and ice start to pile on, they may crack and break under the pressure. If your roof is directly beneath those branches, there is potential for severe damage. Before this ever becomes a problem, trim back any branches or foliage overhanging your house to protect your gutters and shingles. Plus, keeping branches trimmed back reduces the amount of leaves and debris that end up in your gutters.

3. Improve Attic Insulation and Ventilation

Another key step to prevent ice dams from forming is ensure your attic has proper insulation and ventilation. This keeps your shingles cool to discourage melting. Adequate insulation keeps heat from leaving the house through the roof, which also saves on energy costs.

Ice dams can cause both interior and exterior damage. They may cause moisture to seep into your attic, which can turn into mold and mildew, presenting health hazards to your family or others living in the house. It is much easier to add quality insulation and ventilation than it is to fix leaks and mold.

4. Check Flashing

Roof flashing is a metal strip that covers joints between your roof and features such as skylights, chimneys, and vents. It helps to redirect water and seals out moisture. If you notice any gaps or tears in the material, a professional will be able to help make repairs before moisture from snowfall makes its way inside.

5. Invest in Roof Tools

• Snow guards: If you are concerned about impending avalanches of snow sliding off your roof, installing snow guards will improve safety for anyone around your house, reduce the pressure from snow buildup on your roof, and remove ice and snow in small increments.

• Heat cables: Lining problem areas on your roof with heat cables is an effective way to prevent ice dams and snow buildup during the winter. You can use them on your entire roof or just in areas that present the most issues, such as gutters and shady spots.

• Roof rake: A roof rake is a useful tool to manually remove snow and prevent buildup. If you notice snow starting to accumulate on your roof, you can rake it off as best you can and create paths for snowmelt to run off to prevent ice dams from forming.

6. Perform an Overall Check for Damage

A good rule of thumb prior to all seasonal changes is to give your roof a thorough check for any damage or potential issues. If you do notice any concerns, call your local roofing professional before the problem becomes worse. Trust us – it’s easier to take care of issues now before your roof is covered in snow.

Need help getting your roof ready for winter? Enterprise Roofing is ready to come out to your home and perform a free roofing inspection. Request a quote today or call us at 937-453-3933!

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