The roof of your home is one of its most critical elements. As winter approaches, the last thing you want is leaks, heat loss or extensive structural damage due to a lack of care. For that reason, it’s important to take steps to ensure that your roof is ready for the harsh weather ahead. Here are four keys to preparing your roof for winter.
Replace Damaged of Missing Shingles
Standard asphalt shingles generally have a lifespan of around 30 years. However, depending on the amount of wear and tear they receive, some may only last 15 years. If your roof uses asphalt shingles, it’s recommended that they be inspected in the autumn to see if they’re still in good condition. If any are cracked, broken, curled, decayed or missing, they will need to be replaced. This can be done on individual shingles as needed, but if a good portion of your roof looks like this, the entire thing should be replaced.
Check the Attic for Leaks
Leaks in the attic are always a sign of roof damage. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you inspect it before winter arrives. Use a good flashlight and search the attic thoroughly for any evidence of leaks such as mold, water stains and rotting wood. Look around chimneys, vents and windows, too. If water, mold or stains show up here, the flashings need to be replaced or repaired. You should also turn off the flashlight and see if you notice any light coming through the roof, which indicates holes that need to be patched up.
Sometime in the fall, you should get on your roof and inspect it thoroughly. Of course it goes without saying that you should take every precaution to remain safe while up on the roof. It’s advisable to have another person spot you as both ascend and descend down the ladder. Pay special attention to flashings around chimneys and vents, the shingles, weak spots and signs of damage from animals. Some of these problems can be fixed yourself if you have the tools and knowledge, but if you’re not comfortable tackling them, it’s best to call a professional company like United Roofing.
Preparing your roof for winter also involves cleaning it up in the late autumn. Remove any branches or leaf piles and use a broom to sweep dirt and small debris off of it. Begin at the middle of your roof and work your way outward. Inspect your gutters for stability and clean them out if they need it to help prevent ice damming. If there is excessive algae growth on your shingles, try hosing them off with a garden sprayer to keep the algae from breaking down the asphalt.
Your roof is responsible for keeping your warm and dry, and you want it to stay that way, especially in the winter. By taking the time to clean, inspect and repair it in the fall, you can feel confident that it’ll protect you from winter’s fury.