Yesterday’s snowfall combined with falling leaves and noticeably cooler weather are signs that winter is coming to Central Ohio. You start to move your winter jackets up from the basement, check out the holiday decorations, and rake the leaves before a snowfall to ensure that your home and family are ready for winter, but one thing that needs to be a priority is preparing your roof for the winter ahead.
Your roof is the protective barrier that stands between your family and the harsh winter weather, so you want to make sure that it is properly functioning and able to protect your home all winter long. Taking a few simple steps to avoid roofing problems this winter before the cold weather sets in will help your roof withstand the ice dams, bitter cold, and the freeze/thaw cycles that cause roof leaks, and give you confidence that your home will remain safe and dry in the coming months. Grab your binoculars or get the zoom ready on your camera because we’re going to need them to inspect your roof and the surrounding areas.
1. Take a Good Look at Your Roof
The first step you should take to prepare your roof for winter is to look at your roofline. Your roof lines should be straight and consistent. If you notice any signs of dipping, curving, or sagging are signs that you need to take note of. A sagging roofline can be caused by structural issues or by a moisture saturated roof deck.
During winter, your home’s roof is exposed to rain and snowfall that can stress the roof, worsen sagging, and even lead to a cave-in. When rain falls on a snow pack it acts like a sponge and can add significant weight to an already damaged roof. A sagging roof isn’t an immediate cause of concern on its own and is most likely structurally okay. A professional roofing contractor can further investigate this during roof inspection or a roof replacement.
2. Check the Chimney Flashing
The next place you’ll want to look at is the chimney. Chimney flashing is the strip of metal that seals the junction of the chimney and your roof shingles and is one of the most common spots for roof leaks to develop. A poorly flashed chimney can often be mistaken for a leaky roof, a simple roof repair of new chimney flashing can be installed to prevent a full roof replacement.
Check to make sure your flashing doesn’t appear to be hanging loose or damaged, and that the caulk holding it in place hasn’t cracked or deteriorated. Also, make sure to look for any signs of water intrusion near the chimney from a safe distance.
3. Check The Attic For Signs Of Water Damage
Once you’ve checked on your chimney from the outside, make your way up into your attic. In most cases, the first signs of a leaky roof can be seen there. Signs of a roof leak include dark water spots on the walls, displaced or wet attic insulation, wet roof decking, and puddles of water on the attic floor. If you discover any evidence of water damage to your home’s roof, schedule a roof inspection with a professional Columbus Roofing Contractor so that you can get your roof back into top condition before the harsh winter storms arrive.
4. Remove Debris From the Roof
After you inspect your roof, you remove any debris (or arrange to have it removed). It is common for tree branches, leaves, twigs, and other debris to accumulate on your roof during the fall season. However, if that debris is left on your roof all winter, it can prevent water from draining off of the roof leaving it susceptible to water damage beneath the soggy mess. You can safely remove the debris by hand or leaf blower, in many cases, it is common to contact a professional roofing company to perform this work.
5. Clean Out Your Gutters
This small step alone can help significantly reduce the chance of an ice dam or roof leak. Just like the roof, gutters are magnets for leaves, sticks and other debris. If the water sits inside and freezes that chunk of ice will expand and cause damage. Make sure to clean them out completely in order to prevent clogs, and allow snowmelt and rainwater to drain off your roof properly in the coming months.
6. Trim Tree Branches
Preparing the trees near your home is another critical step to making sure the house is ready for winter. During a storm, trees with low-hanging branches can allow snow and ice to build up on these branches and cause them to snap under the additional weight and land on your roof. These falling branches can cause damage to the roof shingles and may require a roof repair. Trimming or removing these branches will eliminate the risk of branch-related damage all winter long. It is highly recommended that this step be carried out by a professional tree service company to ensure everyone’s safety.
7. Have a Roofing Contractor Inspect your Roof
Roof damage can go from requiring a roof repair to requiring a full roof replacement with just one storm. If you have concerns about your roof before winter, please schedule a professional roof inspection. A complimentary inspection will bring to light any existing problems with your roof that our experts are trained to look for. If a leak or potential leak is identified we can schedule roof repairs or schedule a full roof replacement soon. Our crews work year-round and we’re able to ensure that your roof will be able to protect your home for many more winters to come!
Best Exteriors, Inc. is the best choice for a trusted, local roofing contractor in Columbus Ohio!
Your roof is your first line of defense against weather damage and all that mother nature throws at us in Central Ohio. A healthy, strong roof will increase your home’s value and curb appeal, and it will keep your possessions safe and dry throughout the years. Having a roof leak repaired before winter or better yet preventing one altogether is the best course of action.
We don’t take the responsibility of working on your home or business lightly, we invite you to see why Best Exteriors, Inc. is the trusted choice for residential roofing, James Hardie Lap Siding, commercial roofing & gutter services. Give us a call at (614) 964-BEST or toll-free 1-844-865-BEST You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation!