We always know it’s coming – it happens every year.  The dreaded winter storm season that can wreak havoc on our roofs.  There are many things you can do to try to prepare for this season, some of which you may be unaware of.

  1. Clear all debris from the roof on a regular basis. Be sure to remove any branches, leaves, dirt, or garbage that collects on your roof.  This type of debris can collect and hold onto moisture, which can lead to mildew, mold and rot accumulating on your roofing system.  It can also wear down the roof itself, leaving it more susceptible to damage and leaks. 
  2. Have a Snow and Ice Removal plan.  It is very important that when snow and ice begin to collect on your roof you remove them as soon as you can.  The weight of the snow can begin to cause problems for your roof, and if not removed it can melt and refreeze, turning to ice that is even more difficult to remove.  Any melted snow or ice can begin to permeate into any existing cracks or openings in your roof and cause leaks.  It can also freeze in those gaps and cause issues with expansion and make any openings even bigger.
  3. Check and clear all Gutters. Having proper drainage for the extra moisture is imperative when you hit winter storm season. Be sure that your gutters are free of any debris and also keep an eye on whether they can handle the amount of moisture that you get during this season.  If you see signs of overflowing or drooping, you may need to consider gutters that are more equipped to handle your needs.
  4. Visually inspect your roof. It is crucial that you inspect the surface of your roof for cuts, tears, or open seams.  If you discover any leaks or if you have previous leaks, you will need to inspect your insulation.  If the insulation gets wet, it can cause several problems.  Just having moisture in the insulation can cause mildew and mold to grow, since moisture can breed bacteria.  Also, having wet insulation will actually raise the cost of your heating bill because it loses its efficiency at keeping the warm air inside.  It basically conducts energy at this point, instead of repelling it.  It is so important to inspect and replace wet insulation as needed, as over time it can cause structural damage to your entire roof system. Be sure to contact a roofing professional if you do not know how to inspect your insulation.
  5.  Scan your roof’s edge. The edge of your roof can be the first line of protection against the harsh weather.  Make sure that the fasteners are properly secured, the metal is in good shape, and the paint is intact, if applicable.  It may help to start by looking from the ground view to identify any issues, then getting a closer look from on top of the roof to inspect any problems more closely.  It will be in your best interest to fix these things before any major weather hits this winter.

If you are unsure how to tackle these important issues as you prepare for winter, be sure to call your roofing professional to help you handle some or all these tasks.  You will potentially save yourself a lot of money in repairs by making sure to take care of these areas before the major weather comes your way.