Effective Ways to Protect Your Roof From Winter Weather
Winter weather can be beautiful, but it can also present certain hazards for your home's exterior. Your roof is one area where ice and snow can cause quite a bit of damage. For one thing, it's possible during winter storms for enough snow to accumulate on your roof that its weight becomes hazardous. The cold season can also bring ice dams, which can lead to excessive amounts of snow being backed up and causing leaks or damage. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to ensure that your roof is protected from the harsh weather.
Before Winter Arrives
It's always wise to start preparing your roof and gutters for the hazardous winter weather before it actually arrives. Not only is it easier for you or a roofing professional to be up there working when the weather is mild, but taking preventative measures early on also gives you the best chance of completely avoiding damage.
1. Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters can present a problem during any part of the year, but it's especially important that you clean them before winter arrives. If your home's gutters are clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris when the cold weather and winter storms arrive, all the moisture from rain and melted snow will no longer have any way to drain. As a result, that water will build up in the gutters and eventually transform into icicles and/or ice dams when it freezes. Ice dams are particularly hazardous due to their tendency to cause major leaks, which can in turn lead to water damage in your home. In some cases, your gutters can become packed with so much clumped, frozen slush that they can no longer handle the weight and eventually collapse. Make it a habit to regularly clean your gutters throughout the year, especially at the start of winter. If needed, you can always enlist local professionals to handle this job for you.
2. Trim Overhanging Tree Branches
During winter, it's common for strong winds or heavy snow storms to knock loose tree branches of all sizes. If you have tall trees around your property, it's possible that some of their limbs could fall directly onto your roof or gutters. This is a common cause of serious roof damage. After that damage has been done, any ice or snow that does accumulate on the roof will have an easier path to leak into your home and cause water damage. If you have the tools and the know-how, you can spend a day trimming these overhanging branches yourself before winter arrives. Otherwise, there are professional services that will handle it for you.
Taking preventative measures to protect your roof pre-winter is important, but doing so doesn't mean you can just sit back and do nothing once the cold weather arrives. To ensure that your roofing is still in great shape come springtime, you'll want to be actively maintaining and monitoring its status throughout the entire winter.
3. Check for Ice Regularly
During the cold months, get in the habit of periodically inspecting the edges of your roof for icicles and ice dams. If you catch these hazards early in the process of formation, you can have them removed before they cause serious damage. When you come across ice buildup, don't try to scrape it off yourself. If you don't have proper tools and past experience, you could easily chip off chunks of the shingles unintentionally. Instead, have a trained roofing professional visit and remove the ice for you.
4. Remove Snow Buildup
To avoid damage and leaks, it's prudent to make sure that the level of snow accumulation on your roof doesn't exceed 70 centimeters (27.5 inches) high. When it snows, you can get a good idea how much is on your roof by using a yardstick to measure the average amount on surfaces around your home. If it comes close to or exceeds 70 centimeters, don't just let it sit there. If you choose to handle it yourself, stay on the ground or on a ladder and use a roof rake to scrape it off.
Trusted Roofing Professionals
Snow and ice can be major hazards this time of year, and roofing problems are no fun. They can result in costly repairs, water damage to your home, and a serious decrease in your comfort. To avoid all of this unpleasantness, it's worth taking a bit of time and investing a bit of money both prior to and throughout the cold season. If you require assistance protecting your roof from the snow and ice, or if you need a quality repair job, you can rely on our experts at Undersun Roofing. Our business is grounded in team work, integrity, transparency, and reliability, and we have a passion for serving the Nashville community with high-quality roofing work.