Harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on your home and cause significant roof damage. Taking the time to prepare before the weather gets too bad can help you avoid costly repairs down the line. Start with these simple tips.
1. Inspect and Clean Your Gutters
If your gutters don’t drain properly, they’ll collect standing water. This will turn to ice when the temperatures drop, potentially causing damage. You’ll also want to keep your gutters clear so the water from melting snow is directed off your roof and away from your home.
2. Remove Roof Debris
Wind can blow debris onto your roof, and when it tumbles around, it can pull the protective granules from your asphalt shingles. Wet and rotting leaves can create mold problems, and fruit or nuts that have fallen on the roof will attract pests. Before the snow starts to fall, clear off your roof to avoid these problems.
3. Trim Nearby Tree Branches
When temperatures fall and the wind picks up, nearby tree branches can come loose and fall onto your roof, causing damage. Now is the time to get your trees trimmed back so the hanging branches are at least 10 feet from your home.
4. Treat Mold and Mildew
If your shingles have a green or black shine to them, you could have a problem with mold, mildew, algae, or moss. Not only can this create an unpleasant odor, but it can also damage your shingles and the sheathing underneath. Having your roof cleaned now can help prevent the problem from getting any worse.
5. Check Your Shingles and Siding
Missing or broken shingles can allow moisture to come into your attic, which can lead to mold, mildew, and other problems. Inspecting your roof and patching any missing or damaged shingles now may save you thousands of dollars in home damage. While you’re inspecting your roof, also take a moment to check out your siding, making sure the soffits and panels are secure.
6. Practice Some Simple Pest Control
Look for any points of entry where rodents could enter your home. They’ll come looking for refuge from the cold weather and your warm attic is an attractive option. If a rodent finds a small opening, it won't be afraid to chew, scratch, and damage your roof trying to get in - so do yourself a favor and patch them all up now.
7. Check Your Attic for Air Leaks
Warm indoor air escaping from your attic can create ice dams on your roof. These ridges of ice, which form at the edge of the roof, prevent melting snow from draining off. When this happens, the water can then back up and leak into your home, causing damage to your ceiling, walls, insulation, and more.
To avoid this, inspect your attic, plug any leaks, and add more insulation where it's needed. Some of the most common culprits include the spaces around exhaust fans, chimneys, and vent pipes. Applying some spray foam and/or caulk around these spaces can help prevent air leaks.
8. Quickly Remove Ice and Snow
Icicles hanging from your gutters might look pretty, but they’re dangerous and can cause significant roof damage. Clear ice accumulation frequently, sweeping it away with a broom or a snow rake. Also, clear off snow regularly. As it builds up, snow gets extremely heavy and could cause roof damage or even a collapse.
Prevent Roof Damage With a Professional Inspection
One of the best ways to prevent roof damage is to have an expert take care of your roof before winter comes. The team at First Quality Roofing can quickly inspect and winterize your Wisconsin roof, giving you peace of mind, no matter what type of winter weather comes our way. Contact us today to learn more.