This summer brought Hurricane Irma to our shores, and even if you weren’t in one of the areas that drew heavy impact it was a scary thing to watch. The Virginia, Maryland, and DC areas were not targeted by Irma, but they have been victim to many hurricanes in the past including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. Thus, not only do we Americans have to brace ourselves for possible hurricanes which often have the ability to destroy a roof, we also have to negotiate the harsher conditions of the winter months and assess whether a roof repair is necessary.
Hurricane season isn’t the first priority this year, but winter is something which can potentially wreak havoc on our roof every year. As such, it’s important that homeowners who want to keep their house in peak condition pay attention to their roof before the severe weather hits.
General Warning Signs
If you want to be fully prepared for winter, it’s imperative that you examine your roof now. If there are any signs of damage, things will only get worse when the strong winds, ice, and snow arrive. It’s much safer and cost-effective to repair minor damage than to leave it alone and hope for the best. As such, it’s good practice to look out for general signs that your roof is damaged before examining the possible effects of winter:
If you have a shingle roof, pay close attention to the appearance of the shingles. Curled or cracked shingles need to be replaced immediately. If you notice that some of your shingles aren’t in top condition, you need to fix them before the colder months arrive. This is because these imperfections in the shingles will allow moisture to penetrate through your roof into the interior of your home. Moisture in the attic and interior create bigger problems, from mold to structural inability.
You should look out for the appearance of moss on your roof, particularly the part which gets the least sunlight. Moss loves damp and dark conditions, so if you start to see patches of green you know there’s a problem. Roofs in peak condition do not allow moisture to pool in a given area, so the very fact that it’s there at all means that moisture is getting in somewhere. Sure, you can brush it off, but if you’re a vigilant homeowner you should really find out what’s causing the problem in the first place. The best thing to do in this scenario is to hire a professional roof repair contractor in order to find out how to approach a roof repair.
Algae is different from moss in the sense that it doesn’t look like a patch of grass when it appears on your roof. Instead, algae will appear in dark streaks. Conducting regular roof maintenance will help you to know the moment it appears. If you neglect your roof, the presence of algae can lead to very serious problems down the road.
Let’s face it, no one likes the thought of having to replace their entire roof, but you need to be honest with yourself. If you’ve had the same roof for decades, this could be the winter that causes it to collapse. You’ll know yourself by conducting roof maintenance how bad things really are. If the damage is widespread and quite severe, roof replacement may be your only option. When you’re considering whether to simply perform a roof repair or replace your roof entirely, one of the first things you need to know is the shelf life of the roof material. The most popular types of roof are asphalt shingles, slate and tile shingles, wood shakes and cedar shingles, metal roofs, and flat roofs. These all have different shelf lives ranging from fifteen to one hundred years, so it’s best to start your roof maintenance by making sure you know what type of roof you actually have.
Winter Warning Signs
Now that you’ve examined your roof and contemplated any roof repair that may need to be completed before winter arrives, it’s also ideal to think about how winter can damage your roof. These tips are designed to help you prepare for potential damage that snow and ice can cause to your roof. This is so you can look ahead and be ready to fix things ahead of the next season:
Ice Dam Formation
Warm air rising from your house in the winter can lead to ice dam formation. Snow melts and refreezes, turning it into ice. It then melts again, making its way as water into your home. Interior water damage is not something any homeowner wants!
The formation of icicles operates using the same principle as the ice dam formation. They can cause serious damage to gutters and shingles due to the weight and pressure they place on the materials.
Heavy snowfalls can be very detrimental to a roof. Different roofs are designed to bear different weights, and snow can be very heavy. This means that if there are any weak spots on your roof, heavy snowfalls can actually lead to a potential roof collapse.
Your attic and roof both affect one another, so it’s essential to examine both throughout the harsh weather. During snow, your attic will be particularly vulnerable to excessive condensation when it melts.
The Importance of Roof Maintenance All Year Round
It’s true that winter brings the harshest weather, but it is essential to keep your roof maintained all year round. There are many ways to maintain your roof that are cheap and easy. It is your responsibility as a homeowner to make sure that you and your family can quite literally keep a roof over your head. You can do this by simply performing a total evaluation of your roof, clearing away debris consistently, removing moss, conducting attics checkups, and scheduling regular maintenance with a professional roof repair contractor.
Once you consider the fact that hurricanes and other extremely harsh weather conditions impact Americans often, there is simply no excuse for neglecting your roof or a roof repair. This means that even when the weather is mild, you should always be thinking ahead. Avoid dangers to your home’s roof by maintaining it regularly and hiring a professional roof repair contractor to help you keep your home protected.