Harsh winter weather is no friend to your roof. Not only does the sheer weight of heavy snow, ice, and sleet cause roofing layers to erode, but water can seep inside causing extensive damage in its path. It is important to remain proactive with preventive roof maintenance to secure the structural integrity of your home. Learn more about the importance of performing roof maintenance during the winter, what type of maintenance you can do yourself, and what could happen if you neglect to maintain your roof.
Why Winter Roof Maintenance Is Important
Your roof is one of the most important components of your home. As so, it requires regular maintenance to keep it in optimal condition. One reason why roof maintenance is so important is that it helps prevent leaks from developing. Leaks can be costly to fix, especially when water is able to penetrate through the layers and into your home. Roof maintenance is also important to the state of your gutters. If you fail to perform routine maintenance, your gutters can become blocked with leaves, twigs, and other debris. When your gutter is blocked it becomes unable to drain water away from your home.
Another reason to perform routine maintenance is to keep your vents clear. Your vents should be free of debris at all time. If they do become clogged, you may notice a lingering odor and poor drainage. It can be difficult to determine if your vents are blocked or not without the help of an experienced roof repair contractor. Also consider the importance of roof maintenance in terms of pest control. During the winter, pests may try to get into your home to keep warm. This can result in holes in your roof and other problems. With roof maintenance you can catch pests before an infestation starts.
Winter Roof Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
As the temperature plummets and the snow starts falling, it is important to perform regular roof maintenance to help prevent damage. One task that you will want to keep up with is snow removal. Allowing snow to sit on your roof for too long can cause damage in a number of ways. First, the weight alone can cause old or weak roofs to collapse. If an ice dam develops on your room, the trapped snow can melt and pool which can lead to wood rot and leaks.
When performing routine roof maintenance, also pay attention to the flashing. Over time, the flashing on your roof can become loose or warped. When flashing is damaged, snow and ice can more easily impact your roof. Damage can also occur to your shingles in the same way. If you have loose or broken shingles, have them repaired or replaced right away to prevent moisture from seeping underneath them. In addition to the flashing and shingles, take a look at your gutter system. Check for signs of ice dams and keep debris out of the gutters.
While snow, sleet, and ice are responsible for a bulk of roof damage in the winter, harsh winds can also cause extensive damage. If possible, inspect your roof regularly for signs of wind damage, such as loose shingles or flashing. Make necessary repairs quickly and replace materials that are broken or eroded. Another winter maintenance task you can do yourself is check your attic ventilation. If your attic is poorly insulated or ventilated, it can expose your roof to the harsh winter elements. You want to keep the airflow in your attic consistent to help keep your roof protected.
If you are expecting a winter storm, take the time to inspect your roof and the surrounding elements, including the flashing, gutters, and downspouts. Make sure that the roof is free of debris like leaves and branches. If there are hazardous trees around your property that could potentially fall on your roof, hire a tree trimmer to remove them before winter. Heavy snow and ice can cause branches to break which can cause damage to the structure of your home. Ideally, you should perform maintenance on your roof before hazardous weather appears. Ice and snow can cause your roof to become slick and dangerous.
Consequences of Neglecting Roof Maintenance
Many homeowners make the mistake of putting off their roof repairs. While you may believe that neglecting your roof maintenance saves you time, money, and effort, these benefits are often short-lived. Without regular roof maintenance, your home will slowly start to suffer the effects of neglect. Wear and tear will develop more quickly and small problems will become bigger and more costly problems. You may also notice signs of roof damage, such as leaks, water damage, increased energy bills, mold growth, and the presence of animals and pests in your roofing system.
If the short-term effects of roof damage are not bothersome, consider the long-term consequences. Severe water damage can occur over time. When water manages to seep past the shingles and underlying layers of roofing, it can start to rot the wood framing. In time, water can seep into your home causing damage to insulation, dry wall, and personal belongings. If you continue to neglect the state of your roof and you eventually want to sell your home, you may find that your property value has noticeably decreased. Future buyers will also be hesitant of buying a home with water damage.
Learn More About Winter Roof Maintenance
Snow and ice buildup, along with the harsh cycle of freezing and thawing, can cause an otherwise healthy roof to suffer damage. Roofs require more attention during the winter season than any other time of the year. Ideally, you want to have your roof professionally inspected by an experienced roof repair contractor before the winter season hits. This allows ample time to get any repairs completed before snow starts to fall. If you are not able to perform maintenance tasks on your own, call in a contractor to help you. Schedule a free roof evaluation today with the roofing contractors at Beyond Exteriors.