Here in the Midwest, we winterize a lot of things to protect against the harsh winds, heavy snowfall, and freezing temperatures. Your house should be no exception. The roof on your home works hard to protect you all year round, but that doesn’t mean it won’t need a little help gearing up for the wintertime.
How the Winter Season Wears on Your Roof
Your roof’s job is to protect your home, but winter weather can really do a number on roofing. Between the freezing cold temperatures, heavy snow, and ice, winter weather can wear and tear at your property. These are a few of the most common causes for winter roof damage.
Ice Dams: Ice dams are the wintry enemy of many Minnesotan homeowners. These occur across days of varying warmer to colder weather when temperatures go back and forth over and under freezing. In weeks like this, snow will melt from your roof, only to re-freeze and accumulate in a dam formation on top of your home. Ice dams can lead to waterlogged shingles, internal mildew and mold, and even cracked or broken drain pipes.
Snow: Snow can weigh up to 3 pounds per square foot, and packed snow accumulated from multiple snowfalls can weigh even more. Ice can weigh up to 57 pounds per square foot and is often invisible beneath fresh blankets of snow. Heavy snowstorms have been known to collapse roofs, so it’s important to manage snow accumulation when you live in a cold, snowy winter area.
Wind: The rough winds of a winter blizzard can wreak havoc on a roof. High winds will reveal the weaknesses in any roof by curling back at the shingles along the edges of your home. High winds can also loosen and pull out at already weaker patches of your roof.
Winterizing Your Roof + Pre-Season Prep
To ensure the worst of winter weather damage doesn’t happen to you and your home preventative care and preparation are key. Here are some quick tips and tricks on how to prevent and prepare for the worst this winter season.
Preventative Roof Inspections
Whether you have a professional inspection done, or you do a thorough examination all by yourself, there are a few things to look for before wintertime sets in.
- Use a ladder to get a closer look at your roof and gutters too. There are some things you just can’t see standing from the ground below.
- First, you should look for any visible damage, things like missing shingles, cracks, mold, and rot can usually be seen by the untrained eye. These are all potential weak spots for snow, moisture, and ice to seep through to your home.
- Next, inspect your caulking and flashing. Caulk that’s wrinkled or fallen away should be replaced. Loosened or missing flashing should also be replaced. Inspecting these ensures that the snow, cold, and ice will be sealed out once the season changes.
- And finally, check the inside of your home. A quick peek at the ceilings and in the attic should reveal if you may have leakages or mold. These are also potential issues come wintertime.
Preventative Roof Care
These are a few essential tasks to do this fall that can make a big difference before the long winter sets in. You’ll thank yourself when the world is buried in snow in just a few months!
- Clear out all your gutters of leaves, branches, and animal nests to ensure melting water from snow and ice can be properly diverted away from your home.
- Trim away overhanging branches that may break when weighed down by snow and ice.
- Consider purchasing and installing heated cables o to help combat ice dams. You can also look into a variety of different rakes and trough systems to remove ice dams from your roof.
- Reinforce any thin spots in your attic’s insulation. Your insulation keeps heat inside your house and helps prevent the formation of ice dams outside on your roof.
As always to get the most for your money’s worth, it’s best to call in a roofing contractor for a preventative inspection, or for any repair or replacements you may need prior to the Midwest’s intense winter months. CoMitted 365 is always here for you and happy to help with your roofing needs.