If you live in an area with harsh winter weather, and the trusty Farmer’s Almanac says this one here in New England is going to be a doozy, assuring your roof is ready for the season is critical, especially if your roof isn’t in top condition. If you follow this simple who, what and why guide to winter roof preparedness, you can raise the likelihood of preventing a minor roof problem from becoming a major wintertime disaster.
As an intrepid and self-sufficient Yankee, I’m always interested in what I can do to help my own situation. To this end, there are some signs that you the homeowner (or building manager) can identify which indicate your roof needs repair. Check for loose materials, cracks and other signs of deterioration around your chimney and roof edges. Look for cracked shingles, inspect the seams around skylights and examine your gutters to make sure they are free of debris.
That said, if you feel there may be a problem, hiring a qualified roofing contractor is the best way to receive a complete check of the roof on your home or business and provide any necessary roof repairs. We do these checks and you can contact us for a free estimate.
Should you be aware of existing leaks coming from your roof, skylight or chimney, you should get them looked at and repaired immediately. These issues are far easier to address before the nasty weather settles in.
As alluded to above, removing tree or animal debris from your gutters to make sure they are clean and water can flow properly can drastically reduce ice dams. It may sound minor but a clogged gutter can be extremely hazardous to your home and result in high repair costs.
As you clean your gutters, watch for shingle granules – which look like coarse sand. When you see them, they are a clear sign of serious wear and tear and may indicate that the tiles themselves are nearing end of life. Keeping drains and downspouts clear of debris is also important as it gives your newly-cleaned gutters somewhere to dump water from ice melt.
Another good idea is to check your roof line and make sure you aren’t noticing any sagging or bending.
Winter readiness isn’t limited to exterior inspection. If you haven’t thought about it, ensure that the vents in your kitchen and bathroom actually go outdoors and don’t just vent into your roof space (where they will create dampness where it doesn’t belong).
Check your attic or roof space for areas that are sagging and look for water damage and leaks; dark spots and drips are typically dead giveaways that you have a roof leak. See if there is any light showing through from the outside and check your joists for woodworm, dampness, fungus and rot.
As you might imagine, winter weather brings multiple stressors to any roof system. Changing temperatures, snow accumulation, ice dams and high winds can cause major damage to homes and buildings. While obvious, lower-quality roofs and roofs over 20 years old have a greater likelihood of being damaged by harsh weather which can result in an array of problems from minor leaks to major cave-ins that can cost thousands to repair.
Not to be alarmist, but while your roof may not appear to be problematic before a snowfall, weak spots, invisible cracks and weathered surfaces are all susceptible to giving way under the weight of snow. If you have a suspicion, it’s best to check it out before the winter commences. Once it’s here, roofers tend to be at their busiest and, due to extreme temperatures and snow removal, it takes longer to get jobs done during this season. There is great value in early inspection.
At Connecticut Roofcrafters, we have experience and expertise in performing seasonal roof inspections. Contact us today to make arrangements.