As the winter season approaches and brings with it forecasts of stormy weather and freezing temperatures, it is time to start preparing your residential roof for winter. Home owners and property managers alike will want to know what needs to be done to get their roofs winter ready. Ultimately, most roofing professionals recommend that come Halloween you start thinking winter. From roof inspections to repair or even replacement, you need to ask yourself “is your residential roof ready for winter?”
First and foremost, you should be scheduling regular (at least yearly) roof inspections. Perhaps the best time to inspect your roof is before the arrival of inclement weather. Depending on your geographic location, you should try to schedule a professional inspection sometime between the beginning of October and the end of November. Your roofer will be able to tell you if you have damage that needs repair while also taking the necessary steps to prevent leaks over the winter. This might include repairing or replacing flashing, clearing debris from gutters and roof surfaces, and replacing broken or missing shingles.
Most importantly, it is imperative that you complete necessary roof work before the winter months begin. Roofing in the winter brings added risks to your roofing professional. In some climates roofers even need to be concerned about frost bite and other cold weather conditions. This often impacts the scheduling and ultimately the cost of roof repairs or replacement. By preparing your roof in advance of winter, you’ll save yourself money.
Moreover, as most residential roofs are constructed from asphalt shingles, it is important to note that these shingles can become brittle and difficult to install in cold weather. Brittle shingles are more susceptible to breaking and cracking during installation, ultimately leaving your home at risks of leaks. In fact, in the coldest climates, water may seep into cracks in shingles, freeze and expand making the cracks even larger. This dramatically increases the chance that leaks will penetrate your roof throughout the winter and spring seasons.
Finally, preparing for winter also includes making sure that you have adequate insulation and weather protection in your attic and around your roof. Your roofer should be happy to inspect your attic and roof fixtures to make sure that there is enough insulation and that gaps between insulation, outer walls, and roofing fixtures are properly sealed. She or he can also inspect air ducts for damage and recommend repairs.
Remember, winter weather can take its toll on your roof and home, so it is especially important to be ready when the storms hit. Hire a professional roofer to ensure your roof and associated structures are in good condition so as to offer optimal winter protection.